Saturday, 9 August 2008

Work and Stress - Why?

Since the auditors have done their work, (presented us with audited statements and allowed the close of the year end of March 31st,) I have had a July 31st deadline to get the 1st quarter complete for 2008/09 fiscal year. The auditors gave us the go ahead in the beginning of June; since then I have worked diligently to get April, May and June financials complete.

You will remember that I had two weeks holiday at the beginning of July. Before I left for those vacations I had managed to complete April and most of May. I should also state that I not only do the Financial General Ledger (G/L) and the Statistical General Ledger(Stats Trial), I handle all the accounts payable (A/P). In addition to my own work, I assist the Payroll clerk by doing all her reconciliations, correcting all her errors, (especially where they affect the G/L) and have the added responsibility of training her. Also, I assist the Accounts Receivable Clerk and when she is away on vacation, cover her position.

As you know, the bills still have to be paid. It takes time to code all the invoices, ensure they have all been signed off for payment by the correct manager or Lead Hand, then enter them into the system and produce a cheque run, mail out all the cheques. I try to do three cheque runs every month at the time of each bi-weekly payroll run; a third run at the end of the month if time permits.

Back to my deadline. So, I had finished both the G/L and Stats. Trial for April, and the G/L for May. Since getting back from vacation, two weeks ago, I completed the May Stats. Trial, and the G/L and Stats Trial for June, while still producing the necessary A/P duties. I did fail to mention that I also handle all the incoming mail, distributing, opening and dealing with anything that needs immediate attention - and while I am away the only part of my position that gets covered is the mail gets distributed. The fact that I missed the deadline by one day, e-mailing June's items for my supervisor's return from her vacation was due working overtime and with near Herculean effort.

Therefore there was no time to really check anything in the numbers to ensure everything was correct. The important thing was a 1st quarter statements had been completed. I did manage to reconcile the bank accounts for April, May and June; and a few other of the Balance Sheet accounts. I also received a thank you from my supervisor for having June complete for her review on her return from vacation.

So that's the back ground for this blog. Two days ago I received an e-mail telling me I had incorrectly coded a received payment. I was cross and hurt because those payments had always been in the correct code and last year she told me that I was using the wrong code and they should be in the One-Time code. Of course I complied and changed the code. All along, I had been correct and it was her error that she was blaming for; her error, not mine. As you can imagine I was more than a bit hurt and angry at the tone of her e-mail.

That e-mail was nothing compared to the one I received on Friday (yesterday), just before I left work for the day, (actually for a week because this next week I'm taking another well earned vacation.) There were complaints in that e-mail about errors that were made because she had told me to change coding; missing items that she had told me were not required anymore. Now remember: I had not had any time to really review all the numbers that I sent. The important thing was to complete June so we could make a submission to the Government for the first quarter; this is the first time we have ever had to make a first quarter submission. Of course there were going to be errors; of course there would be credits and debits where none should be; I can't control what comes across from the payroll system its an automatic upload from the payroll module. I did not have time to check all the codes that came from the accounts receivable side of things or the pharmacy; I barely had time to meet the deadline.

As for the Stats. Trial: I have never had any training or courses in government required statistics. What I know, I've learned in this positing hands on. I don't understand all the ins and outs of the numbers. Where you use minutes and where you use units; I take the numbers the various departments give me and enter them into they system. I understand the new coding for the payroll items because that came into being while I've been working here. I remember that at the end of last fiscal year my supervisor gave me some notes on changes; but I did not have time to review the notes, let alone make the changes. I barely had time to complete three months of statistics.

Yes, I admit I have some corrections to do on both the G/L and the Stats. Trial. I admit I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the statistics. Surely there is a nicer way of letting me know that there are changes that are required to meet the government reporting standards. An e-mail that makes me sound incompetent when I should have been praised for being able to get anything in at all, is, shall we say, poor management at best. A face to face discussion and questioning of my understanding and an opportunity for me to explain why there were certain errors would have been far more professional and productive. Who wouldn't make errors, miss data, and not review everything in the circumstances and time constraints which were a big factor in many of the errors to say nothing of the miss guidance I have received. Little wonder my remote supervisor has such a high turnover rate at her office.

My last comment on the note I left to the Accounts Receivable Clerk, (who has been away on vacation this past week,) indicating those items on her job I had not had time for this past week, was; "If I return."

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