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Working with the Number Crunchers July 26, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, I, Lawyer, Idiocy.

Aside from being a lawyer, I am also a certified public accountant (short for “CPA”, which my dad says also means “cada pista adto”). However, I really consider myself more of a lawyer than a CPA since I never really practiced my accounting profession extensively. My bean counter experience has been limited to: (1) working at a bank, which was never really accounting-related to begin with. I was more of a clerk than an accountant, and I tell you, it’s just no fun to count money that doesn’t belong to you; (2) teaching Accounting at my alma mater, and to quote my bispren Ken “Those who can’t, teach”; (3) being the Head of Administration and Accounting for a printing company (where I had other people under me who performed the work. I just sat there and oversaw everyone. So, as you can see, I was hardly working, errrr, I mean, working hard.); and (4) during the peak audit season after my graduation from Accounting, I was hired as temporary staff for Punongbayan and Araullo accounting firm, where I helped out with inventory counts. (I knew all those years of watching Sesame Street would pay off someday. I think I must have irritated the foreman in one of the warehouses I visited when I started counting like Count von Count, “One!!! One sack of fertilizer! Ah-ah-ah-ah*matching thunder, lightning and bats flying all around*Two!!! Two sacks of fertilizer!! Ah-ah-ah-ah“… )


In essence, I never really practiced the meat and potatoes work of a CPA, which is both bookkeeping and auditing. I was too busy working in a bank and studying law to ever gain any worthy experience in the profession. In fact, when I became a lawyer, I thought that was it… I was saying goodbye to my CPA practice.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are essentially two broad categories in my law practice: Litigation and Corporate. Litigation deals with appearing before courts in adversarial cases, which includes civil, criminal, commercial and labor disputes. Corporate, in a nutshell, is anything that does not involve litigation, such as forming corporations, reviewing contracts, applying for environmental compliance certificates, and brewing coffee for very important corporate clients.

It helps that I make a mean brew with nothing but Nescafe instant coffee, brown sugar, Coffeemate and my boyish lawyer charms. You would not believe the number of deals I’ve closed with nothing but my coffee stirring skills. It’s a secret technique, like the kung fu taught to me by Wudan monks from Schezuan province of China, called The Five Moon Purple Death by Coffeemate Technique, so called because after five full moons have elapsed since tasting my coffee, your face will turn as purple as sinamay ube from Bohol and then become uglier and uglier and uglier until you finally die looking like Babalu after he’s had a bad case of constipation and hemorrhoids. The only way to ward off death is to hire me as a legal retainer and insist on coming to my office for meetings and drinking my coffee.

My corporate practice is quite active since my firm deals with a lot of companies, and a lot of what I do involves forming corporations, getting special licenses for them, reviewing and drafting contracts and agreements, etc. In particular, I’m very much involved when it comes to organization formation and planning.

This particular job necessarily involves tax planning and knowing how to prepare journal entries on a company’s accounting books. Realizing my shortcomings on the matter, I’ve enlisted the help of two very good practicing CPA’s: Cyril Alto Ty (who was my classmate from high school and the person whom I copied my math answers from), and Noe Jude Penas (Cyril’s good friend and one of the best corporate planners that I’ve ever worked with).

With this in mind, I’ve realized how indispensable and valuable having actual practical accounting experience is for us corporate lawyers. There’s a certain sort of corporate streetsmart that a practicing CPA has which a lawyer will never ever know about, unless the latter is also a practicing CPA. Things like whether being VAT or non-VAT licensed is more advantageous to use and easier to support, to whether or not a fiscal year or a calendar year is more advantageous for the company for reportorial requirements, and to checking up whether or not open cases have been flagged for non-compliance with tax rules.

It’s kind of like how only a lawyer engaged in active litigation is the best person to draft and review a contract or an agreement, especially if it’s something like a joint venture because the litigating lawyer knows which provisions are red flags for potential case disputes; the correct phraseology of a certain provision that would avoid legal hassles later on in court; or the proper safeguard to implement that would expedite matters and avoid unnecessary litigation.

So, in summary, it is important for practicing corporate lawyers to work hand in hand with practicing CPA’s, especially when it comes to organization formation, tax planning and other similar projects, most especially if the corporate lawyer has no accounting background and will have no clue as to how his project will affect the books of the corporation.

I’m just glad I found the right CPA consultants for the job, people I trust and mesh easily with when it comes to personality, temperament, and disposition. Guys who have mystic, manly CPA looks that complement my  boyish kung fu lawyer charms. At least, when all else fails, we can always have a career as a boyband. Or, as matinee idols.

Yeah…. “Guwapings: the Reunion“. That sounds about right. We form corporations and save you from the evils of tax penalties, while making your adolescent daughters squeal in girlish delight. Showing now in a boardroom near you.


1. bisdakinnaconcretejungle - July 26, 2007

nyaahahaha apil nalang ko sa inyong grupo beh.. dili man ko lawyer nor a cpa pero isip usa ka botboton usa na ko ka asset sa grupo kay crowd drawer man kuno basta botboton hehehe

2. northwolf - July 26, 2007

Dili na diay “Guwapings the Reunion” kung upat na… “Bagets the Reunion” na diay.

Gusto ka ikaw si William Martinez? 🙂

3. bisdakinnaconcretejungle - July 26, 2007

grabe, matinee idol jud? pwede lang siguro mantinel lang hehehehe

4. sai - July 27, 2007

we could always try “UMD the return” (Universal Motion Dancers) if we get the right number of people…hehehe

5. northwolf - July 27, 2007

Ikaw maoy Wowee de Guzman nato, Sai. Hahaha.

Sige lang, we’ll be hiring sooner or later. Madaghan-daghan na tang manayaw.

6. tinuod nga botbot - July 27, 2007

naay gustong moapil torney, ingon siya, siya nalang kuno si wawaw hehehehe

naa unta koy ipa-ihap nimo torney bah, akong kwarta… kung di na ka kaihap ako nalang untang ihatag nimo ang nahabilin nga wala maihap apan ingon man ka nga dili ka gusto moihap og kwarta nga dili imo na hala, dili nalang nako ipa-ihap nimo.. hehehe

7. kurufu - August 29, 2007

sai, speaking of the Universal Motion Dancers, check out this remake of UMD’s butterfly dance…

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