Monday, August 9, 2010

Why I love Quickbooks (one reason of many)

I'm a math geek. And I'm an accountant. Well, okay, more precisely, I'm a bookkeeper. (That means I do more day-to-day stuff, like reconciling the bank, paying bills, and producing financials, as opposed to tax returns and audits.)
At any rate, I keep my own personal books in Quickbooks. I enter every transaction, record in detail (some receipts more so than others) all my purchases, and reconcile all my bank and credit card accounts using the handy features in Quickbooks.
And I love it.
I always know where I spent my money, and how much I owe on my credit cards (I use them almost exclusively, and I pay them in full every time). I can run reports comparing this year to last year, to see if I've really spent less on fabric, or more at the dentist. I can't be fooled about this stuff, because I have it right there, in a handy format, with just a few mouse-clicks.
One of my very favorite features Quickbooks has to offer is the "Find" feature. You can ask it to find you certain types of transactions, payments to a particular business, an amount you just can't place, or dozens of other filters. One in particular that I love to use is "memo". Because I record my transactions in detail, and generally spell out for myself just what it was I bought, I can, at any time, find out the specifics of, oh, let's say, my recent yarn purchases.
Such as the Glow-in-the-Dark yarn I bought last fall (which is only available in the fall, so I can't just run out and get more), which I'm using for the Curious Alien.
I was just getting to the end of his body, when I noticed how little yarn was left. Would I be able to finish him? Yikes. What if I don't have another skein? Didn't I buy 2 skeins? I don't see one up there in the yarn stash, but that doesn't mean it's not hiding behind something else (or fallen off the shelves). Hmm. I'm pretty sure I bought 2, not just one, but I hate to waste my time looking for it, if I really didn't.
Oh, I know, I'll just look that up in my Quickbooks!
So I open up the Find feature, select Memo, and type "glow" (I can't recall if I would have typed the whole phrase, and if I did, did I hyphenate? Best to be less specific, just in case). A click on the "find" button and...there it is!
Purchased online, from Mary Maxim, 10/15/09, memo says, "bliss, chunky charcoal, glow in dark, rasp sock". It doesn't say how many skeins (that's 4 different yarns there, not a description of just one). Bummer (note to self: remember to insert number of skeins next time). Not a problem, though, because I also save my receipts, grouped by month. I pull out my October envelope, sift through until I find the packing slip from Mary Maxim, and there it is. I did buy 2 skeins!
Later, at home, after staring at the yarn stash for a bit, I remember that some skeins did fall off the shelf, into a sort of awkward place to retrieve them from. Armed with the certain knowledge that I do, in fact, have another skein of glow-in-the-dark yarn (because, otherwise, I am not going in there!), I make my way through the chaos, into that tricky spot, and sure enough, there it is.
And a good thing, too. I ran out of the first skein just as I finished the second foot. I would have had to do him without any legs, and I would have had to sew him up with regular thread, which I'm not overly fond of.
So, there you have it. Another Amigurumi disaster, averted by the miracle that is Quickbooks (and my obsessive record keeping).
(He looks so much better with legs, don't you think?)
Now, don't you wish you had all of your financial information in such a handy format? Cuz, I can help you with that. I'm an expert. For reals.

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