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If you know me, you will know that I groan when people tell me they are doing their accounts using a spreadsheet. But the truth is; I have to admit there is a case for staying well away from accounts packages.
Want to know why? Stick around I’ll tell you in a second.
If you’re here, I’m guessing you are considering or have invested in accounting software and maybe it hasn’t been as plain sailing as you had hoped.
Well there is a perfectly logical reason for that.
Hopefully this will save you time, or money or stress or all 3.
Let's say you fancy yourself as a bit of a musician. Let's go with drummer.
Even if drums don’t interest you stay with me, I promise you will get this.
So the drummers amongst you, just you love to create rhythms on anything you can get your hands on. Sticks in hand you tap on table tops, pans, whatever. But you are fed up with playing at it and decide you are going to do it properly and so you go and buy yourself a drum kit.
Now imagine this state of the art drum kit arrives. You walk around it so you can see it from every angle. You pick up the sticks and tap the cymbals. You touch of the skin and then you sit down and pick up the sticks. This is it. You are on the way to being the next Ringo Starr. There is a Grammy award with your name on it.
You bring the down the sticks and start creating percussion poetry. Now you are playing ok but that’s it, just ok. You go again and to your horror it suddenly hits you. You don't really know how to play the drums.
What an anti-climax. Even worse; you parted with money. Now the thing is here; you not only don't have the skills to play it properly, it is going to take a while to learn it and even then you cannot guarantee ever getting beyond so-so level.
That is what happens to most people when they decide to go for it and buy accounting or bookkeeping software. Once it is installed & they go through the bits they know or thought they knew. Much like the wannabe drummer they get stuck. They have just enough knowledge to make noise, but not enough to make music.
But because the software marketing blurb has told them that buying the software will solve their bookkeeping issues they push on, get demotivated, dump it and slowly but surely go back to the financial equivalent of tapping a table top…… the spreadsheet or pen & paper.
If this has happened to you, don't blame yourself.
If I gave you Jaime Oliver's simplest recipe and all of his kitchen tools, you still wouldn't create the dish the way he does. And you wouldn't expect to. He took him years to build up wealth of experience and techniques that he has. No recipe or set of pans is a substitute for that.
The same thing applies with accounting software. Even the “easy to use ones” are only easy if you know what you are doing.
So if this has been your experience. Give yourself a break.
Accept that it will take time to get good at using it or better still get someone who is good at it to do it for you.
Not only will it be one less thing on your regular to do list. You might find time to do something you really want to do with the freed up time.