How many accountants does it take to create an Excel spreadsheet?
0 comment Saturday, May 17, 2014 |
I'm coming to the end of my position on the training grant so I'm getting emails from grant accountants/administrators about spending the rest of my research money. Their balance sheets are, um, how shall we say? Unintelligible? Incomprehensible? Completely wrong?It seems to me like there is a very basic solution to this problem - check your figures before you start sending people their balance sheets.I have been in a protracted email conversation with the Accounts Manager to try and figure out what is going on here. She has sort of explained done some hand-waving about leftover balances and overdrafts from last year but even if I plug those figures in (in every possible permutation) the sum still doesn't match the (made up?) one on her Excel spreadsheet. Grrr.It's really very simple - all of the expenditures should add up to the figure that appears in the "total expenditures" box. This sum, subtracted from the total money available for research supplies will equal the remaining balance. Not difficult. I mean, hell, I can manage it! And yet, no dice.I have deduced that Accounts Manager does not actually use the handy-dandy "input equations" function provided by the Excel software. It's actually very easy to use yet she still seems to resort to scratch paper, or a calculator, or (heaven forbid) mental math to tally the sums. Which as you might imagine introduces a lot of opportunity for human entering an expenditure and failing to tally it as part of the sum total, or somehow adding mysterious extra purchases to the sum total which do not appear on the balance sheet. (And don't even get me started on the fuckwittery with my travel money.)We have paid accountants to do this stuff for us, and yet I find myself correcting their books on my accounts at the end of each year because they can't figure out how to input a simple correct formula into Excel. Can I get the accountant's salary too? I mean really I am doing her job. I'd settle for just this week's salary, or at least a bonus for providing her with a brief Excel tutorial.The last email (of many) I got from her yesterday: "I am at home. I won't be back until Monday. I suggest you talk to [grant administrator]." Yes, I think that she would be more helpful, except that she relies on you to keep the books in order and so she also has only your non-sensical Excel spreadsheet from which to attempt some resolution of this matter.

Labels: ,