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The Zero Effect

“Tik tuk… tik tuk..tik tukk….” This sound is spread throughout my cabin. It may be disturbed to my mind. “Is the clock mocking me?”I imagine full moon.”Oho! Today is full moon day. I am the Buddhist. According to our labour law and religion full moon day is holiday. But I stay in my office yet. The time is 10.30 p.m.

I look at the clock again and again. I see dearest wife’s and my daughter’s face in to the clock. Second by second these pictures are smudged and appeared. I stop with these feelings in a few minutes. But my brain struggle with me. I feel that large rock on my head. I start my work again. My pen moved among figures drowsily.

Day by Yesterday I have more pleasure and freedom. But now? The fate catches all things unkindly. Sweat drops wet my face and body. I suffer in hot atmosphere. I am imprisoned into my office by my job and duties and work hardly to protect my future working life and reputation.

“Trrrrin… trrrriiin.. I have a phone call. Who is this? Oh it’s from my dearest wife.”

“Where are you?”

“At the office”

“What are you doing yet?” “Making quarterly taxation report “

“Did you do it yesterday too?”


“Why today? “

“It has a faulty”

We exchanged rough and direct dialogs without romantic feelings.

“Ohh Mahesh. Why you forget it? Why you promised our daughter about evening party today?”

My god! I failed to remember of my promise. Parami accused me and blamed asking many more things. My wistful mind stays on my daughter’s innocent feelings. I promised to my daughter, that I will arrange beach party today for her 5th birthday. Because she is my world. I felt painful slap on my face. My wife cut the phone.

I don’t know what she thinks about her father. May be she wear a beautiful frock and bangles like a fairy. As a father I have missed my responsibilities and promises of my daughter. I suffer in guilty intention.

I look at the clock again. It’s near to mid night.

I’m Mahesh Silva, professional Accountant. I am studying these days to complete final step of chartered accountant examination. In past, I dedicated some sensible things to come this position. My parents are farmers and they spent their total income for my education. My wisdom decided my path and I have come to Colombo from my rural village. After higher education I have started working life like others. It’s not easy travel. Firstly as a book keeper, next accountant Clark, then Assistant Accountant and now Chief Accountant in this company. Step by step I build up my profession and I have joyful family life with my wife and daughter. In past, I was poor and but now I belonged rich life with experiences and dedication. Although I have rich life I have no more free time to look after my parents. Many times I miss my responsibilities even my family. At that moment my profession aggrieves me. I don’t know these mistaken are considerable or not. However I should pay attention on this fault.

I got good reputation in my office as an active employee. This problem ruined my reputation in front of my boss. “What is the matter? What is the mistake?” I can’t find it. I checked my reports again and again, up and down with other sub reports and notes. My eyes are thrown away on computer screen. All financial total values are different with system reports. In past, rupees and cents help as friends, but now they challenge me as enemies. On the other hand accounting standards and principles try to blast my head. Time also fly as a jet. Other one is, the last tax payment day is tomorrow. I feel everything is rotating around me. I remove my tie and close eyes.

“ohh god! What is the mistake? Please help me”.

According to government standard and rules we pay our income tax quartly without any delay. There is no any penalty since I have appointed in this position. Normally, before a week, I should prepare my tax report and should take approval for that. For that I should make report and presentation to explain a bout tax amount to director board. Then they can approve tax payment without any doubt.

In this quarter also I have made necessary document and presentation and handover my tax evaluation report to director board. Today normally I went to take the approval my original tax payment sheets. I didn’t compare my first report and original report because I have no doubt about both copies. I went and met my boss early in the morning.

“Sir this is original sheets and I want your signature to pay this amount.” I saw his eyes go on head.

“Mr: Mahesh”?

“yes sir”

“what did you done? Do you think that this company is playground? First reporte has on eamount. There is another amount. What is wrong with you? I never think that you are the careless person.”

My finance director shouted and blamed with calumnious words me as non-stop machine. At that time I couldn’t guess what the wrong of this report is. There was no any doubt or unclear points on my explaining report or presentation. But now …………

“Why sir? I think all things are clear.” I said directly.

“Problem?” he asked me again.

“Look at handovered one explaining report last week. It is has no doubt. But now, there is a high tax amount than first report. If I have no full attention about your duties all things will be confused. How can I believe you? You are the Chief Accountant in our company. We build up this company on our dedications. Don’t you know about that? When you pay such amount as tax how we allocate money for other duties?”

He blamed me as a devil and I felt shy about myself. Normally our finance director is rough person, that was the first time he blamed me.

I take my explaining report in my vibrating hands. I checked the total amounts. Oh! I can’t believe my eyes. It is true. New report represent high taxable amount. Who is the responsible person for that failure? “My dearest friend anybody have no responsibility for that. You are the liable person for that mistake.” My own heart murmuring me.

I felt some defeat. It is my carelessness. I decided to correct this report and accounting system before tomorrow.

As a professional Accountant I never give up my challengers.”yes I can find it”. I try to identify the differences and tomorrow will pay our tax without any delay. It is my professional responsibility.

I wake after two hour sleeping time. I target my problem directly and take the pen with courageous fingers. I have potential energy that I used in my past life. Now, I am going to release my strength again. I checked my two reports with accounting system and start check it one by one with brightness eyes. “Ohhh… minimize, multiple, plus and divide ……. “

If you see me at that time, actually you have remembered “Sherlock Homs”.

“Liability, Assets, expenditure accounts are checked then after income Accounts……”

“Ohhhh wait….” Income accounts? Sales account? Finally I found my enemy. It is sales account. In the evening and night I curse me and imprisoned among feelings. That’s why I can’t find out the error. I shouted. Hearing my voice, security officer also come into the office.

The is 4.30 a.m

I know who the enemy is. It is “zero”.

I found out the reason for this zero effect. Our accounting system is auto locked ending of the month. Any staff member can’t change, enter or delete any amount or item ending the relevant

month. It can do only me and my Assistant Account. Assistant Accountant also can change after getting my approval. When I prepare our income report I saw on item code is wrong. Therefore I said to my assistant to change this item and I gave my approval to her. Mistakenly the amount also have been changed and one zero entered end of this amount. According to system basis I prepared my report.

“So, am I careless person?”

“Yes of course. You are the responsible person in this office”. Murmuring my heart.

The professional person can’t miss his or her responsibilities and never accused another one about his responsibilities. He should act as a best leader. I accept total error as my fault then I start to prepare new report for that. Then I could present it morning board meeting and taking approval for this payment and paid it on time. After I take 2 days leaves and collect my things to fly my nest. Although I feel tired, I have pleasure because I done my responsibility completely. Now I should go to complete other responsibilities as a father.

I come to the home. There is no any sound and I saw closed windows and doors. I go towards front door. Suddenly, I saw there is a short notice. I pick up it, my heart is vibrating fast.

Dear dad,

We go grandmother’s place. Because she is sick. I and mom go now there. Have you lot of works in the office? When you come home please come to see grandmother. We don’t phone you because mom said you are busy now. i proud of you. I love you dad. Come soon. Bye.

Your honey

I turn again. Oh my poor mom. I can’t give up my responsibility as the son. My daughter and wife understand my situation. They try to complete my missed responsibilities. This is the life. I start the car. Dust cluster mix with air.

By Thanushka sankalpani from Sri Lanka