Saturday, May 26, 2007

Is meeting with your accountant covered by the Geneva Convention?

We have an accountant. She looks like my Aunt Sara and is very friendly and competent and I'm totally confident that if I follow her advice it will be unlikely I'll do any time for tax fraud.

But, boy, can she talk.

The company she works for has a service for small-potatoes businesses like ours, where they will teach you to use accounting software at home. Then, once a month, or quarter, or whatever you decide, they will stand over your shoulder and make sure you're not screwing it up.

It's a great service that's going to save us a bundle this year, when we could really use the money on things like a new computer and X-rays for the dogs*.

But I'm not a math guy. Never have been. I'm one of those math phobics, and I get hives when it's time to divvy up the bill at a restaurant. I haven't taken a math course since trigonometry in 1992, and poor, patient Mrs. Cihocki never understood why I just didn't do my homework (it frightened me).

Of course, her karmic vindication is I have been elected to be our company's bookkeeper.

Yesterday I had an appointment to get everything set up. The accountant told me to "be ready to sit here for a couple hours." I was going to get a total immersion course in Quickbooks Pro, and it was going to take some time.

I blocked out 2 hours in my schedule.

Can you say, 4 hours? After the third hour I was just calculating in my head how much I would owe her for this session. She gets $60 an hour for this training service, which is pretty reasonable.

Then I started thinking, that's a dollar a minute. Oh, God. There goes another dollar. Wow, I wonder if she'll be done 9 dollars from now.

Soon everything she said lost all meaning. All I heard was "Then you want to select the feature in the drop-down menu dollar dollar, dollar-dollars dollar dollar dollar."

As I stumbled into the parking lot, sorely in need of a sandwich and a nap, I felt like I had just been abducted by aliens: a little disoriented and time was elastic.

We have another appointment next week, and before I go I think I'm going to send a note to Amnesty International apprising them of my location in case I turn up missing.

*This time it was Maddy. She ate something in the back yard that gave her gas so loud I at first thought a 1988 Volvo sedan was outside our house with a flooded engine. She was drooling and puking, just enough to where the vet said, "Yeah, bring her in." Nothing on the X-Rays. She's fine now. I guess she thought we just had $162 too much in our checking account this week. Good dog.

No comments: