Thursday, December 28, 2017

Working on projects

There are days when working on a number of projects can seem like such a challenge and you just have to deal with those feelings and other days projects can be very easy to deal with.

A project can be something that can last an hour or it can be something that lasts weeks or months. Knowing what the project is about and getting a clean definition can make a big difference. For some people a project can be something as simple as cleaning a room in their home. For others a project would be cleaning their home. Yes, both of those are projects but it is the definition that is applied to each of them that can make a bit difference.

In IT a project can have a number of smaller projects as part of them and you have to be prepared to deal with all of the little projects while heading towards completing the overall project. In some cases a small project may end up turning into a big project itself without any notification and that doesn’t help when you are trying to schedule things. Knowing all the little parts of the various projects may seem a little overwhelming but having a good understanding can make a big difference between having a successful completed or having a project that fails.

There are examples of projects that can seem simple when they are first looked into but when you sit and actually start working out all the different components of the overall project you may find out that it isn’t so simple. There are always times that a project can be said to be simple until the actual work designs and that is when the real challenges can appear. A project can also be sold through a sales person as being extremely simple only to discover that the sales person didn’t understand the environment and the simple thing is going to result in a lot of different challenges.

Projects can really be simple sometimes and challenging another time and a lot of the problem can be dependent on the equipment, people or a combination of things. A good definition would be great and knowing what is expected at the end of the project can really help as well. Working on projects are something that I do enjoy doing and making sure a project is clearly defined can make a big difference between failure or not.

Working on projects can be a lot of fun when things are working well but they can also be very frustrating when things don’t go well. I guess it is now time for me to get back to working on that project that isn’t going as well as we planned.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours
Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas.
Hope you received everything that you wanted.

If you do not celebrate Christmas, All the Best of the Season to you.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Where has the year gone

As a lot of people are saying they really don’t know where the y ear has gone and I can totally agree with that. It is now the 18th of December and that means that there are less than 2 weeks left in 2017. What have your accomplished?

I am one of those that gets goals at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year I sit down and got over what I have been able to achieve and then what has changed over the year. Normally I am able to accomplish some of the original goals and I think that is going to be the same for this year. I haven’t looked at the original goals and will do that at the very end of the year. I know that there are still things that I want to accomplish this year so that means that I just need to sit and get things done.

This past year has been busy for us and I have to say that I have really enjoyed what we have been able to do. Sure I know it has meant some changes in what our original goals were but at least I know that I am feeling happy with where things are standing at the end of year. I know one thing that wasn’t on my list this year and that was getting my Certified Professional Bookkeeper designation so that is something that I can admit has changed where I have been focusing some of my time and energy over the last little while.

For a lot of people setting goals at the beginning of the year isn’t something that they do and that is fine because everyone is different. I also know that when I set my goals I am setting them at a given point of time and things around me can change the overall goals and that I am fine with. My goals are just things that I am going to try and achieve but again if they aren’t achieved I am not going to be upset because I always know that I have been able to achieve other things instead.

Some years I do a review of the goals at the mid point of the year and this year I didn’t and that is fine with me because I know that I have been doing other things. New projects have happened in the last half of the year and those are going to be some of the things that will help me set the goals for 2018 when I sit down and do that. Being able to look back at a year and see that you have been able to accomplish something is important and as long as you have been able to get things either moved forward that is what you need to be happy with. Some goals are going to take a lot longer to achieve that you originally thought and some goals are just not going to happen and that is fine as well.

Look at your 2017 list of your goals for the year and realize that some probably were achieved, some goals won’t be achieved any longer because of other changes and some of the goals may go back onto the 2018 list but remember to write down the other big things you have accomplished so that you can see that you may not have achieved everything that you originally set out to do but you did achieve a lot of other things.

2017 is almost over and 2018 is just around the corner and before long we are going to be saying where did 2018 go but at least seeing that you have got things done is what is important.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Bookkeeping - jumping right in

If someone a year ago would have told me that I would have achieved a Bookkeeping Certification in the last year I would have laughed at them. I probably would have laughed because it was something that I hadn’t thought about at all. Sure I am someone that has an accounting background and spent quite a few years as a Property Accountant and Budget Coordinator but saying that I want to help small businesses with their bookkeeping isn’t something that I really thought about.

