Tuesday, June 23, 2009

fixing the books

If you are wondering where I have been, I am here still.  My mother has been here for 5 days to clean up the mess I refer to as my finances.  She has my computer hijacked all day as she not only tries to figure out where my money goes, but how my ridiculous accounting program works.  A few people commented on the money post about MYOB software.  Well, that's  the accounting program I have, and I can tell you it totally sucks.  As someone not too savvy with the financial software, I was never able to get it to operate properly.  My mother, who is savvy, has also been mightily challenged by it.  I really wish now that I had bought Quickbooks Pro, and so does my mom.  If it's not too late for you, forget the MYOB, unless you have a degree in accounting.  I consider this a public service announcement.  You have to pay extra when you buy this software if you want any kind of support, and if you don't then they charge you $50 for every 10 minutes of support.  I mean jesus christ, think about that rate for a second.  My mom is standing over me so she can continue to itemize my expenses this year, so stay tuned.  I promise to get a post up as soon as she leaves!  And here's a big shout out to my mom, who thinks nothing of flying in from Seattle for a week to slave over her daughter's books.  I'm a lucky girl.


  1. There is nothing better than having your mother around for a bit.
    Your blog is the best!

  2. when she has yours in order you can send her around for mine! PLEASE!

    seriously..bookkeeping is the one part of the business I hate having to do. I do it, but it's messy and often late. I do try!

  3. Good or bad software, at least you're doing it. I really need to get my butt in gear on this.

  4. good luck... the 50 for 10 minutes is unreal, it's their software... build it so it isn't intuitive and charge people to get it to work. i made the mistake of going to an accountant a few years ago and he wouldn't give me anything but an hourly rate and i thought, i don't have much for him to do and i've already provided him with all the receipts and spreadsheets totally and categorizing everything. he ended up filing form after form of unnecessary stuff and charging me what came to 5% of my total income for the year. i had just started out and my total income was really small but he knew what it was and i couldn't believe he could send the bill with a straight face... and this was the brother of a friend who came to me recommended and supposedly i got a friend's discount to boot. ah well, the beat goes on... we're not accountants

  5. A couple of my friends wanted a piece of my mom while she was here so she could help them too, and I was optimistic that she might have time. She actually had to extend her trip for a few more days to get it all done. Charles, she may fly in to see her as long as you are a terrific cook and have a massage therapist in staff (I have my husband).

    I have to say though, that I think I will be good to go now. It is very interesting to see that I actually have very little to track, I just need to stay consistent.

    As for a bookkeeper that charge by the hour, well, I definitely would have paid 5% of my income for ll the work my mom has done. That said, negotiating a flat fee would probably be better for a small business owner!

  6. Your Mom sounds like one in a million!! Sweet & Smart! Thanks for the heads up on MYOB.

  7. I'm with Cicada Studio's -good for you for taking care of business. We stopped using all of the accounting programs years ago because of how inflexible they were. I use Excel for inputting and tracking and just use different "spreadsheets." At the end of the year all the "answers" are there it just takes a bit of totaling and printing but at least it is tracked. I hate doing it but it always makes for a better March/April! My rule is before I can Blog, I need to input the week's receipts and invoices, inventories and sales.

  8. What a great mom you have. If I could only follow your footsteps and then Cindy's I'd be ok. I am going to invest in the Quick Books Pro (I had heard good things about it), but I think a spread sheet would be good to begin with the formulas pre-loaded to automatically add the columns. thx.

  9. Believe it or not, there are a couple of etsy sellers selling excel spreadsheets for small businesses.

    My books finally balanced today and I have a profit and loss sheet for the first time in the ten years I've been running this business! It's a great feeling!!!

  10. I am glad that your mom was able to bring some relief your way! My husband does the books for my business...not too often, but often enough. We have used Quickbooks Pro from the beginning (6 years now) and it is a life-saver! Great for invoicing, billing and CC processing for wholesale customers. Also, our accountant just needs an accountant's copy at the end of the year to do our business taxes- so much easier!
    Again, way to go!

  11. I've had QB's for the life of my business and I LOVE it...If you plod through it can show you great things in graphs. Like income and expense over the year (for most of us it's seasonal). One thing I've heard is that the PC version is better than the MAC...Weird, but? Maybe more than rumor.
    The best thing about it is it makes it super easy to do all your accounting. You just enter everything and it does the math. Brilliant!
    As per the cost of bookkeepers and accountants. It's tough. Having someone who makes sure you keep track of your expenses allows you to write them off. The accountant who knows every little write off you can take, and can help you plan: also money well spent.
    I've got someone who comes in and works on my books for 35$ an hour (about 4 hours every 3 months), and I would hit the ground kissing her feet in a second!

  12. there is a shop on etsy...called SERENA

    ( or purple papaya jewelry) she has great spreadsheets for sale all worked out if anyone has an interest!....

    congrats Whitney!
    yeah Mom!