The ugly side of business - long

Page 2 of 3  


Ain't that the truth! I worked with a couple nazi accountants. They had little expense programs to run on laptops. Their mantra was to record EVERYTHING! WE also saved the receipts, sorted by month. When the IRS came calling, and noticed how neat and organized everything was, quickly lost interest. They love sloppy bookeepers. They bcqn find all kinds of things wrong and asses some hefty fines. Neatniks fare much better.

Yes, I produced a huge quantity of material in DOS and the GEM GUI. That what was used for the original Ventura desktop publishing program runnimg on DOS. I could run anything in the Ventura progam. I could use it on low capacity computers and laser printers. Then they changed it to window and not only was it much slower, but it killed my printer.
I would have loved it if it stayed in the orignal GEM format. But it wasn't compatible with windows.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RE: Subject
Reminds me of when the tax codes were being rewritten back in the mid 80's.
My office land lord was an insurance agency.
I asked him what he planned to do about the upcoming tax code changes.
He answered, "Wait till the quit screwing around and then my accountant will figure out how to f**k them. That's why I have him."
Made me realize that I was no longer qualified to do anything more than balance my personal check book, much less do the company books.
YMMV
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I realised that many, many years ago. My dad is an accountant, a proper one, and did all my books and filings until 2003 when I sold my business. Then, as my latest adventure grew and grew, I decided to hand over all the bullshit to an accountant. She's one sharp cookie and totally ethical. She doesn't believe the gov't should ever get a dime that isn't coming to them as they can't handle the dimes they are already getting.
My advice to Robert... get a service to do this for you. Sure you pay for it, but, I gotta tellya... I sleep really well, and use my time making money, not fretting over piles and piles of paperwork. I hate paperwork, I suck at it.
I would NEVER even THINK about taking out my own appendix, WTF should I even THINK that I am a bookkeeper/accountant?
I simply do not have time to look after nickels and dimes, it is counterproductive. I'd much rather make dollars.
My advice to any small/medium business owners: "a man has got to know his limitations."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Robatoy" wrote

Yabbut, unless your "service" pays all your bills/operating expenses, and with no bookkeeper on the payroll, you still must have records for the accountant/service to work from.
Unless I'm mistaken, that is what Robert is in a quandary about.
And, as long as you must do that part, it is also nice to have instant, onsite access to things like vendor information, and P&L and Net Worth reports without having to go to a service to do so.
Besides, I trust NO one with access to my personal or business accounts/money, but me! ... YMMV. :)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have access to all that data on-line.

I still sign the cheques. I go to sign them once a week. The whole deal takes a half hour, including any banter and advice and questions I may have. At that time, I hand them any invoices which I have issued and bills I have received. They have no access to my accounts, either on-line or otherwise. In God we trust, the rest need my password or signature.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly. Like you were reading my mind. (Don't mind the bourbon smell. The lady of the house is off shopping....)
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For the most part, I am great at paper work when it concerns my money. I simply don't have mountains of unmanageable paperwork at this time. When I did, I had a service. They handled it all and sent me the reports I asked for at the end of each month's reconciliation.
I used to buy legal pads that I kept for all my large jobs. I put the budget highlights on the first page or two, then kept a handwritten log of all transactions (including labor) on the following pages. I could literally pull out the correct legal pad and tell someone down to the cent where I was on their job as far as costs went, including the amount of money drawn and owed on the contract. I don't like screwing that stuff, but I accept it as a part of business.

Maybe we are talking about two different things. Maybe we look at the processes differently. I dunno. But I sure wouldn't put garden variety bookkeeping up there with organ removal.
Note too, that I separate the two completely, DISTINCTLY different processes of bookkeeping and tax preparation.

Me, too. But at the opportunity to save some dough in these slower times, I think it wouldn't hurt for me to pay the bills and mind the store personally from the comfort of my computer in the evening whilst I promote my business and do the work during the day.