Now the timeline of all of this bookkeeping idea is something that I am happy with because it all seems to have some together very quickly.
  • In June we were at the Sage Summit and I found out about the IPBC (Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada) and that is when things really started moving forward. IPBC has an exam that you can take to being certified if you meet certain requirements. I had looked at the requirements and I thought I had met all of them so I figured it was something to look into.
  • I became a member of the IPBC in July and then signed up to attend their conference which was held in September.
  • August was the month when I started to think about maybe taking the exam to become a Certified Professional Bookkeeper. I decided it was time to do some studying so that when I decided to write the exam I would be ready.
  • In September while thinking about the conference I finally decided that I was going to write the exam while at the conference so registered to take the exam. I then finished up the studying and attended the conference where I work the exam and passed it. The conference was great as it gave me a chance to leave about some of the apps and also some of the other bits that I needed to start figuring out.
  • October was another month of thinking things through and getting a little more organized and that is when I decided to find out about QuickBooks Online and see what it was like. I think started working with QuickBooks so that I can learn it and then continue to get the knowledge that I needed to say I could do bookkeeping for clients. I also in October take the QBO Core Certification course and write the exam. This step means that I am now a QBO Pro Advisor and have my core certificate.
  • November was another month of doing some talking about being a bookkeeper and that is when I got the first perspective client and now to see how that goes.
  • December there was one more conference and this time it was Intuit hosted the QuickBooks Connect 2017 in Toronto so I registered for the conference and spent three days learning more about QuickBooks and all the different apps that can assist in making things easier for both myself and also the clients. During the conference I then took the QBO Advanced Certification course and will hopefully soon write the exam for that certificate.

Now as you can see the entire idea of starting out with the bookkeeping business started about 5 months again and now I am sitting and happy with the idea and how I have been able to get things rolling as quickly as I have.

With the certification I need to have 20 hours of education each year in order to maintain the certification and as soon as I realized I needed that I started making sure that I was looking at the various webinars and such that would help me get this hours. I started getting the hours that I needed at the IPBC conference in September as that is when they could start for me and then I have participated in some webinars and now the QuickBooks Connect conference and am happy to see that I have already achieved my 20 hours for this coming membership year. I have already been able to achieve 41 education hours and I know that there are going to be more added before my certification anniversary comes around in September. 20 hours of education really isn’t hard if you look at webinars that are an hour long and you try to attend 1 or 2 each month. In my case I had 6 hours of education when I took the QuickBooks Core course and with the two conferences they are both helped with the hours as well. If yo are someone that needs to achieve education hours or cpe’s just think about how you can do them easily and get into a routine and stick to the routine even after you get the hours that you need. CPE’s are to help you gain knowledge so continuing to learn what you can is great.

Bookkeeping is something that I know I enjoy doing so now my new job is to work on getting the clients that I want and then start helping them makes their lives a little less stressful. Yes, 6 months later I am happy with what I have been able to achieve and now to see what the next 6 months have in store for me.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Journal - it's purpose

I just finished reading a blog entry about the important of the journal book and I started to laugh. It was called “Organizing My Plan to Organize” by Sandra Tayler and I could so relate.

My journal book is where I can capture a bunch of thoughts and ideas and it is my way to try and keep a little more organized or at least an attempt to do that. I have found that when I cannot locate my planner I start to get upset because it does carry a bunch of my thoughts and ideas in it. A method of tracking all the thoughts and ideas that you can can make it so much easier to handle the actual work.

My journal has a few pages of shopping list sheets and those are used to write down on the little things that I need to pick up when we are out. Sure some of the things have been on the page for a while and some are quickly marked off as purchased but at least now I am not forgetting those little things or trying to track those small pieces of paper that I was using before.

My journal/planner has different tabs and that is how I keep my brain organized a little better and I know that there are a lot of people that don’t use the tabs and just write all there thoughts and ideas in the journal and they can manage it that way. It is amazing how each person can handle their planner differently. I am thinking that making sure that the planner works for you is what matters. There have been times that people have looked at my planner and said they couldn’t deal with how I manage things and I agree and say that as long as it works for me that is what is important.

One part of my planner is just lined paper and that is for capturing all the ideas and thoughts that don’t have a tab yet. I have found that sometimes have doing some writing I discover that I need another tab in the planner and it gets added and then the pages that I just wrote get moved into that section. Being able to create the planner as I go is very important and it is how it helps me manage things. Sure I sometimes look at the planner and laugh because of all the different sections but it is how I seem to manage things and I will continue to do it this way as long as it works for me.

My planner has a purpose and that makes me feel good. Just being able to keep my life a little more organized would help me feel better and it would also help me get through all the things that I want to do. A planner can be as personal as you want it and when it goes missing it can add stress but finding it again gets your back on track and gets things moving forward again.