With the first quarter complete, most companies with a calendar year end have wrapped up their annual financial audits or are in the process of doing so. For all those accounting teams out there – congratulations! As accountants, our very own version of March Madness is over and we can settle back into being just “very busy” versus “completely underwater”.

I often remind employees outside the accounting department at client companies that accountants are the only group in most companies that undergo a review of their work – every year like clockwork! Employees outside accounting never undergo the level of scrutiny accounting departments do. To an extent, successful accounting teams actually help make the process, and outcome kind of a “ho hum” affair – successfully completing the annual audit has become the norm, and successfully completing the audit without significant adjustments is expected. What is often overlooked is the hard work every day to make sure the accounting records are correct and represent the true financial condition of the Company for the entire year.

So what does pizza have to do with accounting? The pizza reference comes from a tradition we’ve started at Outliers of buying a pizza lunch after the annual audit is complete – for all employees at the companies. The lunch is for all employees (not just the accounting department) of any client we worked with through the audit cycle and successfully completed the process.

Outliers buys pizza for all client employees for two primary reasons; first, the completion of the audit is a great excuse for a party (the 6th core belief of Outliers is to ”have fun”!). Secondly, free pizza for all employees recognizes and draws attention to the accounting team that made it through the audit process successfully – thus all attention is focused on the accounting team if only for this one lunch. Accounting folks rarely get a chance to be in the spotlight (and if they do, it usually isn’t good!), and the audit process is another load of work on top of their “day jobs”, so some recognition is a great way to acknowledge the effort and the achievement.

So for all those Company employees outside of the Accounting department, and whose companies have made it successfully through another audit season, be sure to congratulate the accounting team on another job well done!