Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bookkeeping Can Make You Go Blind

I have heard stories of people going blind from drinking hi-octane homemade liquor. Spending the entirety of the afternoon on bookkeeping--installing a virgin instance of Quicken and starting from scratch because I haven't used it since my hard drive failed a year or four ago--made me want to drink lots of hi-octane homemade liquor, post hoc, ergo propter hoc, bookkeeping can make you go blind. Or insane. Or both. C'mon Intuit, it's the 21st century, can't you list *all* of the financial institutions that have on-line banking and and their web addresses in your program? *Must* you make us set them up manually and forever enter the transactions and reconcile them manually?

I have a love-hate relationship with Quicken and, to a lesser extent, Quickbooks. That greater-than-a-little-bit of my personality that wants to be organized and on top of every bit of information needs to use something to track my finances, and back in 1990 I settled on Quicken. When I got a new hard drive after a catastrophic failure sometime in the past one to four years, I moved all of files onto it and then manually installed the software instead of doing a mirror image copy of the drive. I took the drive failure as an excuse to clean up and get rid of a bunch of apps I wasn't using. I can't remember why I didn't reinstall Quicken--it was probably prompting me to upgrade.

That's the main place the hate comes into my relationship with all Intuit products: I don't like upgrading *anything* that's working for me. I kept my iPhone One until the majority of the apps didn't work anymore and there weren't new versions for them that would work on a phone that old. Then I broke down and got an iPhone 5. I replaced my first gen Kindle several years ago after it failed with a Kindle Paperwhite, and I have no intention of replacing that one until I absolutely have to. Intuit, however, made it a part of their revenue plan that you would have to buy their new release every few years. They enforced their will by making it so you couldn't download transactions from your on-line accounts with the old software anymore. I didn't want their new, bloated features. I was happy as I was. If they had released something compelling in the software that made me want to upgrade, that would be one thing, but I hate being made to do anything.

Fast forward to today when one of our contractors asked me if I could send him a record of all the checks we had written him over the past year. Because I've just been logging into individual accounts and managing our finances that way for awhile now, I had to go to our bank's on-line system with its crappy interface to slog through everything there. That experience was enough to prod me into buying and installing Quicken again. However I didn't hunt for my old data file. It's who knows how far out of date anyway, and I just didn't want to carry around 20+ years of outdated categories and data any longer. So I started from scratch. I estimate I'm about 20% through connecting my accounts and importing all the data from the arbitrary date of 1/1/14 on.

Anyone have any homemade liquor to share?

1 comment:

Bill said...

What a pain.