“My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight”
How can I make closing the financial year and publishing 43 W-2s for employees a part of my passions? Not me! I am passionate about sewing, about fabric creation through knitting, about education, about business building, about blog building, but I am just not passionate about filling out governmentally required forms nor basic accounting arithmetic. Perhaps I’ll just have to file away the past 5 days of my life under Maintanence and carry on.
It shouldn’t have taken 40 hours to close this financial year. I have one of the best accounting systems around, far too big and complex for the size of my company. The almost constant horror, Computer Problems, stretched out my personal “accounting hell”.
The Microsoft Windows Server 2000 operating system on our server has some code that is mangled from a hardware crash earlier this year. We have had 3 OS crashes in the past 12 months. No one should have to live through that! We need to upgrade to Windows Server 2003 OS but have been trying to put that off until we have time and money to deal with it. In the meantime we are spending all our time and money putting the transition off. Not smart business but I do have to work with the realities of getting a team together to do the OS upgrade. Everyone must be ready to work long and hard.
The broken code meant that the accounting system software, Great Plains Dynamics, a company purchased and improved by Microsoft, could not perform it’s updates for the year end closing procedures. So what should have been at most a 16 hour job at the most became a week long nightmare.
I have used Great Plains since 1993. The records can let us tell a customer what they have purchased and how long they’ve had it and goes back 13 years. This helps our company serve our customers. If there is a possible warranty issue we can see how old the product is and repair or replace appropriately. Or if we have a request for a replacement piece we can reference the type of finish that would produce an identical replacement piece. I mean, life happens, right? And you want your expensive materials to last through years of normal classroom use and still look pristine.
Great Plains Dynamics is a huge program and we have been through many problems and solutions with it over the years. But now that Windows Installer and Microsoft Net Access and anything else that Microsoft developers dream up is integrated into whether or not my accounting system can function I have two monolithic divisions of one gigantic company to scale.
I can not do it alone. I have a computer consultant that comes running to help as fast as he can and while he understands the networking and Microsoft OS better than I, he cannot imagine, without 13 years of experience, all the complexities of the Great Plains system.
This year’s surprise package was a tax update bundled inside a service pack update. Usually the two are separate but the accounting people really wanted us to apply the fixes in the service pack so it was rather cleaverly bundled. The documentation references the two different updates but does not make it clear that the year end closing tax tables are contained in the service pack 2. This was no Christmas present!
I should say I work for Microsoft. And that I work for free.