Posted by: guinness222 | January 1, 2008

Help!!! I’m scared to death!

Ask a simple question today, and you WILL get a simple answer, which by the way 9 times out of 10 is,…”I dunno!”.
Where are the brains today?
Case in point as most of you know by now I manage property, like condominium Associations and Homeowners Associations. One of the real “hot buttons” is who owes us how much. When the economy tightens, we go into a mild “recession”, or worse, people tend to become what are called “slow pays”, or in other words are holding onto what’s left of thier money for dear life or just don’t have any more to pay bills with. Part of my job is to “shake the tree” and make sure all my client’s membership are up to date on thier payments. If not I get to slap the “lien” on them, threaten the foreclosure, and indeed actually go ahead and do it on some. Do I like it? Hell no, …but it’s got to get done.
One way to avoid the angst is to constantly stay on top of who owes you what and in a lot of cases if you do stay on top they will pay up without to much pressure. (Jez,…do I sound like some cut-throat nasty son of a bitch!)
Anyway, the Board of Directors for whom I work always want to know “What’s our accounts recievable balance?” Or how much we owed? One of the accounting programs favored because of it’s low cost and simplicity of operation is called “Quickbooks Pro”. By and large it does a good job, but boy does the old IT adage GIGO or “garbage in, garbage out” apply!
It simply adds up the account balances and “nets” them into a total,…and poof, that’s it. Let’s say you owe me six months at $100 a month, or a total of $600,…and let’s say Bob has already “prepaid” for the next six months or so, to me. Well, the total of the Accounts Recievable is going to net to ZERO! NOTHING, NADA. So when an “accountant” hands me such a report and I in turn hand it to “The Board” everyone seems happy,…but they shouldn’t be! As each month goes by the number gets bigger and bigger, because what you pre-paid me is getting smaller and smaller. Then finally one day the Board says to me, “This person hasn’t paid a dime in six monthes,what have you done about it?”
Unless someone can take the fourteen page, single spaced pile of numbers and reduce it to something “eatable” I don’t have the time to do it! And there is my problem. I have to depend on an Accountant, and the accountant hasn’t a clue. They just put the square peg in the round hole, day after day after day, and until someone tells them “hey dummy, square peg, square hole, round peg round hole.
For example I have an account whose report says they are owned $27,000. When you take out all the “pre-paid” people, and the little “aggravation I ain’t never gonna pay late fees and interest, it’s like day and night difference, or over $40,000 owed! That’s a BIG difference in my mind.
Got to go for now, but have a great new year!

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