Thursday, 17 September 2015

I Slept On My Own Couch

Don’t believe me? Here.
 

Why? Well, things didn’t go according to plan with regards to the sorting out of the receipts and updating of the accounting software. 

First of all, this is what I started with . . . here is my briefcase, full of those receipts all in one jumbled pile.
   

The first thing that I needed to do was sort out the various receipts into piles for each month. Since I knew that I had the better part of nine months to sort through, a nice grid on the bed made sense. I knew that the piles would be sizable and need to be kept from merging with the next one.
  

Then comes what I like to call “Archaeological Bookkeeping.” In essence this is where you simply pull out one receipt and try to determine what month it is from and put it in that pile. Repeat until done. 

The added fun is that since there is no hard and fast standard when representing dates as numbers on receipts, this means that you are guessing half of the time. I mean if the day that you bought something happens in the days 13 through the end of the month, it is obvious which number is the ‘day’ and which is the ‘month’. If you bought stuff in the first twelve days, you’re screwed. (Yet another reason to keep your accounting up to date.)

Eventually I got it done, so here is the full bed.
   

Next came trying to download the data from my bank and credit card companies and put them into the system. 

The bank I deal with always has the last eighteen months of data available to me, so that was easy. Download and import them one month at a time. The important thing to do at the end is to make sure that the balance at the end is current.

The sticky wicket came with the credit card companies. First of all Card #3 has long since stopped talking to me (unless I miss a payment). So I have no data on it and they refuse to allow me to download it because the card has been “Estated.” Sure they send me paper invoices but that’s it, they will not allow me access to the online data.

So with this card I will just keep updating the payments and just make an adjustment at the beginning to ensure that the balance matches when it is finally paid off. If I was really bored and reeeeeaaally retentive I could manually input all of the interest and other charges into the system. I don’t see the point for a dead card that has been so since 2011.

Card #2 only lets you download data from the last 180 days, so with this there was a hole in my data from the early part of this year. With this one I just downloaded what I could and then did that balance adjustment for early January so that the balance matches up to today.

Once again this is yet another reason to keep your accounting system up to date as that data will not always be available for download. The challenge of downloading, importing and then trying to make sure that it all balanced out took up the rest of the day. 

I looked over at my bed and just decided that I was not going to start digging through receipts and do so all evening. I would save the other half of my cursing and swearing until tomorrow (today). So here I am about to dig into those receipts and get them done. I will save a few photos of that part for tomorrow.

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