How Many Accountants Does it Take to Sing the Twelve Days of Christmas?
That's what the team at Brotemarkle, Davis and Company set out to determine over the Christmas holidays.
Unfortunately, we don't have the answer to that question.
We do, however, know that we must have been a few accountants shy of the magic number at the Brotemarkle Davis and Company annual holiday gathering.
We never succeeded in getting the entire song right and at one point were singing about "10 pipers peeping". I'm not sure that "peepers" were ever part of the original song.
But the event, held at the St. Supery Winery, was the perfect setting for the BDCo team to work on our group communication skills while singing the song.
Here's how our team singing/communication exercise went:
Managing partner and Cheer Leader, Dave Brotemarkle, started off the festivities by joining his lovely wife in leading us in singing said song. As was his role, Dave quickly came up with the first item on the list, the partridge in the pear tree, and left it up to his team to fill in the remaining 11 details needed to complete the song.
When we got to the second item on the list, the two turtle doves, we lost part-time team member Geni who was occupied trying to figure out if these animals resembled turtles or doves and if they were the product of inter-marrying like she is used to seeing in her native South. (You can see why she's part-time.)
We got to the next verse where we were hard pressed to come up with the third item on the list. But partner Guy Carl, our resident outdoorsman, finally came up with the three french hens. He kept trying to replace the words with something about "three steelhead trout" but the rest of the team wasn't buying it.
Team concierge, Tammy, was totally distracted when we got to those four calling birds. She kept trying to ask who were they calling and could she take a message.
We lost Sam, our Certified Fraud Examiner on the fifth verse, as he got very worried about securing the five golden rings and preventing employee theft of these valuable assets.
By the sixth verse, partner Craig Underhill had to be excused, as he set out to figure out how to improve the processes around the six geese a laying so that the geese could not only improve their output, but also have more fun working with the other geese. Next up, he plans to help them re-examine that whole concept of flying south for the winter.
On verse seven, Randy Gnagy started to worry about the rules related to the 7 swans a swimming. He recommended they form a non-profit 501c(3) to help others who might want to learn how to swim. He volunteered to help them with their governance issues when the 7 swans are ready to form a board.
By verse 8, team member Nathan was starting to wear down, as he was keeping track of the cumulative gift total (it is 36 if you're interested) and had to leave to go replenish his calculator tape. He did have time to add that he would be happy to consume any food items produced by those 8 maids a milking. He also stopped to ask if anyone knew the best way to cook French hens and turtle doves.
Part- timer Cliff Toews, a former accounting professor, was seen shaking his head in disbelief as he set out to find Nathan a recipe for those turtle doves.
By verse nine, Jan had grown tired of the whole exercise as she knew she was going to have to figure out the payroll checks required to keep those nine ladies dancing.
Chris, our business valuation expert, got busy attempting to value those 10 lords a leaping on verse 10. He wondered if they were in fact leaping, and if leaping was reducing their value as a team or if it was increasing the intangible value of their performance.He got busy finding promotional agents who might be able to help him derive an external appraisal of the performance.
On verse 11, partner Tom Davis decided that it would make sense for those eleven pipers piping to form an LLC (Limited Liability Company) so they could take advantage of the limited liability and streamlined tax filings available to pipers who pipe.
Patricia Walker was busy by verse 12 keeping track of the gift tax implications of all 12 gifts. She was only slightly worried about the estates of those 12 drummers drumming should they become overnight sensations. She decided to schedule a tax planning meeting with each drummer before the end of the year.
Missing team members Lori and Barbara would have contributed greatly to the exercise, as Lori could have sung the entire tune for us in French, while Barbara would have helped us decide what Congress meant by "twelve" days and if there were any tax deadlines that arose during that time period.
Whether your holidays lasted 12 days, 8 days, 20 days or 365,
we wish you and your family a healthy and prosperous New Year!