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All entrepreneurs have their weak spots: there were the ones I didn't know and the ones I certainly did. The ones I did: Numbers and Computers.
When it comes to accounting, here is what I know: I want the numbers coming in to exceed the numbers going out. That's basically it. And I'm painfully aware that managing my own business's finances needs to be something that I'm at least moderately average at until I can afford to hire an accountant. So, when I noticed on Monday that a "paid" invoice was sitting as "undeposited" into my account, I called the bank.
- My branch contact couldn't help on a business account. She transferred me to their corporate center.
- Corporate center couldn't help. This was an accounting software issue. He transferred me to said accounting software company.
- Accounting Software Company Person A said she dealt only with "banking" and not "invoicing."
- Accounting Software Company Person B tried for 43 minutes to understand my problem. I was running out of ways to say: "INVOICE IS PAID. INVOICE IS NOT DEPOSITING." (There's an extremely good chance I was screaming this at one point). She finally says this isn't her department and transfers me to the "payment" department. (Wait, how is banking and invoicing and payment any different? Why are you all working in different departments?? A client paid me money. I don't mean to sound desperate, but I would really like to have that money.)
- Accounting Software Company Person C picks up after 27 minutes and 53 seconds on hold. "Hi ma'am. No problem. So because this is your first invoice with our system, it will take 7-9 business days for it to be deposited. It's just an extra step that all new accounts have to go through."
Oh. That's it? Ok. But seriously, you should put that somewhere in bold on your software system so the rest of us who don't have accounting degrees know what's going on.
I hang up the phone and pull up the client materials I had been working on sporadically over the last hour. I click "print."
Error message: "Printer is offline."
(Insert expletives here).
This is the life of an entrepreneur and of working for yourself. You alone deal with the problems, so you alone gotta find the solutions. There is no finance department or IT department. Just Google and my range of friends and boyfriends of friends who I was considering begging for help. ("I can't afford to pay you, but I will bake you brownies," was going to be my plea.)
But I managed, and life moved on. The invoice was deposited to my account. My printer did what it was built to do. In the meantime, I burned some incense, hugged the dog, took a deep breath, and kept hustling.