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I doubt many other people were doing this on Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2009 at 06:51 pm

I have something sort of embarrassing to admit, especially considering my background.

I've been operating my rental property as a sole proprietorship but have not taken the effort to actually put any specific "business" things in.

Yes, me, an accountant, has kept my own personal business things in essentially a "shoebox" compiled somewhere between a folder I label for "taxes" and our general "rental property folder" with income and expenses flowing through our personal checking account.

So, in an attempt to get things right. I spent much of the day sorting through the mess & getting all of my 2007 stuff together. It took me awhile because, to be honest, when we started renting out the house - I had no idea what we had. Just that we were losing money on it so I didn't see a point in really "caring" about the loss beyond the fact that the loss reduced our personal taxable income.

Yeah, I know - dumb. Normally I'm supposed to be helping OTHER people make sense out of shoebox chaos - not myself.

But on the other hand, I also figured getting my own house in order is a pre-requisite to any potential I may have at starting my own bookkeeping service.

So I had to do a lot of investigating to figure out what we were really working with. But once I knew what assets I brought into the rental property, everything seemed to flow easily from there.

I'm going to try and work on 2008 & 2009 over the weekend. The biggest challenge I had was just sorting out the beginning balances, what amount was personal & business.

I downloaded Peachtree to get this all started. More so because I also want to gain experience using different accounting software programs & I feel better about trying something out with my own company before someone else's.

My boss is supposed to let me know about Quickbooks access this coming week, so if that all works out I can add both software programs to my resume as I figure all this out.

So yes, thats what I was doing on Christmas eve... spending about 6 hours going back all the way to 2007 to get my "books" for my rental right.

I figure from now on it should be easier & now I have firsthand experience of knowing what to do should someone come up to me with a bunch of invoices, receipts, escrow statements, etc.

The good news though is, once I had it all laid out in front of me. The rental wasn't really doing as bad as I had thought. It was nice to see an "Owner's Equity" account w/a balance in there. From my end, I usually just see the investment that I put into the property.

Oh but I did end up getting everything ready for Christmas... but like I said, the first 6 hours of the day was getting my books right to get everything into Peachtree. Which I doubt too many other people were doing today.

6 Responses to “I doubt many other people were doing this on Christmas Eve”

  1. Provi Says:

    Have admit that since my finances are not that advanced, I didn't understand 75% of that, so I can't say I did that this Christmas Eve.

  2. girltherapy Says:

    I think you're right, I certainly wasn't doing any of that today. Merry Christmas

  3. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Umm, I wasn't doing any of that today but bully for you for doing it! Smile

  4. Jerry Says:

    It really brings in the holiday spirit, doesn't it? =) Hey, if it works for you, and it leads 2010 to be more organized, then I say kudos to you. Once it's done you will have the added insurance of knowing how it all works for future projects. Good luck with getting it all squared away, and congrats!
    Jerry

  5. Homebody Says:

    Well my dirty little secret is our rental is still completely in oldest daughter's name and she is going to have to file the income/expenses this year again. We have to do the paperwork to transfer title and mortgage to us this year. I do have a separate checking account (well separate from our household account) and have kept good records in Quicken, but I feel bad about this too.

    The paperwork is extensive to transfer a mortgage, I figured they would just check our credit and do it, but no we have to have as much paperwork as a normal mortgage, in fact more than I remember doing for ours (they want to know about every penny and asset to our name).

  6. financeaholic Says:

    i'm an accountant and from what i have seen, quickbooks is the preferred method of bookkeeping. i think peachtree and quicken suck lol. but via job postings, at least in my area, hiring managers seem to be looking for experience in quickbooks above all other software.

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