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: If not Quickbooks, what?  ( 6480 )
bobbin
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« #15 : March 25, 2011, 02:11:26 PM »

Mike, I too, remember the first computers.  Fortran, Cobal (?), Pascal... .  I asked my techie boyfriend if I should take programming classes.. NOPE! was his reply, those languages are already obsolete.  It was 1980.   (he went to work for a small company called, Apple).

If you're backing all your data up with paper why are you even wasting your time with a computer, lol?  Seems to me to be a redundancy.  ;)  What's the point?  Does using one save you any time, at all?  What is your protection against, say, a fire, or a break in?  The point being that no method will ever be "fool-proof".

All my research indicates that proper back up to an external hard drive is the most effective way to store records.  As for safety and security, a paper trail will always be the easiest way compromise account information.  I have several customers who work in the computer/high tech industry, one of whom specializes in security for a large bank.  In over 13 yrs. they've never had their security compromised... but fraud committed by the theft of carelessly disposed of bank documents and credit card statements has caused customers untold headaches.   My BIL teaches computer science and he hardly ever writes a check any more; he reconciles his account and pays his bills in one monthly session at his computer.  I'm all for that sort of convenience, thank you. 

As for the IRS deliberately blocking accounts... c'mon,  taken in the big picture it makes no sense, whatsoever.  Why would "they" waste their time on podunk people like us?  We e-file our taxes, and it's great! it's fast, it's secure, and our overpayment was automatically deposited to our account.  As a matter of fact, in my state we are now required to file our quarterly payments electronically.  So, it is the way of the future.   I don't have the energy to scream into the wind over such things. 

My boss is just staid and unwilling to learn something new.  That's why nothing in the shop has changed in nearly 16 yrs. and that's why any suggestion to improve efficiency is shot down immediately.  And that's why there was bit of a tantrum when I told the payroll service to begin automatically depositing my paycheck in my bank.   And actually, there was a glitch with a quarterly payment... there was no notation made in the memo section of the check and the paper chase was on to "prove" that the payment was made in a timely manner.   There was a lot of finger pointing and "blaming", too. 

We all do what is most comfortable for us and clearly you have found a system that works for you and suits your personality.  I'm still struggling to find the right fit for me, but I am secure in the knowledge that the computer and due caution is the way of the future and I'd best "get with it" sooner rather than later.  It's a "brave new world", baby. 
MinUph
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« #16 : March 25, 2011, 07:53:42 PM »

bobbin,
  Yes you will get it fully. Computerizing is a good thing and there is much to learn. There will come a time when it will all "click" Well somewhat anyway.
  Reading your tales of all this and your thought on backing up I figured I'd throw in a very good backup procedure.
  You're external drive is a good starting point. If I remember Peachtree was your choice for the books end of things. Back that up every time you use it to your external drive.
  At least once a week, better every day, you should backup your "my documents" folder and sub folders. And weekly do a complete image of your computer's C: drive. Then once a week upload the financial data you backed up to an offline storage drive. If you have a website you can use that storage. You probably have way more space there than you will ever use. Password protect this zip file before sending it.
  Offline storage is a necessary part of any backup plan. Grandfathering backups is also best. 3 sets of backups is grand fathering. Monday = 1, Tuesday = 2, Wednesday = 3, Thursday overwrites Mondays etc. etc. This may sound complicated but it is really the only safe way to keep data available.

Paul
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mike802
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« #17 : March 25, 2011, 09:57:16 PM »

Quote
If you're backing all your data up with paper why are you even wasting your time with a computer, lol?  Seems to me to be a redundancy.  Wink  What's the point?  Does using one save you any time, at all?  What is your protection against, say, a fire, or a break in?  The point being that no method will ever be "fool-proof".

