A GIFT AND A CRASH COURSE ON HOW TO MANAGE BUSINESS MONEY

Roughly two weeks ago, I was leaving my home to go to church when, upon opening my front door, I saw a package. It was a box addressed to me. Funny, I thought. I didn’t order anything lately from eBay or any retail site. Since I did not want to be late for the church service, I put the box aside before I left.

Hours later, I checked who had sent me the box. It turned out to be my bank.

Hmmm, I thought. I know I recently changed my business name and opened a new checking account, but why would they have sent me a box? When I opened the old account under my old name three years ago, I was not sent a box (although this was at a different branch of my bank). With some trepidation, I opened the box.

Inside were gifts: a disbursement journal, a binder containing checks, and a stamp. I knew what the checks were for, of course, but…Whaa?

I figured there had to be some kind of mistake. When I first started my business with its old name, all I got was checks in a checkbook with a register in it. That was all I needed, right?

I absolutely had to clear this up. I put the items back in the box and drove to the bank, where I showed them to an employee and said, “There must be a mistake. I don’t think I’m supposed to have all of these things.”

The employee, a young woman, explained to me what each item was and what it was for. The disbursement journal was to be used like a check register–to keep track of deposits and debits. The stamp was for endorsing checks that I received (i.e. from clients). And the checks in the binder were real and if I wanted checks in a checkbook, it would cost [insert outrageous amount here]. The whole value of the items in the box was over $100, so I should keep them.

I thanked her for her help, decided to keep everything in the box, and apologized to her. I should not have apologized, because what was I apologizing for? Being stupid? Although the young woman was incredibly nice and patient with me, she probably thought I was just that. At least, that is what I suspected, being paranoid as I am. (I have an MS in biochemistry, by the way, so stupid I am not.)

I’ve begun to use these items, and I feel like I am an “official” business. It makes me feel very professional.

Dear reader, if you own a business, what items to you use in the bookkeeping of your business? I would love to know and get some ideas.

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