Soz for lack of posts

This week should have been post-tastic.

Last weekend was the day I finally dealt with my demons – I dealt with the pile of tax misery with which our government attempts to strangle  businesses large and small, and micro.

Oh yes, the chances are very strong that unless you had a family bereavement, or a life destroying accident then you probably had a more fun bank holiday weekend than me (and the rest of the smurfs – always happy to share the misery me!).

In fairness, I could take some of the blame for letting things stack up, but kicking the govt is much more fun.

Anyway I no longer fear the postman, I’m sure he will be bringing some fines soon, but hopefully the ‘warnings’ will stop.

Of course getting down and doing the work was not as hard as I expected, and the relief of finishing is wonderful. I’m sure I’ll end up late again next year though!

How are you with your company/personal admin, tax returns and general pointless government bureaucracy? late early, happy, angst ridden?

Spreadsheet angle? all my finances are driven from Excel pivot tables, tax calcs are spreadsheets too, published accounts are OLE linked word docs containing ranges from the accounts.

All the accounting stuff I have looked at has been way too clunky for a little company like Codematic, what do you use?

cheers

Simon

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8 Responses to “Soz for lack of posts”

  1. Charles Says:

    I use a small spreadsheet which tracks expenses, assets, invoices, vat, dividends etc, and has a simple financial model for planning purposes. This gets updated once a month when I do the expenses.

    At end of year I give the spreadsheet and bank statements to a local accountant who does the rest, thus:
    – freeing me up for an extra day or two to earn the money to pay the accountant
    – avoiding high blood pressure and the infliction of severe misery on those around me
    – allowing me to kick the government for inflicting such a complex and bureaucratic system on small business that I have to pay money to an accountant to sort it out

    Bottom line: its much more fun (and profitable) working with Excel than dealing with the taxman.

  2. Biggus Dickus Says:

    I think it just may be possible that fact that you and I are both Spreadsheet Junkies, but not accountants by trade, is related to the fact that our personal finances are disasters.

    On April 30th (last personal tax day in Canada) I was sitting in my Accountant’s waiting room and one of Partners walked by and said “Oh April 30th and Dick Moffat’s sitting in my waiting room – what a surprise !!” I’m not kidding he REALLY said that.

    Then a couple of weeks ago I was visited by a Government Collections guy because I was behind on remitting my VAT taxes — oops.

    I used to use Quicken and for 10 years spent days every quarter going blind enetring data and reconciling it. Then when I found I could download the transactions for each bank account into Excel from the Web I went back to Excel and simply have a workbook for each yera wth a worksheet for each account and Credit Card transactions. Then I categorize every transaction and do Pivot Table analysis. Totally cool – impressed my accountant so much that they had me develope a simlar thing for them.

    BUT I STILL HATE DOING IT AND DON’T DO IT !!!

    I think that it is perhaps possible that I got into spreadsheets because I saw it as an incredible tool to make work I HATE easier – only to in the end find out that despite that fact, I STILL HATE doing accounting and especially taxes !!! It’s like buying a dishwasher and then being too lazy to load and unload it….

    I am not a perfect man (just ask my wife)..

    Dick

  3. Charlie Hall Says:

    I use Quickbooks now, but used Quicken for a long time. I started with a program called Managing Your Money for my personal finances way back in the late 80s and so, and interestingly have never contemplated building a spreadsheet model to handle my personal or now business finances.

    I liked Quicken’s ability to automatically translate transactions that are downloaded from my financial institutions, but discovered, it did not handle multi-currency transactions properly, so migrated to quickbooks. I like that it handles cheque printing and invoice creation and tracking nicely.

    I am sure one could do it all in Excel, but at this point, I am not overly annoyed with QB to ditch it, and have lots of other projects needing my spare time.

    As to processing expenses or taxes, it is always the last thing I do, having procrastinated as long as I could.

    –Charlie

  4. jonpeltier Says:

    I hate accounting, I suck at accounting, I hate accounting software (Quickbooks was a horrible experience). I used to do my own taxes, and it was awful. Literally days spent reading instructions, trying to find records, and trying to fill everything out properly. Nope, now I pay an accountant to handle it.

  5. Biggus Dickus Says:

    One more thing after Charlie’s mention of Invoicing…..

    I use an Access app that I wrote years ago for time-keeping and invoicing and then have query table and a little VBA code to bring the data into the model with my Banking/Credit data.

    I am SO CLOSE to having it do EVERYTHING for me – BUT as usual it’s the Human Element that fails :-(

    I thought of paying an clerk to do my books but it’d be stupid because it’d probably take me MORE time to manage them. In the end I just summarize everything and send the Pivot Table with all the support worksheets to my accountant who charged me $2500 last year for the privilege (ouch !!)

    Dick

  6. Biggus Dickus Says:

    My wife thinks I need a new accountant …..

  7. Biggus Dickus Says:

    She’s probably right ….

  8. Simon Says:

    I used to pay 500 quid a year to a mate who was an accountant to do this misery. But actually keeping proper records and getting all the stuff to him was the hard bit. Filling in the forms is easy if you have the info, so by the time I have the info its only a small step to do the accounts and tax forms.

    I am sort of an accountant by trade (not that I ever finished my exams – it was on my cv for 10 years, ‘this year I will take my finals…’ never happened, took it off the cv a couple of years ago in a blast of reality).

    I totally resent the amount of time I spend to work out how much of the money I worked hard to earn I have to give to the government to squander on their latest IT clusterfuck (eg: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/29/fujitsu_quits_nhs_npfit/). But I guess some minuscule proportion does something useful for somebody somewhere.

    I too hate accounting software from a personal use POV. How they manage to turn something as trivial as recording what you invoice and what you spend into something so complex is beyond me. But I welcome the business opportunities that affords many of us ;-)

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