One of the things I am responsible for in work is our sales taxes. How much we owe, how much we can claim as a refund. I have three different sets to calculate, one of which is always very small and relates to what tiny amounts of work we do in Quebec.
It isn’t good accounting practice for the person calculating the taxes to also file the tax return. So, once I’ve finished the calculations and reconciliations, I go to our bank’s tax filing website, and enter all the information that I calculated, as if I was actually filing a return. Then I print out a copy of the page and exit without saving anything.
After my boss signs his approval of the page, I give it to Connie. It is her job to copy the numbers I have given her into the boxes on the same website. She is basically re-doing the same things I have done, with an identical piece of paper to the page on her screen as a guide, and then hitting ‘save’.
Excluding dates, there are five boxes in which she can enter numbers. Five sets of numbers. Sometimes all of the numbers in the boxes are zero. Last month there was one box that did not have a zero in it. One box out of five. One box that she needed to enter a number into, leaving all the rest at zero.
Somehow, she still managed to fuck it up.
As a result of this error, instead of receiving a refund from the tax people, I have an angry letter asking why our numbers don’t add up. Now I’m going to have to piss about explaining why and submit an amendment request.
The best part? She the same thing two months earlier. We got audited as a result.