Opportunities of the auditor: An address delivered at the Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting of the Railway Accounting Officers Association, Cleveland, Ohio, June 9, 1922


Many of the gentlemen here represent roads with a gross business in excess of one hundred million dollars a year, and some of you represent roads with a much larger gross income. Most of your roads are spending for operation seventy-five cents out of every dollar taken in over the counter. As we say, your operating ratio is 75 per cent or greater. Now 1 per cent of one hundred million dollars is one million dollars; and if the operating ratio can be reduced 1 per cent, the latter amount can be left in the treasury at the end of the year, and one million dollars is a lot of money, particularly when available at the end of the year. At this point I would like to hazard a guess that there is not an auditor present who, down deep in his heart, does not believe that the operating expenses of his road could be reduced 1 per cent, and that applies with equal force to the auditor of the road that I have the honor to represent. He believes it just as strongly as any of you, and I agree with him. Who is there about a railroad that has a better opportunity to find leaks, both of outgo and income, than the man who, from day to day, is recording the income and the outgo? Who has a better opportunity to know when the revenue for handling a car is too small, or the expense of handling too great, than the auditor? And when found, who can question that it is not only your duty and your responsibility but your opportunity to bring to the attention of your executives the costly irregularity

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