There’s Just No Accounting

by | Oct 26, 2006 | General Ruminations, The Joys of Publishing

My friend Jan the Accounting Nazi invited herself to the house today to take over the number end of things, though I’d said I had it more or less under control.  After all, I’d run a tree-trimming business for over ten years and done all my own accounting and payroll.  She wanted to know how I’d kept books, but then didn’t like the answer very much, and decided she would simplify my life for me.

My old system would have given a CPA fits, but at least I understood it.  Now I get to learn basic accounting, and just in time, because I’ve been wondering what to do with myself when I’m not learning about marketing and website design.

So she started to go through my costs so far.  There was the $311.45 for Adobe Acrobat that I’d put down as ‘office expense.’  No, she said; that’s ‘software.’  The bill for printing the books I’d put down under ‘printing.’  No, she said; that’s ‘inventory.’  She was fairly appalled at my faulty understanding of accounting principles, but then she didn’t know that double-entry bookkeeping was invented in Italy and codified by one Luca Pacioli, an Italian monk, so at least I was ahead on the history front.


The day had started out so lazily, too.  Woke up late to find that the predicted snowstorm really had arrived.  There was six or eight inches of wet and heavy snow on the ground by the time I rolled out of bed, which seemed like the perfect excuse to loll around and read, make some phone calls.

I’d overnighted a final check to the printer yesterday, and the final details there seemed to have been worked out.  But after the cat and I had breakfast, I checked my email and read that they had gotten about halfway through my print job when their machine conked out.  They would do their best to have it fixed by tomorrow.

The snow is almost gone already.  It was just barely cold enough to snow in the first place, and then it was above freezing today by about nine.  Supposed to be in the mid-fifties tomorrow.


Jan doesn’t understand how it is that I don’t show more excitement about getting onto a real accounting system.  There’s just no accounting for taste, I told her, and either she didn’t notice the pun or was kind enough to let it go without comment.