I went to a CIPFA Audit Risk and Governance Seminar recently and was impressed with the innovative ways many treasurers and internal auditors are trying to manage in these difficult times. I was also saddened to think that resources are so tight that authorities are having to take risks they would not want to, so as to reduce the risk of running out of money. I was also sorry to hear how hard it is for senior managers when every attempt at saving money is met with strong opposition from various local pressure groups. Are there people out there who still don’t get it? Do they think funds are limitless? Tough decisions have to be made and a little more understanding from the public would be a help! Lets give people credit when they try to bring in some cost-saving measures. Lets acknowledge that they are making a real effort to serve the community, rather than just complaining at every proposed change, as if standing still was really an option.
One or two people have asked why my logo is a cross. They rightly guessed that it is because I am a Christian but wrongly saw it as something divisive. Do I wish to avoid potential clients who are Moslems, Hindus, Jews, etc or even secular humanists? Do I intend to discriminate against claimants of other faiths or none? Am I going to take a judgemental attitude towards people I do not approve of in some way? Surely religion should not affect our business dealings? I assured them, and hope to assure you, that they are missing the point. I want to celebrate what I am rather than denigrate what I am not. That is why, during the Olympics I cheered for Team GB but also admired the achievements of many foreign athletes, without feeling there was any contradiction.
Why then put a cross on my business card? Should we not keep religion out of business, especially if I do not want to discriminate? Well if anyone’s religion means anything it should affect every part of their life. It means for me, among other things, high standards. I would never knowingly condone or assist a fraud either by or against my client, nor would I defraud my client by overcharging or underperforming: I would always want to give the best service and the best advice possible. Similarly, I would never condone a cynical attitude to Health and Safety which considered people as expendable.
So yes, I will be judgemental about fraudsters, con-men, and cheapskates, but I will welcome business from the many honest, ethical people, whether Jews, Moslems, Hindus, atheists or whoever, if they need my services.