December 23, 2011

Nothing Quick About It

My wife and I are continuing to pursue my wife’s dream of opening a small business, which means we spend about 40 percent of our time getting the business ready, 60 percent of our time arguing aggressively, 50 percent of our time trying to take care of two children and 40 percent of our time being atrociously bad at calculating percentages.

Because we both spent most of our lives avoiding mathematics and accounting the way Keira Knightly avoids anything resembling food, we weren’t adequately prepared for the complexities of keeping accurate small business accounting records.

To help us track our accounting, we purchased an accounting software program called QuickBooks which, contrary to its name, is neither a book and is in no discernible way quick.

Hoping to save money on an accountant consultation on how to use QuickBooks, my wife bought a copy of “QuickBooks 2012 for Dummies,” which seemed appropriate but, after reading about 70 pages, it became painfully obvious to me that we needed “QuickBooks 2012 for Lobotomized Chimpanzees with ADD.” I thought, after reading 70 pages, I was prepared to at least tinker with QuickBooks, but as soon as I fired up the program, I realized the author of “QuickBooks 2012 for Dummies” was an absolute liar. Worse, judging by the tone of the book, he really enjoyed being a liar. I can’t help but believe he sat in front of his keyboard, tapping out lie after lie, laughing maniacally the entire time.

Beyond inserting the CD into the computer, nothing about my QuickBooks experience remotely matched the smug tutorial penned by the “QuickBooks 2012 for Dummies” author. Within five minutes, I was hopelessly lost in what can only be described as some sort of accounting software Purgatory. I’m sure actual accountants absolutely love QuickBooks. They probably take a copy of QuickBooks to bed with them and whisper sweet nothings into its central CD hole. I, however, am not in any way an accountant, so I spent my first QuickBooks experience desperately wishing I could hurl that CD into a wall like a ninja throwing star.

To really round out the whole QuickBooks experience, my wife was sitting right next to me, watching me click helplessly on countless options that took me absolutely nowhere. She just sat there, waiting for SOMETHING good to happen, only to have me fail miserably time and time again. To be perfectly honest, it must have been a lot like watching a Vikings game.

After about 20 minutes, my wife understandably lost interest in watching me click aimlessly while swearing incessantly, so she walked away to do actual productive things and told me to come get her if I made any sort of progress whatsoever. Suffice it to say, I never had to go get her.

I suppose in many ways it’s all pretty much my fault. After all, I spent most of my early formative computing years playing computer games. Somehow, I failed to realize that maybe playing “Dungeons & Dragons” online wasn’t the best training for eventually using a complicated accounting program. I mean, sure my pursuit of a 30th level thief with a vorpal blade seemed important 10 years ago, but in my current situation it strikes me as a monumental life error. This, I realize now, is what my parents refer to as “wisdom.”

Which is sort of ironic, since I always liked my “Dungeons & Dragons” characters to have high wisdom number ratings. In retrospect, it occurs to me maybe I was compensating for something.

Posted by Ryan at December 23, 2011 02:04 PM | TrackBack

I recently abandoned the eternally frustrating Quicken, and started using (which is also owned by Intuit.) My god, the difference in my mental state.

A shame Mint doesn't have a Quickbooks replacement as well.

Posted by: Keith at December 28, 2011 10:47 AM

I... laughed my ass off when I read this. I googled Quickbooks, nothing quick about it and found this. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I did not become IT to get an economics degree and learn QB so that I can be an accomplished accounts as well.

Posted by: Yonko at January 21, 2012 05:05 PM
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