Monday, June 02, 2008

Goddamnit This Is Tedious!

I have a di$crepency!

My checkbook and my bank are out of synch.

I use the "rounding" method of bookkeeping.

Although I always record the exact amount and date of my credits and debits, when subtracting from my balance I always round up, and when adding to my balance I always round down.

So if I have a debit transaction of $20.23, I subtract $21.00. If I have a deposit of $20.23, I only add $20.00.

Over time, this results in a safe buffer of cash to absorb smallish accounting errors like out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees and the occasional small overdraft, should it come to that.

This means that my checkbook ledger always carries a balance that is lower than what my bank has on record.

The last time I made a semi-serious check, my buffer was somewhere in the $300-$400 area.

The most I ever had, was in the $500-$600 neighborhood.

When it gets high enough, I usually make a "deposit" correction to give me access to the cash.

But I have a discrepency between my officially recorded balance using my rounding method, and my bank's official balance using their EXACT method, that I find hard to believe.

My bank says I have over $1200.00 more than my checkbook ledger says I should have.

It's not outstanding checks that haven't cleared. I've only written a couple of checks that could account for that much money and they have both cleared.

It sure as fuck ain't my Economic Incentive check.

I owed the feds just over $1200 for 2007, so I didn't exepect to get my $600.00 anyway.

But the cock-teasing bastards sent me a letter last week saying I qualified for the $600.00 and should get my check by 5/30/2008.

After shelling out $678.10 that I really didn't have for 2 years of personal property taxes just to get my car tags renewed, that was welcome news.

But today I get a letter saying "Ha! Teased ya! We're keeping your $600.00! Now you only owe us just OVER $600.00! Payup by June 23 and you won't get fucked in the butt in Leavenworth!"

So, I'm not sure what is going on.

In a situation like this, my bank is almost certainly correct and I almost certainly made an error somewhere.

But I need to be really, really sure before I make a "correction" to my ledger and spend that money to catch up on my bills.

This just seems too good to be true and I am way too pessimistic to believe that something that good could happen.

So I have been going over my bank statements, comparing them to my checkbook ledger, trying to account for every single debit and credit.

Jesus Fucking Christ! Is this what accountants do for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year for their entire boring lives? How is it possible that there even are any living accountants? How is it possible that they don't all just drink a botttle of Drano about 48 hours into their first real job?

I've spent several hours on this and I don't even have a full month accounted for.

I'm already to the point of saying "fuck it. I'm spending it. I'd rather go to jail than spend another hour fucking with this shit."

It's time to spend my Hookers and Nose Candy Incentive Check.

Who's in?

Oh, Christ.

Maybe I'll take another crack at the checkbook.


Average Jane said...

I haven't balanced my checkbook in more than a decade. I keep an eye on my balance online (and watch for fraud - I've had my debit card number stolen twice). Otherwise, I use the "close enough" accounting method, with an overdraft protection account as insurance.

Stinkbait Boucher said...

what's a checkbook?

emawkc said...

"How is it possible that there even are any living accountants?"

Well, to be fair, accountants are a whole lot smarter than us. They probably keep an accurate tally to the penny on a day by day basis just to avoid the situation you're in.

Gawd, I wish I were as smart and cool as an accountant.

Poodles said...

I used to do accounting. The job I do is still similar in some ways, I have to balance things all the time and find errors.

Does your bank have online banking that you can use to transfer your data to a spreadsheet? If so you can import their data, do up a column of your check book next to is and do a comparison looking for discrepancies.

If you need any help lemme know.

Poodles said...

Above should read... "next to it." I can find numerical mistakes, not typing stupidity. :)

Stinkbait Boucher said...

You know - you can't discount the possibility that the bank has made an error - it's not unpossible.

There - I just made it so much easier for you.

TraceyTreasure said...

I say buy a bigger boat! WTF, you only live once!

meesha.v said...

I know that if a bank makes an error they don't hesitate to correct it no matter what. Let the money percolate for a month or two. I have online banking, write less than 10 checks a year and don't use debit card. Nothing to balance and no stamps to buy. Also by charging most everything I make $500-600 or more in cash back every year.
And read this if you haven't before.

Joe said...

I took accountancy in school when I went back to it about 10 years ago. Got A's in all the core business and accounting classes. I love numbers like this. Hurrah for me!