Believe me, I do. When I was building my first corporation, I knew about the processes of organizing the accounting procedures, but couldn't do it. I couldn't decide which tax election to take (C? S?) which would help identify accounting procedures that the business, which depreciation mode to take for capital purchases, and on and on.
I am a quick study, though. I took courses in accounting to make sure I was on my game as I could see how many of my comrades had fallen to the bloody hatchet of the IRS. I won't ever trust a bookkeeper or tax preparer all the way anymore, no matter how talented they are or how sincerely they treat my company. I ask a lot of questions and want good answers.
But that is all geared towards tax preparation and strategy, not bookkeeping.
All I am looking for is an accurate way to record and manipulate my financial data as I need it. I still cannot do my company taxes at this point (if it gets much slower it might be pretty easy though!) as there are some tax points to consider from changing the status of my company.
Bookkeeping? Should be a walk in the park with the right program. I don't have to worry about depreciation schedules, quarterly deposits, quarterly reports, employment commission reports, quarterly projected earning deposits, etc.
I just need an intelligent program with some standard reporting capabilities, ease of setup, and the ability to manipulate data into some personal reports that I might want to see.
The taxes are still outsourced.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My two most important criteria with bill paying these days, and since I travel with a laptop and keep most permanent records on office computers, is to be able to have instant access to everything from anywhere in the world, from any connected computer, and to keep an online "master transaction" file for each account that can be accessed from either the office or on the road without the necessity of synchronizing multiple machines.
Thus I have basically evolved from paying bills through a bookkeeping program (QB), that kept tracks of bills and sent online payment instructions via an online connection to the appropriate bank account; to using the option of being able to log onto most payee's websites and "scheduling" their bill payment in advance, or doing so through my banks "online payment" feature. Either of the latter two allow me to schedule payments for the entire upcoming month for those bills which repeat, pay them as they are due, and/or depending upon cash flow ... and I can do it from any computer, blackberry device, etc.
I still use copies of bookkeeping/checkbook programs on my desktop and laptop, mainly to keep track of balances, generating reports, etc.
To keep things more or less "synchronized", I use an exceedingly simple and configurable online service called BudgetTracker, which my sole purpose for using is as a "transaction master". BudgetTracker also allows an automatically updated RSS feed, and/or calendar on my desktop of upcoming bills ...basically an automatic "tickler file" and e-mail "reminder", all for about $25/year.
(Intuit now has service called "QuickBooks Online", which I've only experimented with the Quicken version, but it appears to be a better option for business purposes than BudgetTracker, which is more for personal use, but can be configured to service either with a bit of thought.).
The "QuickBooks Online" option may be attractive providing you don't mind your financial data to be available to Intuit, by hook or by crook ... thus far I've shied away from that option.
Keeping track of all the necessary logins and passwords was a real PITA until Leon turned me on to program named "RoboForm".
I now keep the encrypted RoboForm file synchronized with my laptop, desktop, and a keychain thumb drive. It also allows me to have a separate login and randomly generated password for each site, with only one password to remember.
The upshot is that these bill paying options actually take less than 30 minutes for all business and personal bill paying chores each month, from anywhere, from any computer, and with no check writing.
Just some food for thought, but because I'm basically a one man shop as far as operations go, YMMV.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SNIP of good info

I appreciate it, too. I think your post illustrates what we as small businessmen/contractors are doing to 1) keep an accurate finger (and control) on the pulse of our small businesses, but 2) keep money in our own pockets and stay competitive.
In these uncertain economic times, I feel "live without a net". So both of the above mentioned points are very important to me. I must say, the temptation to put everything on auto pilot is strong. All vendors I use, even AMEX have auto pay features that will pay everything for me as billed.
But in the end, that would probably make me too lazy to review individual invoices for improper charges and the overall account for activity. Over the years, I have been blown away by the things that have been charged to my accounts by some of the smaller vendors so I can't get out of that habit.
Like you, I can pay all vendors that I use routinely use in about a half hour. That's not painful. I have a password encrypted file (NOT an MS product!) on my main computer that opens up and lays out all accounts for me, when they are due and all passwords, etc. When finished, I close it up. And since I rarely go anywhere anymore, I am always around to pay the bills.
At this point I am just looking for the easiest, simple solution to integrate bill paying online (with some handwritten checks) and some bookkeeping chores.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