Yes my computer does save me time.  Quick books gives me instant graphs and charts that tell me where my business is going and where it has come from - instantly for any date I should want to know about, I love it and it helps me make informed business decisions.  Quick books also does all the double entry book keeping for me and having everything packed up on paper gives me the ability to reconstruct my books, heaven forbid I should ever have to.  Backing up all my stuff with paper only takes the amount of time to print and file, I wast more time talking to potential clients who never buy anything.  No there is no fool proof system, but some are safer than others.  I wish you all the best and hope you never experiences data loss as I have.  If online banking is for you than go for it.  It's not my cup of tea and neither is a cashless society, no we didn't talk about that, but it's a slippery slop and IMO that is where this is all heading and I believe that is worth fighting for.
« : March 25, 2011, 09:58:48 PM mike802 »

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln
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bobbin
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« #18 : March 27, 2011, 03:53:46 PM »

Paul, I'm doing the daily back up to the EHD (external hard drive) whenever I use Peachtree.  I also back up my "D" drive (that's where all this stuff is based) routinely.  But I'm not sure I follow the rest of your prescribed back-up regimen.  I THINK you're telling me to back it all up and store it on the server that hosts my website? 

I don't presently have a website and what I think you're telling me is that backing the stuff up (password protected) the available memory that comes with a website is a smart, no added cost way to add a level of "remote" back-up.  Yes?  In case my shop goes up in flames and my EXD is incinerated? (the same way Mike's paper records and his computer's HD would be incinerated?).

Thanks for all your good thoughts and suggestions on this topic.  I'm clearly insecure about the "big picture" but the more I read and ask questions the better I feel about it all.  But Everest is mighty tall and I'm still diddling around at "base camp", lol. 

I appreciate your help.  In a major way. 
MinUph
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« #19 : March 27, 2011, 07:15:30 PM »

I don't presently have a website and what I think you're telling me is that backing the stuff up (password protected) the available memory that comes with a website is a smart, no added cost way to add a level of "remote" back-up.  Yes?  In case my shop goes up in flames and my EXD is incinerated? (the same way Mike's paper records and his computer's HD would be incinerated?).

  You got the idea. Safest backup is off site.

Paul
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KenB
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« #20 : June 18, 2011, 12:44:01 PM »

You can use any spread sheet like MS Excel. Or free like I think OpenOffice is.
Make columns for date, customer, total sale, sale without sales tax etc. Make another for the year or quarter.

Make another sheet for expenses.
Set it up for the deductions you will be making from your  business profit and loss at end of year.
You should be able to do your taxes from this info. Check IRS forms for Profit and Loss to decide what columns to have.
Ken

"The more you depend upon conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experience" -Yogananda
byhammerandhand
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« #21 : June 18, 2011, 03:41:53 PM »

Yes, you can use spreadsheets.   Out of college, I worked for a very large insurance company and there was a whole room full of accountants with large pieces of papers known as "spreadsheets."    A number of years later, my brother worked for a fortune 500 pharmaceuticals company that kept corporate books on an early version of Excel.   But I would not want to do it.

I remember as a child my grandfather, who lived next door and was a farmer that sold eggs and vegetables would come up with several boxes of paper receipts.  My dad, mother (who had bookkeeping skills) would sit down for hours on a borrowed adding machine tallying up his records so they could do income taxes.

I have QB and upgrade every three years.   I figure it costs about $1 every week.   While I've had several accounting courses and my wife is a CPA, it's well worthwhile every month when I have to remit sales taxes (which accumulate separately for each of the 8 or so counties that I do work in), balancing the books at the end of every month and quarterly and annually when I do estimated and final taxes.

There are other business software packages out there, but I would not want to be without one.

(Veteran of Fortran IV, COBOL, Pascal, PL/I, 360/370 macro-level assembler, and a host of other programming languages, along with TSO, JCL, IMS DB/DC, CICS, Total, SQL and other environments).

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
Grebo
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« #22 : June 20, 2011, 08:32:18 AM »

You are all miles ahead of me  ;D I have a little program called Instant admin.
Previously I was just plodding along with exel, it works  ::)
Instant Admin makes it all look a lot more pro  :P basic info only, works out taxes, profit & loss etc, can't import bugger all & can't email quotes from it, but scan & attach works fine for me  :D

Good for you bobbin, may be one day..... ;)

Suzi

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