Monday, October 25, 2010

Ransacking the Underwear Drawer by Diane Kelly

It’s no secret that people think accounting is one of the most boring, mundane jobs on the planet. But those on the inside know different.

Being an accountant allows you to ransack your clients’ underwear drawers.

Not literally, of course.
But figuratively.

When you review clients’ financial records, you learn more about them than you ever wanted to know. Their hopes and dreams. The issues that tug at their heartstrings. Their deepest, darkest secrets.

A client might make substantial charitable contributions to an animal welfare organization, while also providing a hotel receipt for a business trip on which he charged an in-room porn movie - proving he, too, is an animal. It’s a little embarrassing to explain that the IRS might frown on a deduction for “Debbie Does Dallas.”

A client might have set aside a tidy sum for his children’s college education, but have diverted an even tidier sum to the twinkie he’s keeping on the side. Naughty, naughty boy.

Financial records might show tuition paid to a Catholic girls’ school, along with payments to a pharmacy for a teenager’s birth control pills. Substantial donations to the church building fund along with substantial charges at The T & A Cabaret. Thousands spent on spa treatments but mere hundreds paid to the full-time nanny. Alimony and child support paid to a string of ex-wives by a client who routinely trades in his families for newer models.

Investments that tanked. Gambling losses. Get-rich-quick schemes that proved to be get-screwed-quick cons.

It’s all there in black and white in the financial records.
And, as they say, numbers don’t lie.

Diane’s debut novel starring an IRS agent will be released in September 2011. Details at


Leslie Langtry said...

You know what? That sounds like fun! Never knew there was this yummy side of accounting!

Diane Kelly said...

Yep, accounting has a dark underbelly. : )

Robin Kaye said...

I completely agree, Leslie. It sounds like fun! I used to work in an insurance office. One of our clients had several files, there was the "family insurance file" and then one for each of his mistresses. In the event of his demise, he wanted to make sure they'd be well taken care of too.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Diane,

You are too funny girl. I'm wondering what my own tax receipts tell about me? Cat food isn't deductible? But my felines are my muses. A massage, no happy ending, is a requirement of the business. Romance novels, I'm reading for research--it's work.


Diane Kelly said...

Insurance for mistresses!?! Wow, looks like insurance is a far more intriguing business than it seems at first glance, too! And I'm with you, Christie - I wish there were a tax exemption for pets. I spend more on healthcare for my cats and dogs than I do on myself!

Jana DeLeon said...

I was a forensic accountant for several years and investigated the financials and employees of potential commercial real estate purchases. ALL kind of things go on at commercial properties (office buildings, residential housing, malls). My review of the police reports was always the best part.

Unfortunately, I caught many, many people stealing. People are not very bright and risk losing their reputation and freedom over very small amounts of money. Sad, really.

Diane - I know you've got plenty to work with writing an IRS special agent. Can't wait to read the book.

Unknown said...

Oh, that book sounds like a lot of fun!

That part of accounting does too. I like to see parts of people that don't normally show anyone else. Wait, that sounds reallllly bad... but I think you know what I mean.

When I was working at the prison, I never minded monitoring phone calls for officers or staff because it's like a peak at the human animal unfettered. Which isn't always a good thing, but it's not always a bad thing either.

Best of luck with your new book!

Tori Lennox said...

Wow! I had no idea accounting could be so entertaining!