Probably should have done this last month, rather than the last few days of the year, but I am pulling up reports in my QuickBooks to make sure I am maximizing my deductions and charitable donations for 2010.
That includes remembering to include the transactions in a now closed bank account. If you changed banks this year, don’t forget about that old account! I nearly did when searching for a donation to my college and university to see who I paid what this year. I was befuddled for a few minutes when the searches came up with nothing, until I remembered that I had deactivated that account.
Bookkeeping is one of my least favorite things about this job – probably because my math skills are so bad. This lack of confidence in basic math also affects the time it takes to get out an accurate bid. Accounting programs such as QuickBooks and Quicken have actually improved my bookkeeping, but they don’t help much when figuring out a quote.
I always did well in math when we were covering geometry – that was fun – it was Art to me! Long division, the multiplication tables and algebra – my brain just checks out. Even balancing my checkbook was a challenge because I inevitably inverted some numbers when entering them into the check register.
This inversion issue actually affected one of my early jobs in Television. I was a live staff announcer for a TV station (KFMB-TV, Channel 8 in San Diego) and one of my jobs besides speaking live on cue – was to keep the “official station logs.”
My little room was about 4′ x 6′ with a mic, a switch to operate the mic, a big clock with a sweep hand on the wall and a smaller digital clock on the table near the TV monitor. I had to write down the time that shows started and stopped and when commercials started. Frequently the times I wrote down were not the actual times when things happened, because the digits ended up in the wrong places.
I can blame it on undiagnosed dyslexia, or it could have been that I was simply bored out of my mind – having to watch 5 news casts a night and endless sitcoms and game shows.
In any event, the inverting the digits problem was the sign that I needed to move on before I actually lost my job over it. I would write down 5:45:54 – instead of 5:54:45 and not catch it before submitting it to the Program Manager. He would see it instantly and tell me to be more careful. Then he would tell me that I MUST be more careful. Then he suspended me for a day. (That was such a shock I actually called him to ask him if that meant that I didn’t come in to work.)
This job was not my primary source of income at that point in my media communications career – I was there 2 days a week and free lancing as a producer/writer/talent the rest of the week – so I finally decided that despite the regular union (AFTRA) paycheck, it was time to quit before I got fired.
I still invert digits when writing down dollar amounts in my accounting software, but it seems easier to find the errors – specially when the right amounts are downloaded automatically. Maybe I am not bored with what I do. Who has time to be bored!