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Friday, February 23, 2007

Oscar's Accounting & Recounting

The Academy Awards ceremony is said to be the most highly wagered-upon nonsporting event in the world. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that has coordinated the Oscar vote for the last 73 years, oversees everything from mailing and counting ballots to guarding and distributing the envelopes containing winners' names. Secrecy and surprise are the key to this whole operation. The process runs like this - nominations are mailed out, received and counted at an unspecified location. Once nominations are made public, the Academy votes again and sends in their final selection just days before the ceremony –utmost secrecy is maintained herein.
Friday evening, when the results are finalized, both men commit all 24 winners to memory and make duplicate copies of their names, which are kept in separate briefcases by the two PwC men who then retreat to separate undisclosed locations. Then on the day of the show, they are each accompanied by one of the LAPD's finest, accompanying them while they hold their briefcases with details of the results inside. They not only handover the results to the presenters, but then listen carefully to the announcement to ensure its accuracy!.
This is an extremely interesting article – names of audit firms generally bring an association of trust and reliability and this is an excellent example of this phenomenon in action.

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