I made a business trip to Vermont this week. Now I’ve been to Vermont many times on both business and leisure. It’s nice state, maybe a bit different in character than New Hampshire (but we won’t go there, at least not on this post). Vermont (and Maine actually) are certainly known for many things – including the abundance of Subarus on their roads. On my trip this week it absolutely seemed like two out of every three cars I passed, or that passed me, were Subarus. With time on my hands, I got thinking of all the reasons why the Subaru brand was so prevalent in a state like Vermont. I ended up focusing in on one hypothesis to test: that a State law requires that every household own a Subaru. And maybe a subsection of that law prescribes that while your second car (should you own one) could be any make or model you desire, the State prefers you purchase and drive a Volvo station wagon.
In the profession of auditing, the auditor relies on three lines of evidence to develop findings and then draw conclusions: review of written documentation, conducting interviews with relevant parties, and personal observations. For testing the Vermont Subaru Law (VSL) hypothesis, I could have reviewed State motor vehicle statutes to determine if the suspected law regarding vehicle ownership is found on the books. But I didn’t – no time, I’m on a business trip with a schedule to keep. Or, I could have interviewed a reasonable representative sampling of Vermont residents to ask what make of cars they drove and why, and then tally the responses. But I didn’t – I don’t really think Vermonters want to converse with non-Vermonters, and there’s that schedule thing that I mentioned. So I fell back on the third leg of my auditing stool and relied solely on my personal observations. Yep, I’m sure there’s a State law requiring that each Vermont household purchase a Subaru. The scientific evident is irrefutable.