Why I hate January at work (Random software rant).

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by gudrin, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. gudrin

    gudrin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2008
    There is another thread about accounting and doing the end of year stuff at different places, but this is more about software than anything.

    I'm no accountant. I just "do the books" at our church. I hate January!

    We have two methods of keeping track of our finances, and they should equal out when all is said and done. SHOULD. Usually I can get it within two dollars. However, the cool program that is supposed to be so nice and easy to use (NOT!) is off. I can get it to within about $150.00, but it shouldn't be like that. I found that two of the accounts set up in the program were done wrong, but I have no clue as to how to fix them. I tried, but it didn't do any good, so I undid the stuff I had tried. Reading the manual only does so much. Especially when it seems to oversimplify the problems you may experience. The only other person that can run the program owns a plumbing business and he's been incredibly busy. I have to have everything done and equaled out by January 24 when the Annual Meeting takes place. Ugh. And don't even make me attempt to reconcile the accounts with the bank on the new system. I just do that on paper. Much less hassle. I can print a check register from the program and go through and get it all to equal with a pencil and paper no problem. Do it with the software, and hey presto, nothing comes out, because you have three steps or more for each item. And forget about going back to it (though it says you can!) because honestly, I've tried. The plumber guy has tried. It doesn't let you go back to it. At least I always have a paper trail in case we get audited. I keep EVERYTHING. Which is the way it should be. I couldn't even close out the year 2008 until June of 2009 on the new program because things were so messed up. We finally just did a little "voo-doo" to make it be the way it should be. Kind of a band aid on a gushing wound, so to speak.

    Then on top of it, the reports I do for the meetings are off the other system (which is just an excel sheet...), not the new one, because no one trusts the new one. I say scrap the new system and just get something easy to use like Quick Books (the plumber guy uses this for his shop, and I've seen it in action). But, no, we've paid hundreds of dollars for this end all be all crappy software. It's supposed to keep the accounts and keep track of membership. I've already given up on the membership stuff. It's horrid. I put it all into a database instead and I have fun figuring out Microsoft Access. The only thing this expensive yet crappy software does a good job at is keeping track of contributions. The rest of it is wasted disk space in my mind. My husband writes software for crying out loud, and I think we should just pay him a little bit to write a program for our needs. But, then that takes time that he really doesn't have right now.

    Sorry for venting so much, but I've spent the last two days on this crud. I'm off until next week now. I figure my brain can do a little subconscious work on it. And honestly, I'm stuck until I can meet with the other guy that knows how to run it. I called his shop, spoke to his wife, and we're going to set up a meeting for sometime next week if we can. It will be cutting it closer than I like, but there's no other option right now. And so it's clear: none of this is his fault. Not even setting up the accounts that are wrong. My husband did that one, because he needed them opened to place the contributions correctly. He read the lovely book that came with it, and did it exactly as the book said. I can tell this even though they were set up wrong. Evidently some things should be intuitive. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled posts.

    Oh, and I just realized that it could be taken that I contradicted myself in the use of the manual. Some things are just expected for you to know, others are oversimplified to the point that you just can't use the examples.

    Hah! I feel a bit better. Thanks!
  2. DarkUnicorn

    DarkUnicorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2008
    Walden, NY
    Hmm... My Mom does the books for her church.

    I'll ask her what they use, cause 3 people have their fingers in the finances but only my Mom does the year end stuff and it seems to come out right.... At least the um "colorful language" has decreased... [​IMG]
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If the program does not do what is needed, despite the $$$ it cost, you need to get something else. Your time and the plumber's time, even though voluntary are valuable contributions. What will the church do if you both say "I'm done"? There are a number of good financial programs available--find one that fills the needs. If you need a separate program for other things, so be it.

    As an alternative, are there any classes on using this particular software? Have you tried calling the company's customer service? If you name it, there may be people here who are familiar enough to help with specific questions.
  4. gudrin

    gudrin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2008
    What will the church do if you both say "I'm done"?

    Ah yes, this is the million dollar question on so many things around there. But that's a different rant. Honestly...Considering the state the books were in before the plumber came in and fixed them, this is actually much better. Prior to his take over there were no records kept, basically. The guy that wrote the checks (I tend to not think of him as a treasurer) would bring everything home and then leave stuff in his vehicle or not send stuff off. Now I've been asked to be the "assistant" to the treasurer and do most of the work. The treasurer just provides oversight (I take care of outgoing stuff and my husband takes care of incoming stuff, so it's better to have someone not family looking at everything to make sure it's on the level, so to speak) and signs checks and reports to the council, though I usually make up the reports that are given.

    If we both, the plumber and I, say, "No more." the church would be in a world of hurt. In fact, I'm part of a core group of people that do most things around there and I'm trying to back off. But like I said, that's a different rant. Let's just say there are growing pains for the church right now as we try to reach out and get more help from the members.

    Anyway, I'm going to look at the prices of something like Quick Books, and I know there's a program out from another synod (we're Lutheran) that may have more of what we need. I'm going to look into that as well.​
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010

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