Sunday, November 6, 2011

Accounting Hell and Other Miscellany

(Woo woo! Not a breath of air outside and the tarp on my woodpile makes two distinct rattles as I stood near it taking a picture of the greening up of the countryside.)

I was assigned a "vegetable dish" for the RV club potluck, maybe green bean casserole. I decided I didn't want to do green bean casserole. I wanted to do fresh veggies. I bought a load, cut everything in little cubes and steamed each kind individually. They were perfect, al dente. Slicing and dicing is dangerous but I didn't drip any blood in the food.

I'm not an accountant, nor have I ever even had an accounting course. Yet I've frequently volunteered to be treasurer for organizations which have simple accounting systems (e.g., a checkbook report each month). I think the appeal is that the work can be done at home, no need to convene a committee, nor make phone calls, and public speaking is minimal.

Henley is sitting on my chest last weekend, trying to convince me not to leave for Yosemite.
The stairs in Sister's garage were up the day we left. Or, Brother-in-Law's garage.
The roof trusses had been delivered.

Sister-in-Law and Sister were ready to head for the hills. Er, Yosemite.

Back in the dark ages I was treasurer for my local League of Women Voters. It had double-entry books (all manual, pre-computer days), which I used by imitation, rather than comprehension. My tax accountant once loaned me a basic accounting text, but I dozed off on the first page. I can't get past the part where the pluses and minuses seem to be backwards, at least according to (the overrated) common sense. I'm treasurer of two organizations right now.  The computer club writes about four checks a year and has member dues to deposit. When I took the job, there wasn't even a check register. I rely on the bank statement and Quicken to track things.

Thursday night's rain had cleared out, leaving clouds that still
 looked like they had some moisture to drop.

Cold and rain and this flower comes up in Sister's yard?
Such an interesting shape.

My treasurer's job for the RV club is a little more complicated. There are a lot of transactions. The checkbook stuff works out well for the most part, but the financial report for the annual meeting can get me into the screaming meemies. In retrospect, it's waiting until the end of the year (October 31 for our "fiscal year," if we're that fancy) to compile it off of Quicken, time enough to forget what some of the obscure notes mean.

In less than a week since we saw truss delivery, it's almost a roof.

The garage is taking shape.

My acorns, crackling under foot

It occurs to me now to "construct as you go" by entering data into the financial report spreadsheet all year long. In the report I try to present info to show the costs of activities or items and their associated revenue. Then somebody will -- and this is just an example -- decide to offset the cost of the food for the outing with the donations received, so I might get a bill to reimburse extra expense or remaining cash to deposit and it's all noted in one transaction in Quicken and I get that debit and credit $#!% all mixed up. And -- well -- no clear way to portray costs and revenues.

Greening up already from the rains

The spooky tarp and sun-drenched trees

Yeah, I know you don't care about that, but I do. In prep for today's annual financial report, I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out how to do some of that, and gathering little pieces of data into clumps, and my ending checkbook balance per the report didn't correspond to the actual checkbook balance. Eventually I began confirming calculations manually and and found a discrepancy in totals. At midnight I added a minus sign to a number in the spreadsheet and watched the numbers roll -- so to speak -- and the magic number came up in the bottom line. I shrieked. It was as exciting as three cherries coming up on a slot machine!

I brought the step stool in to get my potluck utensils from a high shelf. Chloe adopted it and was here when I left for the meeting and still here when I returned.

My lightly cooked veggies, waiting for assembly

The lake was beautiful at sunset tonight.

I'd watched the brilliant sunset on the on my drive to the lake, afraid I'd
miss the chance to catch it on film. (Disc?)  I wasn't too late!

Little swimming birds out there, too shimmery to tell what they are,
but I don't think they're ducks.

A pretty salad at the potluck
Queuing up for the food

See you soon.


  1. Your pictures of the lake are gorgeous and your veggies look delicious. BTW- I have to confess that my favorite shot is the black cat. I want to take him home :)

  2. Chloe's hair is back! The last time I remember seeing her she had received a serious trim. Looking good!

    I'm sure the reason you keep getting elected as the treasurer and/or bookkeeper is the fact that you are honest, trustworthy, smart, and will figure something out even if it isn't your favorite thing.

    I like the way you took us in and out of the various portions of your day. It was interesting to be at the building site, then into the bookkeeping, and with the babies at home, and back to the books. It seemed as if you were just taking us along with you, real time.