Aggressive accounting recruiters divert zombie apocalypse

November 16, 2009
By Jackson Miller

Few main­stream sci­en­tists believe that “zom­bies” (rean­i­mated human corpses moti­vated only by their unearthly com­pul­sion to ingest the flesh of the liv­ing) have ever existed out­side of the low-budget hor­ror movies that pop­u­lar­ized them in the 1960s.

Information reviewed by The Torch indi­cates that, on the con­trary, zom­bies do in fact exist—and that most of them now com­mand respectable salaries at Big Four account­ing firms.

In a study pub­lished today by Cockins & Wolfchild, a New Jersey busi­ness research firm, ana­lysts esti­mated that 63% of accoun­tants hired since 2005 have been among the walk­ing undead.

“It was tough to stay fully staffed only a cou­ple of years ago,” recalled Larry Pingman, a human resources direc­tor at KPMG. “The firm was los­ing 15% of its labor force every year to com­pet­ing employ­ers, men­tal break­downs, and suicide.”

When a pub­lic com­pany reports its annual per­for­mance to investors, it must hire an audit firm like KPMG to double-check its records, which may include mil­lions of trans­ac­tions. Accountants at such firms then spend 14-hour work days mak­ing sure that num­bers on one spread­sheet look con­vinc­ingly like num­bers on another spreadsheet.

Despite work­place perks, which include utter silence and nifty pens, even industry-leader Deloitte Touche Tomatsu had trou­ble find­ing enough humans to join the fast-paced, fas­ci­nat­ing world of audit—at first.

“We found out that a gov­ern­ment truck had tipped over and spilled some exper­i­men­tal chem­i­cals near a local grave­yard,” explained Kimber Smythe, a part­ner at Deloitte’s Manhattan office. “We knew that sooner or later, the buried bod­ies would be claw­ing through their coffins and ris­ing from the earth to feast on the beat­ing hearts of the liv­ing.  We sent a cou­ple of HR peo­ple down there with some Deloitte t-shirts and water bottles.”

Within weeks, Deloitte had hired more than 200 undead employ­ees, whose insa­tiable appetite for brains would have cer­tainly over­run New York City by the end of the month. Scientists study­ing zom­bie epi­demi­ol­ogy esti­mate that, given the steady growth of the account­ing indus­try, the undead will be far too pre­oc­cu­pied proof­read­ing bal­ance sheets to become the blood­thirsty scourge of civ­i­liza­tion depicted in films such as Dawn of the Dead.

“They’re the per­fect audi­tors,” said Ms. Smythe. “Living humans have lots of traits that make them awful accoun­tants, such as ambi­tion, a strong sense of their own lim­ited time on Earth, lov­ing fam­i­lies, and a desire to pur­sue happiness.”

Just how does Deloitte pre­vent zom­bie employ­ees from ambling through the streets of major U.S. cities and spawn­ing armies of rot­ting corpses sali­vat­ing at the prospect of warm human blood?

“We keep their appetites in check by mak­ing weekly feed­ing trips to remote, unim­por­tant places,” Ms. Smythe explained. “At first we took them to Staten Island, but there weren’t enough brains there. Lately we’ve been dri­ving to Quebec.”

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