05 January 2011

Taxing Times

I got to thinking about my old job as a public accountant today. January and tax season always bring up those memories. I don't miss that work, but I learned a lot and still use the experience and knowledge I gleaned from those years.

When I was doing the work decades ago, we didn't use computers. I know that's hard to believe! I worked for a CPA firm in Denver at the time, and I had about two dozen small business clients. Every month they would bring me their checkbooks and tax forms, I'd write up their journals by hand, balance the bank accounts, post and balance the general ledger (again by hand) and to the penny, file the assorted tax returns, and draw up financial statements if requested. I usually completed two sets of books per day.

My quarterly load was larger, and tax season larger yet, when actual tax returns for businesses and their owners had to be submitted. Then things really became intense, with long hours, and lots of meetings, and more stress than I could handle today. I loved the bookkeeping but hated the complex tax accounting. Oil and gas accounting and futures trading were nightmares.

I don't even like to think about doing this kind of work now. I'm kind of a slob with my own accounting, mostly because I keep it so dead simple, I can put off the actual drudge work for months on end.

But thinking in accounting terms is second nature to me, and I find myself examining situations based on numbers involved without consciously thinking about it. I can have a conversation with someone in a grocery story and still keep a running tally of my bill and be within a few dollars. When I'm on my death bed, I'll probably be calculating the cost of my own funeral. And nail it within pennies right before they nail my coffin closed!

It's not a bad thing I guess.

I figured I'd written about 500 words today. Actual count 525. See what I mean? It's second nature.

Speaking of taxing times, don't forget to check out our CafePress Shop and see the Aunt IRiS Wants You mug and other merch. Designed by the hubbo and very cool. All sales help pay my taxes!

What about you? Are you any good at the numbers game?

Temp: 41/12
Finished: Starting a Business is Kidstuff
Started: Open Season by Maryann Miller
Word count: 525

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