Write Your Problems Down In Detail, Take Them To A Higher Place
(The following is in the manner of "airing dirty laundry" of a sort, so please feel free to ignore - it's just something I need to get off my chest).
I just finished up a conference call with our National Finance Director, and about a dozen executive directors from locals scattered across the country (my boss was traveling, and so unable to call in). Ostensibly, the purpose of the meeting was to clarify some procedures pertaining to our "new" accounting software, although it actually consisted of the NFD telling the participants that, "well, that particular function exists, but none of you have access to it", at least three times, which really made the whole exercise rather pointless.
But, the best part was the last 20 minutes, which turned into a bitch-session by several execs, who took the opportunity to complain about a number of issues that, frankly, have been keeping lil' ole' me awake at nights. First, the consensus amongst the group was that the "new" accounting system basically sucks: the graphic interface isn't user-friendly, the report functions are confusing, and nobody can print anything from it anyway. In short, everybody except the NFD hates it. Aparently, the only reason we're using it is because that's what the NFD and his staff use, and they didn't want to change, so they made everyone else - almost none of whom are trained accountants or bookkeepers, mind you - change instead.
In addition, there was general frustration with our recent transition to National accounting, which, rather than decreasing workloads at the locals, has instead increased it significantly, again something with which I'm quite familiar. Also, several challenged the NFD on the need to prepare and present some of the "required reports" that just happen to be the same ones with which I've been struggling, and furthermore, they expressed the same confusion about the purpose, format and presentation of these reports, as I've had. And finally, there was a lot of kvetching about all of the extra work created as a result of National's annual audit, since it turns out many locals have been exempt from performing their own audits for quite some time, and so don't have many of the documents we're now being asked to produce.
So, it was a very enlightening session for me, particularly since this same NFD has been pestering, badgering, and otherwise berating me for the past several months, due to my lack of accounting accumen, and my inability to provide precisely the same information and reporting these high-level execs have clearly also been unable to provide themselves. I must admit, I felt a bit of vindication over being able to sit back and listen to the civil, but nonetheless pointed dressing down he was receiving at their hands; something I, in my relatively low-status position would never have been able to do myself.
In short, I may be a complete dummy when it comes to accounting, but aparently, I'm not the only "dummy" around, and some of the other dummies are getting fed up with constantly being called "dummy".
on 1:25 PM