Saturday, September 10, 2016


One of Mike’s hobbies is tracking our finances. I say it’s a hobby because he’s a bit compulsive about it, tracking each transaction whether debit or credit. He believes in the value of knowing where we stand financially. My part is to present my shopping receipts, and I (usually) don’t have a problem with it.

Mike has used Quicken as our home accounting program for years, painstakingly making entries and reconciling accounts, but with his new computer and accompanying updates, Quicken was no longer working for him. Sometimes you’re just forced to make a change, and Mike apparently Mike was due for that. As he explored different home accounting programs, he discovered he could tie all our accounts directly to the accounting program. Suddenly he saw how much easier the new system was going to be. (At least, I think he did. I no longer hear the “kicking and screaming.”)

But, in order for the new system to work efficiently, we would have to link to our bank account. So we headed to the small home-owned bank where we have kept our checking account for the last 20 years.

Mike sat down at the customer service desk, explained that he was making a change in his accounting system and asked with which accounting programs their system would be compatible. The rep’s eyes glazed over. She excused herself and came back with another employee to listen in. Mike went through it again, and this time two faces registered confusion.

I knew he was talking over their heads, so I tried. “You see,” I began, “Mike tracks our finances. He can tell you everything I spent this year, item by item – how much, when, where, and what it was for. In addition, he tracks our investments.” Now the two faces registered disbelief and something else – maybe horror, as in “how dare he do that to you!”
“So-o-o-o, this is a home business?” one of them ventured to ask.

“No,” I said. “home accounting.

“Well, that’s certainly a good idea,” the other said.

A good idea!?! This is a bank. You mean, this is the first you’ve heard of home accounting? But, I didn’t say it. I fell silent, realizing it wasn’t worth it to talk at all.

“You do know you can log into your account?” they offered.

“No, I can’t,” said Mike. “It won’t let me in.”

“Sometimes that happens,” they said. “We can help. . .” but then they couldn’t.

Next, they decided Mike should talk with the bank’s IT person by phone at another branch. This person was also unable to answer Mike’s question.

“We have to switch banks,” said Mike later. “Little banks just can’t provide the services now.”

So, that’s what we did. We opened an account at the local branch of a large bank where Mike didn’t need to explain anything. The manager knew exactly what he was talking about and was knowledgeable and helpful all through the process. KW

[I admit these photos do not relate to the subject of accounting, but I thought these pictures of the hot air balloon would be more interesting. I took them this morning from the town house.]

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