Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Have an Accounting Abnormality

For years I always looked forward to April 15.  It was the day "tax season" was over and we would take Mom out to dinner for a celebration.     

Ever since my mother was in her early 20's, she worked for Mr. Hawkins, at his accounting service, along with her friend, Alice.

I grew up going to Mr. Hawkins' office every day after school.  He set up a desk for me so I could write, draw, or do my homework.  When I got a little older, 12 or 13, he let me "keep books" for a couple of his customers.  I would write down numbers in these huge books with columns. I think it was called a ledger.   I didn't know what I was doing, but I always thought it was fun.  It was even more fun when he would pay me. 

Eventually one day, Mr. Hawkins decided to retire, so my Mom and Alice bought his business.  They would keep businesses' books all through the year, but come January 1-April 15, "tax season",  they were busy doing their regular business and individual taxes. 

I remember Mom talking about how some people are organized, and some people would bring their information in brown paper sacks.  I guess they would just throw receipts in the bag and hope for the best, or hope that my Mom would be patient enough go through everything.  She was.  Her heart would break when people would owe a lot of money, and she was happy when people broke even or got a refund.  She always said that it was better to break even, but I really like getting a refund.  How about you? 

Mom was happy sitting behind a desk. She typed so fast you couldn't see her fingers, and she could punch numbers on an adding machine just as fast as she could type.   She loved accounting and would spend hours trying to find the reason why two columns didn't add up to the same amount, even if they were just a few cents off.

 When I graduated high school and went to college, I decided to major in accounting and work with Mom.  That idea soon came to an end  when I took my first Accounting class.  I knew when my teacher begged me three times in the hallway to drop the class, accounting wasn't for me.  I really didn't care if two columns didn't equal each other.  I say take some change from your pocket and get yourself out of the misery of spending hours trying to find where the problem is.  Evidently there is a little bit of obessive compulsive nature that accountants have that I don't have, so I changed my major to Elementary Education.   

You know what's funny?  My niece is a CPA, my cousin (Mom's niece) is a CPA, and another niece is an accountant.  The accounting gene skipped me!

Mom loved to sew, cook, bake, clean house, garden, and craft. Those genes didn't skip me, thank goodness, but you wouldn't know it by looking at my house, my flower beds, the chili dogs we're having for dinner, or the lack of sewing I have done lately (I did get an adorable bag made this week to show at Sew and Tell Friday that I will show you tomorrow). 

Heidi is hosting another Friday Night Sew-In tomorrow night.  Maybe this will inspire me to get my house cleaned and maybe a few flower beds de-weeded.  We'll be sewing Friday night, sharing photos on Saturday, and our names will be entered into a drawing on Sunday for a door prize.  I haven't decided what I'm sewing on, yet, but I may make another bag or two.  You should join us! 

April 15 isn't as exciting as it was when my Mom was still living and "tax season" was finally over. It is a good feeling, though, not to have to think about it for a while, especially since I still have an accounting abnormality.     

Have a great day!



  1. You have until April 30th in Canada to do your taxes ;)

    But mine was done weeks ago... I'm not math challenged but I'd much rather be a teacher (primary/elementary/special education) than a CPA any day:)

  2. I loved this story Amanda! Thanks for sharing.


  3. I loved this story! As a CPA that just finished tax season, I can relate to alot of it :-).

  4. Loved your story. I'm not an accountant, but I used to enjoy making everything balance and finding that missing two pennies. Now I'd rather find that missing bit of fabric to finish off a quilt just right. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I did accounting work for close to thirty years (since I was 16) and last summer I called it quits. I now spend my days on my longarm and enjoy every minute of it. I'm sorry to say I don't miss closing the books, balancing budgets or making pigs fly. I like playing in the dirt, cutting fabric and giving my machine a whirl ~ now that's fun! Your not abnormal ~ your special ;)


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