SuitcasesWe’re near the end of final audit season, so here’s a light-hearted treatment of one of the less technical elements of an auditor’s toolkit¬†– their luggage. What does an auditor’s choice of luggage say about them?

The matching set

This auditor breathes style as they walk across the concourse with their coordinated designer trolley case and holdall. Somehow they manage to turn up every day on audit looking suave and well-groomed. Their work is characterised by consistency Рthey will spot a major budget variance a mile off and will work until late in the evening making all their spreadsheets and write-ups uniform to the last comma.

The huge suitcase #1

There are two categories of huge suitcase auditors. The first uses a huge suitcase because that’s the only one they have: they use it for their holidays and don’t see the need to buy another one for audit. This auditor just doesn’t believe in splashing out on new luggage for the sake of it.

Their work is straightforward with no frills. If they can use a spreadsheet template that someone else has set up, they will do, because what’s the point of reinventing the wheel?

The huge suitcase #2

This auditor needs a big case to fit in all the comforts of home. They like to be prepared for every eventuality and would never go away from home without their dressing gown, slippers and their own pillow. Not for them the travel-sized toiletries; they bring the full bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and take not one, not two, but three bottles into the shower.

This auditor has his/her own way of doing things. He/she will make a spreadsheet from scratch than use a ready-made template, because they want the formatting to be “just so”. This auditor is also the person to go to if you discover that you have forgotten something. Lost a button? They have spares. Shoes rubbing? They’ve got plasters of every possible shape and degree of stickiness. Just don’t stand nearby when they’re trying to get their suitcase in the overhead rack!

The tiny/non-existent case

This auditor manages to fit everything s/he needs into the tiniest possible wheelie bag. They may even dispense altogether with a suitcase and fit their smalls around their laptop in a rucksack. They wear their bulkiest clothes to travel in and don’t bring a change of shoes. I suspect they sometimes wash their clothes midweek in the hotel bathroom.

One likely explanation for this auditor’s luggage choice is that they have to commute across London on the Northern line, where dragging a suitcase singles you out for hostile stares and you feel you have broken some kind of unspoken etiquette if you dare to take a wheelie bag on the platform.

The tiny suitcase auditor is a sensitive soul who just can’t face the accusing stares on Monday morning and Friday night and has conformed to the cultural pressure from his/her fellow commuters.

In their work this auditor is the one the clients like. They have gallons of empathy and this shows in the way they interview clients. As a result they find out more because the clients open up in conversation and share information freely. They are the person everyone goes to when they’re feeling homesick or a little bit audit weary because they will always find a listening ear and a kind word.


Have you travelled with an auditor before? What kind of luggage did they bring? Do share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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