A Cautionary Fairy Tale

A certain Big 4 accounting firm had a client who wanted a cat-catcher license in the Canal Zone, a jurisdiction no longer in existence. Big 4 would also work on the matter. I didn’t bother to vette the client because Big 4, who presumably had done their accounting, was along for the ride. The client soon discovered that getting a cat-catching license in the Canal Zone is no trivial matter. You must show that you are experienced and have books, manuals and appropriate guidelines in place, like a “Know Your Breed” (KYB) procedure. When they said they had no manuals–after Big 4 asked me to prepare them and then denied they did–I knew a) the cat-catching applicant was full of merde and b) the Ministry of Feline Affairs would never give them a license. $25k of work in, Big 4 informed me, “too bad” because they were still at Phase I and had forgotten to include a ‘kill fee’ in the contract in case the project were abandoned. The license application wasn’t abandoned–to avoid paying, the applicant simply stopped doing anything. Big 4 didn’t get paid either.

as told by Col. Justiano von Schlossberg