Can’t… stop… yawning…

I’d normally say that – for a bloke anyway – I’m not bad at multitasking.

But, having just laid aside my fourth complicated assignment of today to write this blog, I cannot stop bl00dy yawning!

It feels like I’m going to dislocate my jaw. The eyes are streaming and it feels like I’ve a couple of corks up my nostrils.

S’life.

Four tasks, all different and only one I was able to see to a conclusion although the final one I’ve put down to do this so it could be finished later but realistically it’s more likely to lead to some residual queries and another strange symbol on the to do list to signify “awaiting client”.

Which, of course, I will forget what it means when I get the response but hey.

Four tasks, all complicated but ranging from the mundane (but not easy to delegate coz it’s not QUITE straightforward and if you do it’s odds on no one will understand how you did it) to the frankly quite esoteric (just to show I can use big words on occasion and send you to the dictionary).

And the degree of complication bears no resemblance to the degree of importance of the question.

Some of the most complicated assignments are just due to the dimensionality of the query.

I think I need to explain.

Charities. In charity accounting you’ve got to be aware of not only income vs. expenditure and assets vs. liabilities and Statement of Funds Available vs. Balance Sheet but charities can keep funds for specific purposes – hence an additional dimension.

It’s difficult enough in the real world but, when you then have to factor in your software, you have really GOT to have your wits about you.

Add a consolidation – the charity has a trading subsidiary that it was gifted – and the mundane becomes mind blowing.

Or at least very, very mentally tiring.

One issue is trying to make the final accounts make some sort of sense – yeah, yeah, I know, why break the habits of an accountant’s lifetime??? – especially as these are available to the outside world.

Firstly, because of the subsidiary, they have to prepare accounts of the whole, combined entity. Despite the fact that the only reason the charity is able to make grants is because of the subsidiary.

Which means that the trustees need to demonstrate to the outside world that they HAVEN’T got mega-millions in dosh, because most of those mega-millions are the wealth generation facility of the beast.

Which means showing the funds as sort of the bits you can give away against the bulk of it which you most definitely can’t.

But then the transactions cross over from one to the other so these need eliminating as far as the outside world is concerned.

BUT they need eliminating and offsetting in the correct fund.

Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t…

I lie – there’s ALWAYS at least ONE item that you spend hours chasing around the software until you get it right.

Invariably the first 5-10 attempts are like playing whack-a-mole. get rid of it here and it turns up wrong somewhere else instead.

It makes me completely Dagenham (three stops beyond Barking in case you’re either not English or have just led a sheltered life).

And so the frisson of excitement starts to course through your body as you anticipate the problem.

So you start to avoid the issue as it starts to drive you totally Tilbury (I’m making this rubbish up – about another three stops beyond Barking)…

Get enough of these and you can get complete and utter brain freeze. Just like eating ice cream too quickly but rather more difficult to get out of the system.

Good grief. Knocked half an hour of the usual time of writing.

Must go procrastinate methinks! Otherwise I’ll have to chase figures around again and it’s nice and sunny outside and the lounge gets very bright at about dinner time this time of year. So bright that we normally end up with the curtains shut to keep out the light!


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Colin Bielckus

I've been a Chartered Accountant since 1981 and I set up Avenue Business Services (ABS) in 2002. Alongside that business I am also ‘The Outsourced Finance Director’, assisting with strategic planning and wealth management to give business owners peace of mind and greater financial security.

Colin, please let me know when new ReAccountancy posts go live

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I give permission for my contact details, as entered on this form, to be used to send me notifications of new blog posts, occasional newsletters and offers that may be of interest to me. I understand that they will not be used for any other purpose or shared with third parties. See ourPrivacy Policy.

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