Thursday, June 25, 2009


I had a frustrating day where I talked of nothing but numbers. This wasn't adding, subtracting, dividing or even multiplying. Just numbers and how they stand for something, to be more specific, account coding. 2101 is for office supplies, 2201 is for supplies, 2301 is for repair & maintenance supplies. Then you get to the 3601 which is labor, 3808 which is contracted labor. 3201 is cell phone charges, 3501 is utility charges (which we also use for landline phone charges because back in the day, that was a utility charge).

So I had numerous discussions with our finance person about proper account coding and when we will use what codes. To add to the confusion there is a task code (3-digit alpha code) and a project code which is 6-digits and we have one for each location, each project, each truck, etc. It gets very confusing.
Numbers can also identify equipment (vehicle numbers) and departments (4-digit code).

And to top it off there are all sorts of "exceptions" to the rule. Sometimes it depends on historical use, sometimes on the product, sometimes just for giggles. Who knows? Right now we have a new Finance Manager (who sets the rules for the coding) and a new A/P clerk (who is the end coder of all the invoicing). I'm the person in the middle. And since neither of them really have a good handle on all the ins and outs of coding I'm left to explain and it ain't easy to explain sometimes.

So how do you code office supplies used by the disposal department, not the main office? I know the answer but it gets hard to explain. Our main issue today was how to code phone bills when we have 10 people using cell phones, 1 blackberry, 1 EVDO (wireless card) and about 50 landline phones/computer connections at 5 locations. What got hard was then we were further breaking it out by what the person actually does in their job. Is it primarily recycling? - that's a different code than refuse collections, billing, asbestos control, and many more. To top it off the main office downtown pays some of our bills and codes them incorrectly and then we have to journal entry them to the correct coding. Some of the bills we pay.

I've been here 10 years and NOW I'm confused too! It's crazy. And I keep asking myself, does it really matter that much if we code a .54 long distance call to this or that? We spend more time figuring it out than the actual costs of the items.

Does everybody in an office deal with this craziness? Or is it just the ultimate in Municipal Government "cost savings"?

I know your eyes glazed over while reading this. I just had to get it out. I'll reward you with beautiful pictures of my lilac and rose bushes.


Aunt Krissy said...

nice roses. Do they smell pretty?

PAK ART said...

of course they do. So do the lilac bushes.

That's my smaller rose bush - the other is bigger and has lots of buds, but only one flower so far. This one, which Tim transplated from the other one, bloomed much earlier.

Kellie said...

I like the roses. I've been unable to grow them tho.. Don't know why..

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I hate numbers. Just the ones in my savings account matter to me. Other than that, I pray that I don't over tip because I suck at adding (smile)

It's crazy at my work place because it's all about the numbers, crime stats, percentages, etc....

Love and hugs for a great weekend!

crochet lady said...

Numbers, numbers...ick!

Flowers are just the best. Is that a climbing rose? I had one but it never bloomed, I tried another variety of rose this year and we'll see how that takes.

Anonymous said...

I work for the State of Alaska and we have lots of codes too! I only have to code travel and supply purchases, so its not too bad. Love the flower pics. My former neighbor in Anchorage had a huge rose bush and our dog loved to lay underneath it. I someday hope to have something besides the wild roses that dont bloom very long.

Margaret Ann said...

And indeed after a day like that...the reward of coming home to a garden like this is wonderful....OH! How I miss lilacs...Your flowers are gorgeous!