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Reflections: Celebrating 20 years of owning the gallery in 2013
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05/22/12
Bookkeeping in the 70s
Filed under: Family, Business
Posted by: @ 9:48 am

Back in 1974/75 when I worked for my grandfather, I learned to use an adding machine. I got to be fairly rapid entering a number then pulling down the handle. Chic-a-chic-a-chic click. By spring we had an amazing addition to the work place - electronic calculators. What fun! I could add numbers even more quickly. So quickly that my grandfather reprimanded me. I had to slow down so the calculator could keep up with me.

In those days we had ledger sheets. At the end of each month I had to add up each column and then double check that the bottom row balanced. Then I had to type up a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet for each customer. This was back in the day of the typewriter. I was not allowed to use whiteout. I had to type the items perfectly. Some days I would end up in tears as I got to the last row and made a mistake meaning I had to retype the page for the umpteenth time. Necessarily, I learned to type without mistakes.

I also learned how bookkeeping worked which gave me an advantage when we took over the gallery. I started our business using ledger sheets but soon moved to keep our books with Quicken. Our accountant was impressed that I figured out how to control Quicken. The program had the tendency to make things balance so the user might not catch a mistake. It simply put excesses into the profit/loss account. I set up separate accounts to show gains or losses. Thus the auto profit/loss account showed me when I had an error. Needless to say Quicken was not the ideal program for business accounting but it was free with our computer so I used it for a number of years.

Later we purchased MYOB. Living in Crested Butte has the disadvantage of being far from any computer classes especially specialized classes for MYOB on a mac. By this time our son was in graduate school in computer science and engineering. You might think that he taught me how to use the program. What he taught me over the years was to teach myself how to use computer applications. The new program provides me with wonderful reports for our artists, the bank, our accountant…

Thank you, Grandpa, for teaching me to work accurately and honestly. Your lessons have served me well. And thank you, Peter, for teaching me to teach myself how to use the computer.

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