Certified Public Abomination: The Origin Story

Staff Staff, NetSuite

April 27, 2021

Not all heroes wear capes, but some do.

NetSuite’s Superheroes of Finance(opens in new tab) celebrates both the cape-less and the caped crusaders who battle not only the forces of evil but also the everyday challenges that growing businesses face. This series is an homage to the near-heroic work that members of the finance team perform every day, bringing various business functions together to understand the past AND see into the future, readying the business to pounce on new opportunities for growth.

You’ve seen Captain Finance(opens in new tab) and The Silo(opens in new tab). Now meet CPA, the Certified Public Abomination.

Alby Lost was the youngest of three children born into a life of privilege thanks to a family fortune derived from international museums devoted to depicting epic ancient battles through the middle ages. The Punic War series exhibition was sold out for years at a time.

Alby’s sister Alice constructed her free time and her education around taking over the family business, while his brother Paradise toyed quietly in his room, painting, drawing and dreaming.

Alby was largely ignored, which suited him just fine. He never had much use for order and rules. In fact, what delighted Alby was introducing chaos wherever he could. As a young teenager, when he played Dungeons and Dragons, his character was always chaotic neutral.

To Alby’s further delight, his chaos never met with any consequences. He escalated his abandon.

When the family held a polo match in Alby’s honor for his 15th birthday, he showed up wearing brigandine armor alongside friends decked out in chainmail, all pilfered from the family’s London museum collection. Alby also commissioned the well-timed arrival of an airboat, which sent 1300 PIMMs cups flying across the polo field flustering riders and horses alike.

During his senior year in high school, when he saw investment firms making large bets shorting stocks, Alby took to internet message boards, coaxing followers to pump the value of a few meme stock, throwing the market into disarray and amassing a small fortune of his own. He was never even investigated for his obvious securities fraud.

But, when Alby built a wall of speakers in his backyard to drown out a string concerto at the neighbor’s Sunday cotillion with a Corey Hart song, tragedy struck. The circuits overloaded, causing an eye-level electrical explosion. Now Alby always wears sunglasses, even at night.

It was the first time Alby had suffered any sort of consequence. But rather than scaring him straight, it emboldened him. When his parents dared to express more regret to the neighbors than concern for Alby, he became more determined than ever to spread chaos, especially to entrepreneurial businesses like that of his family.

He poured his efforts into understanding all the financial and regulatory requirements of FASB, the SEC and the IASB. His accounting prowess was so great that instead of cheating on the CPA exam by plotting to steal the questions, he changed them, making the questions so hard that he was the only one to pass that year.

Alby’s villainous superpower emerged when he realized that constantly being the forgotten last child had its advantages: He became a master of disguise, taking on new personalities and appearances. He is likely the sole reason many believe Elvis, Tupac and Jim Morrison are still alive.

He once infiltrated a large corporate startup incubator in full medieval regalia, brandishing a chain mace, and convinced the board to invest in a highly public smart glasses initiative that failed to account for fashion sensibilities.

Soon, Alby turned his attention to the family business’s accounting department, surreptitiously introducing errors into spreadsheet formulas and distasteful jokes into macros, sowing cross-departmental discord over who had the more accurate data and causing several embarrassing earnings restatements.

He went on to replicate those ignoble achievements across accounting departments everywhere using an alter ego, CPA, or the Certified Public Abomination.

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