Remember those days in (or just before) college when you and your friends were trying to select majors? I still joke that folks with really short attention spans wound up in accounting (alphabetical order for catalogs?) and those who spent a little more time (before running off to the watering hole) wound up in architecture? I never have figured out who wound up in zoology (ha ha, that’s a joke). All joking aside, I realized that the college curriculum for architecture wouldn’t really “teach” me how to run a business; I took summer electives in accounting and economics. (Okay, so maybe I tend to be a little geeky; but hey, don’t we all?).
I’d like to thank Denis D. from the northern side of Arkansas for the question/suggestion on this blog. He’s a sole practitioner who is stepping into QuikBooks for his accounting program. My sole advice to him was twofold:
- “keep it simple enough that you’ll actually use the chart of accounts”
- “create topics that are standard enough to be recognized or common, while being useful to track the expenses (and income) that is important to you”
I forwarded the chart of accounts which my accountant gave me years ago (along with my numerous edits, pencil additions, and deletions) along with some other “wisdom” on how I hate doing all the withholding, FUTA, SUTA, FICA, etc. Essentially, I took the first list provided to me and edited/modified the accounts and numbering sequence to follow (sequentially, sort of) the timeline process by which we manage projects from initial contact through completion.
How else have other small firm or sole practitioners tackled this beast? I’d also be interested in your successes (or what you did that you don’t like). In a nutshell, I do my billings (accounts receivable and payable) on Mondays to get us motivated for a good week; and we do all the filing on Fridays (ha ha; Money Monday and Filing Friday).
After all, life’s too short for each of us to make all the same mistakes. Let’s learn from each other. Cheers!
—Lisa Stacholy, AIA