I looked up the term jargon and got the dictionary definition: “1. a: confused unintelligible language; b: a strange, outlandish, or barbarous language or dialect.” Yup. That sounds about right.
The airline industry is full of acronyms and jargon. We throw terms such as RASM, CASM, and PRASM around as if they are household words. And then there is my favorite, the crack spread (the difference between the price of crude oil and petroleum products extracted from it, such as gasoline and jet fuel). Add that to the long list of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, Transportation Security Administration, and Department of Homeland Security terms, and it’s almost as if we need a separate dictionary just to decipher the code.
The audit profession has its own language as well. We have comfort letters, detective controls, GAAP and GAAS, SOX, PCAOB (aka, peek-a-boo), and the risk of incorrect rejection — although one might argue that this last term is also often used when girlfriends get together over a bottle of wine to gab.
So, I’ve decided to experiment by replacing all of the jargon in our latest audit report with “plain English.” Too bad the audit was titled GSE.
Posted on Oct 20, 2011 by Kiko Harvey
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