I got serious about our accounting last year and bought a copy of QuickBooks.  It sat on the shelf until January 2008 when I knew we had to start using it or admit defeat.

We’ve been using the program since early January and have already noticed the benefits.  Besides the obvious advantage of having built-in stuff forms like invoices and packing slips, the program also lets me keep track of our expenses for things like material costs, labor, advertising and shipping.

But it’s not the timesaver I was expecting, mostly because I’ve found all sorts of things I want to track now that I have the data.  And someone has to enter all those receipts into the program in the first place.

Before, I just handed a big box to my accountant and said, “here’s my expenses.”  But now, as we get bigger and sell a bunch more quilted cot covers every day, I need to better track our costs to make appropriate purchasing decisions.

And I need to know how much labor is costing me, so I can decide how much to involve myself in production (right now, I need to extricate myself from it, so I can focus on marketing and new product design).

So I’ve contracted a young man with nimble fingers and an even more-nimble mind to get all my expenses into the program so I can do some real number crunching.

On a pleasant note, I discovered that my online banking software will download my statements to QuickBooks format so I can skip a lot of the re-typing and get down to coding the debits and deposits in short order.

Way to go, Tim’s bank!

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