Most people who know me, know that I have always wanted to be my own boss and run my own business….this experience with my father has taught me 2 very valuable things
1 – never, ever, let anyone be in complete control and not understand where the business is at
2 – never ever let things get behind as it can be almost too hard to catch up.
I am in shock and complete confusion over what has happened to the “family” business. I have no idea if we are doing any better or worse than before we started….it’s more of a vent then anything else so please feel free to ignore this post or just skip over it 🙂
Deb and I have been working tirelessly in the office to get everything up to date, we are failing at the up to date thing as we keep finding more paperwork and hidden around the shop and more files that need to be invoiced.
So let’s start from the beginning with the pertinent facts.
1 – The business has not had anything given to the ATO since EOFY 07. That was the last year they were up to date with. and when I say anything – I mean it. There are monthly notices tey need to provide for how much tax they have taken from pays – hasn’t been done. There are quarterly statements that haven’t been done and their income tax assessments haven’t been done.
2 – No super has been paid for approx 18 months and that is a MASSIVE guestimate on my parts – I am pretty sure I found things for some of 09 – will have to check through that all over again.
3 – Everything was done on paper – not an excel spreadsheet or program in sight. I mean everything including wages were written down mainly in books for each person, but for the last year on peices of paper sporadically placed in wage books, cheque books and other documentation.
4 – We are paying out money and not being able to reconcile the parts invoices so we don’t know if we have all the credit notes we should or if we are even paying the right amounts.
All of this doesn’t sound too bad when written in bullet point, but within each of those is so much work that needs to be done I don’t really see how we will find the time to actually do it, bar spending all my waking hours doing it. Thankfully I can’t do that as I have uni to study for and that needs my focus.
Along with trying to help run the office (I am taking care of money in and out, wages, parts invoices etc and trying to catch up on the ATO stuff) and Debbie doing mainly the day to day organizing and all the estimating and invoicing of cars, there is not enough time in the day to catch up on the ATO stuff.
As an idea, I have to go through every single cheque book since 01/07/07 until now and enter it into a Cashflow system (we have implemented in conjunction with an accountant) so I have to enter in where the cheque went, how much and what catergory it is. We can’t locate the cheque books prior to about May 08. We have found a listing done of most of the cheques in a “coding report” the old accountant asked to be completed, it doesn’t give me much information but it gives me something to work with.
I then have to enter in all the deposits into the account for each month, again – amount and catergory.
I will then have to pull out every credit card statement since 07 for 4 different cards and determine any transactions that were business related accounts (I might let you know at this point they have no filing system that anyone can understand – I am sure there is a system…it is just not alphanumeric, consecutive or decimal). So I am going to have to get dad to actually ring up and organise for all these statements to be printed out and sent to us.
Then I have to go back and enter in any other charges that have come out of the accounts according to the bank statements, so loan repayments, direct debits, bank charges etc.
Once all that has been done I can then reconcile the bank account since 07 and then we can claim for all the GST and then we can forward tax returns, BAS statements and ge everything up to date.
Once that has been done I need to then work on having their wages and super corrected on a program so I can more easily do group certificates at the end of the year. We have a program called Wagezwindows which I am using for the pays, it is quite simple and easy to use however it does have some limitations. I am essentially going to have to process a pay for every week of the year since July 07 to be able to do group certificates for this year. Also this will calculate how much super they are owed (nice) and means we will know exactly how much leave is owing to them etc.
The problem with the above being I have no idea what leave people took over Xmas-Jan or if the whole thing was considered leave; they were off for longer than originally intended. So based on my earlier comments about wage paperwork being spread everywhere I am going to have to do my best…and hope like hell it doesn’t bite them in the arse further.
So….where am I up to?
Well I have entered into the cashflow system all the deposits for July 2008 until March 2011 (week one roughly). I am currently entering the chequebooks and am working backwards from Feb 2011 to Dec 2009 (the month I am currently doing). That’s all. Yup, I have been there 2 months and that is all I have managed to do because I am still helping with the day to day running of the place.
On the upside since Deb and I took over we have seen the bank account go up and down hugely. We have no idea if we are making money – at this point we are breaking even. But breaking even is better than losing money. We are invoicing everything straightaway now and I have more folders for filing in use than you can poke a stick at. However if people call us or we want to confirm something we know exactly where to find it now. I have also created spreadsheets and documents for almost everything so i can figure out what the fuck is going on.
Dad is still bringing in paperwork every day to be sorted through or paid ( I honestly could not have imagined having the amount of bills they have) and that also means I get through 10 bills and another 10 arrive. I do not know how my Step-mum did it without asking for help. There is nothing noble in it – she was not coping that can be seen by the three years of shit I am now trying to sort out. She should have told dad what was going on and she should have let Deb help her more instead of paying her to do nothing.
If Dad and her did not want people to know about their financial situation – they fucked that up big time by not asking for help sooner. I now know more about their financial situation than I could have ever imagined and I am relived it is not mine. I have enough trouble dealing with my situation let alone what Dad must be feeling about finding out about it all second hand, but how my step-mum is feeling knowing I now know everything.
We don’t have a lot of work in the shop at the moment, it is the quiet period apparently and Dad fired all the staff because they were costing him money and sucking basically. He is still completing the same amount of work with it being just him – although I think he is getting too old to be doing a manual labour trade like this.
So in the end, a business that was about to shut down 2 months ago is getting a fresh breath of air. I am proud of myself for being part of building something back up – I don’t know how long it will last because we need to be bringing in much more money than we are to cover the costs of their personal debts. But for the minute we are fighting the battle.
I wouldn’t like to run a business anymore, i think I have lost my taste for it, however, I also know that I would not waste hours of my day using paper instead of programs to sort out everything and calculate it all for me. I would not waste money living like a billionaire if I was only a millionaire. But if I ever do, I know the sure fire ways to make it all go down the toilet.