Book Review: The Good Audit, by C.P. Aiden

The Good Audit is one of the funniest, wittiest satires I have read in recent years, with humour and social criticism. A must for anyone who ever worked in the corporate world!

What to expect

A story about a team of accountants auditing a manufacturer’s financial records. Sounds boring? It’s anything but!

In a brilliant move, Aiden does name or describe the characters. They are all called based on their positions or salary bands – from Intern and Staff 2, to Manager and Partner. This does a wonderful job of mimicking the corporate view of nameless, faceless human “resources”, but Aiden keeps each character distinct. It’s no bother to follow who’s who and get a deep sense of individuality from each character.

The story takes place from the frenzy of the original audit planning meeting to the final, post-audit anti-climax. In addition to the prose, the story includes the constant messaging chats between the characters, and those private conversations add so much flavour to both the character and the story.

What I liked

Usually when I say I laughed out loud reading a book, I mean I had a quiet chuckle to myself (which still qualifies as aloud). Reading The Good Audit I laughed so hard I made the dog run to the other room and hide under the bed. Aiden ha sharp, biting humour that will resonate deeply with anyone who’s been exposed to the corporate world – accounting, consultancy, or otherwise.

More than that, like any good satire The Good Audit also includes sharp observations and social criticism. It holds a mirror to the ugly faces of corporate culture, with its meaningless language and empty promises, with the power imbalance between the ones who do the work and the ones who reap the rewards, and the cynical approach to exploiting employees.

What to be aware of

While you don’t have to be an accountant to appreciate the jokes (I’m not), there are certainly a lot of accounting terms. I didn’t find that detracting or distracting from enjoying the story. You should, however, have had some exposure to the corporate world to appreciate why some of it is painfully funny and not all that removed from reality.

Summary

Highly recommended novel all around. In fact, I loved this book so much that I invited the audit team to come audit the blog! They will appear on The Protagonist Speaks, auditing that blog in their inimical style, in a couple of weeks. I suggest you subscribe, not to miss out on the most unique, hilarious, and poignant character interview in the history of the blog.

So, if you’ve ever been in the corporate world, ever dealt with finances, audits, standard compliance and the like you’ll get a lot of out it — but even if you just enjoy literary contemporary satire I must say you should read this right now!

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