We have visitors in the Kidznotes office this week: two wonderful accountants are hunkering down for the next few days to perform our annual audit. Don’t worry – this isn’t an “IRS knocking at the door” kind of audit. Nonprofits of our size are required annually to provide an audited financial statement prepared by an independent CPA. Standard operating practice – not scary operating practice.

As I sat in my office reviewing numbers with Katie (one of the accountants performing the audit), we remarked on most people’s reactions when they hear she is an auditor. “If we’re in an elevator, they kind of shrink back against the wall real slowly.” We both laughed.

“My grandfather was an auditor with the IRS,” I told her. “I’m sure no one wanted to be in the elevator when he came to their business.”

In a funny way, my grandfather is the reason I’m at Kidznotes. Two years ago, Julia and I were living in Seattle, where I was happily working in the education department at Seattle Opera. When my grandfather passed away, we flew to Eastern PA for his funeral. During the memorial service, my dad told me that one of his few regrets was not living close to his dad during the final years of his life. He didn’t say it, and I don’t know if he even intended it, but I heard my dad saying, “I hope the same thing doesn’t happen with us.” On the way to the airport to fly back to Seattle, Julia and I decided we would move to North Carolina as soon as we could. We were there two months later.

The audit of Kidznotes’ financial statements is an important part of the financial stewardship of our supporters’ funds. I take it seriously and am happy to help ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. At the same time, I intend to go out of my way to treat our auditors with gracious hospitality – thinking of my grandfather, and how, even at the end, my favorite auditor brought his family closer together.