Saturday, March 29, 2014

Needing Some Left-Brained Advice, Here

Hello friends.  Tax time is upon me, and here I sit, with nary a record of my business dealings, other than folders full of receipts and a hodgepodge of  saved emails meant to remind me of this transaction or that.  It's not that I am dumb, really, just more inclined to follow an organic path than a highly ordered one.

So then - totally intending to find my responsibility groove, I looked up and downloaded Quicken, the simplest version, only to learn that it is not really supposed to be used for business records, and does not work well at all for that.  I mean, I know how to go the longhand route with a paper spreadsheet and pencil (and in my case, a big eraser), but that method, though it can get the job done, is really pretty time consuming.  I was hoping for something that might be able to read my mind just a little, and at least shuffle dates of transactions into their rightful place.  What I got was a composium of ALL of the family bank accounts, business and other, neatly bundled together and working themselves into impressive looking pie charts that had little to no bearing on reality.  I tried creating an external "cash" account, thinking I was a genius, only to find that all the computations came out in red, and subtracted themselves from the bottom line of my  neat bundle of unrelated accounts.  Sheesh!

So next - I returned to the web search and found the real Quick Books, free trial version.  At last, a program truly made for small businesses.  It claimed to be "simple" - no accounting training needed.  Oh yeah?  Really?  Hmm.  Obviously, I have not had success with that one either.  Therefore, for the past year's taxes, I will do my best to scour my half-hearted files, and scrawl out lists of expenses and income in various tax-friendly categories on paper, tally them up with my trusty adding machine and let our kindly tax preparer sort them out, bless his number-crunching heart.

So now -  I am hoping and sincerely asking for your input regarding how a decidedly right-brained person such as myself might be able to cope on an ongoing basis with the record-keeping scenario, and have a less frantic-feeling experience come tax time next year. It's still somewhat early in the year, and I'm hoping I can get caught up and on track for reals. Any ideas?  Can anyone relate?  Your gracious input is most highly appreciated.