by, 06-07-2010 at 05:39 PM (678 Views)
The first things I learned in accounting was that 1) Assets = Liability + Owner's Equity (Capital) 2) Debits must equal Credits and 3) Consistency. Over the years, I have trained many people on our company's accounting procedures, it amazes me how many people never learned #2 or #3. "If Debits have to equal Credits, why isn't every account balance zero?" *sigh* I know as non-accountants this may not make sense, but for anyone that has had an accounting class (and passed) and is working in accounting, they should understand this. The problem is most companies have Window's based accounting programs and all the "accountants" have to do is punch numbers into the computer and the computer does all of the work. I've had to train people on BANK RECONCILIATIONS. So while people not learning #2 is frustrating, #3 is outright infuriating.
(Ignoring the IRS for a minute) Consistency is KEY in accounting, most audits, GAAP, investigations, revolve around consistency. It looks odd to outside companies/investigators if an accountant is constantly changing how they do their job and how they record entries. I've made mistakes before and have done things improperly, especially when I first started, but I always did it the same way. Since I was consistent, I have been told that I needed to change how I was recording transactions, but we were not penalized for those mistakes and in most cases didn't have to go back and even correct them. So you can see how consistency is key.
So how do I have an employee who has worked for over 12 years as an accounting manager for the same company, he was at the top of the financial ladder with that company, yet does not see the importance of seeing how invoices were entered previously. For example our Fed Ex bills have invoice numbers that look like this (x's used instead of numbers) x-xxx-xxxxx, now why would he enter the invoice as xxxxxxxxx ??? or even better was an invoice for office supplies, the invoice was xxxxxx, he entered it as xxxxxx-A, so what happened is the system told him that invoice number was already in the system so he added a "-A" to it so it would be accepted. I've received two refund checks in the mail for duplicate payments and one call from a vendor about duplicate payments.....seriously??
I just put a proposal together to persuade my boss to convert from an antiquated DOS based accounting system to a Window's based program. My accounting department is small enough that we don't need to spend the $8,000 we did on the last "upgrade" for Y2K compliance that we did in 1999, but I do need $3,000 mostly to cover the new computers and backup solutions I'll need so I don't have to worry about crashes and losing all of our data. My boss would prefer we did everything on paper, he thinks we rely too heavily on the computer and everyone thinks whatever answer the computer spits out is correct, even if it doesn't make sense, unfortunately, my employee's only seem to be perpetuating this belief.
Oh, I'm not firing this guy, yet. This is the sixth person I've had in this position in the last 2 years. He's smart, he just needs to start using his brain again. I can't afford the time it takes to train new people