Do you have Roboform 2 Go on a flash drive????? After the hurricane and being with out electricity for 11 days. it was difficult at best to access bank accounts on line.
Sandisk sells flash drives that are U3 compatible. U3 is a program that resides on the flash drive and lets you down load and install FireFox, Thunderbird, and Roboform 2 Go, to name just a few, on the flash drive. If you loose that computer or electricity and need to use a friends computer to do your banking the U3 programs allow you to do so with out leaving any trace of you being on that computer. You can sync your favorites/Bookmarks, and Roboform files to the flash drive and only have to take the flash drive to any other computer and you are good to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just in general, flexibility is a dual edged sword. If it's something I deeply care about, the upfront investment of setting it up just the way I like might be worthwhile. For everything else, I'll adapt my way of working to fit the way it wants to work, provided of course it does enough of what needs to be done. It sounds to me like you don't really want to take a part time job as your own bookkeeper. Don't they offer a trial period on both? I would gamble on the simpler package, and see if I can fit my workflow to its peculiarities. After all, how truly different is my business, and how intractible is it in a "generic" ledger?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I guess I am not with either of you guys on this. I took some accounting classes in school and learned the old, manual double entry system. I have also helped set up accounting programs for a number of businesses. As complicated as it may seem, once the systems is set up, any questions can be answered with a quick call to the CPA. I have often paid for an hour or two in advance and this lasted me for a year or more.
Once you get it set up and have used it for awhile, it is simple. Particularly with some support. Do what feels comfortable.
I need to track down specialized financial reporting software soon. It is an area that I know nothing about and is not a part of any accounting program. So I have a bit of a learning curve myself soon.
I should point out that some folks actually do everything with Excel spreadsheets. Microsoft has a new accounting program that is based on spreadsheets. So that is a logical upgrade for those folks.
Just like the way that many people handle their depreciation tracking, they do it all in a spreadsheet. So anything unusual or unique, set up the spreadsheet for that purpose. Then take the spreadsheet results and inter it into the accounting program.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I also got an e-mail from a company that is set up to handle all facets of my business and personal management. I will be preparing a file of all my accounts and passwords and send them off to them soon. I can suggest you try them and will post that link ...it's in Nigeria someplace...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I can suggest you try them and will post that link ...it's in Nigeria someplace...
Loan me some of your tools will you? At least until you get that Nigerian operation up and running.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I also got an e-mail from a company that is set up to handle all facets of my business and personal management. I will be preparing a file of all my accounts and passwords and send them off to them soon. I can suggest you try them and will post that link ...it's in Nigeria someplace... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unbelievable. I don't know if you are just being an asshole or you just can't read. What I am doing is similar to what you do, at least what you say you do. I am in total control and have all records at my office. I enter the data. I own it. It doesn't go anywhere. The only time they even see my data is when it comes time to do taxes. And even then, I do lots of prep work to insure that there are no surprises.
Getting an expert to advise you doesn't meant you turn over everything to them. I am much too independent to do that. Grow up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whoa... Lee...
I think without the smiley or emoticon you missed the fact he is just trying to be funny. You know he isn't sending his stuff off to somewhere in Nigeria.
Wait... unless it is in Canada somewhere...
;^)
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Point take. Apology posted elsewhere.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Lee? WhatTheFuck?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

Lee? WhatTheFuck? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OK, OK, Sorry about that. I guess I am feeling particularly sensitive this morning. I should have known that you weren't being nasty, just tasteless, or something.
I promise not to go off on anybody else for the rest of the day. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lee Michaels wrote:

Cart Blanche, gentlemen!
:-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.