Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The DAY I tried to pull my accounts together!

In the long distant past I trained to be an accountant. It was possibly a waste of six years between university, college and one of the big six (at that time) accountancy firms. If I could be given my life again the one change I would probably make would be to change the university course I began. Maybe to something I was interested in like Geography or Economics.

Accountancy was supposed to be the means to get a really good job, earning really good money. I've got to tip my hat off to all the accountants who lasted their particular course and completed the professional examinations.

What wasn't said at school when you were making your life choice was that to become an accountant involved an awful lot of hard work by day in various companies and serious study at nighttime in preparation for the professional exams. I was about 22 at the time. My mates at that time were all working with decent salaries coming in. They were out three or four nights a week and had left all their studies behind. Look at it from my point of view - Out with your mates playing football and having a few pints or staying in with a mountain of accountancy books, case law and taxation to worry about. Sorry guys. No brainer.

Anyway, here I am in week three of Think Different Events. One of the tasks I know I have to get sorted out is to make sure I keep track of income and expenditure. Easy just now, all I have to do is concentrate on the expenditure side of things as there is no income to speak of. Quick look at the folder I kept the receipts in for the past six months. Oh dear, one or two more than expected. Ah well better get the finger out.

I could just put all my receipts in a shoe box, save them up until the end of the financial year, and then hand them over to an accountant to try and interpret them for me. However, I thought I'd just run up an Excel spreadsheet and have an ongoing view of how the business is proceeding.

Typing in the data is just time consuming, as is trying to distinguish the dates and companies whose receipts I've kept. Don't think I can claim for the wee man's birthday present or that receipt for the latest album by Primal Scream. But what about the added gas and electricity usage due to working from home, the printing and stationery, petrol, car repairs......

It's taken me the best part of the working day to do what I set out to do at nine this morning. And will it mean I'll have less to pay at the accountants when I pass the semi-analysed income and expenditure details over to them? Don't be daft. They sat in and studied while I was out trying to play football, passed their qualifications and now await simple folk like me who need their services to appease the taxman. 'Thank you Mr. Jack', they'll say,'Nice spreadsheet, but not acceptable for tax purposes. Give me a couple of weeks to sort it out for you. Do you want to pay a deposit on your bill just now. I'd suggest you try and find a juicy big contract quickly. Might take some of the pain away.'


Fiona said...

Nice to see you are still using your spreadsheets. Are they all colour coded with that attractive shade of green you like so much.

Jacky said...

Moved colour scheme to more of a red palette. About sums up the finances right now - a lot of outgoings and nothing coming in so to speak. In business terminology I think it's called startup costs. Had hoped that there may be some business grants available but I don't fall into the two main categories that get supported - Women in Business and Under 30.
Maybe I should consider a sex change and get a makeover at the same time to make me look younger. Maybe not, already tried that!!