Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oddly gratified

In preparation for my maternity leave, I'm writing detailed instructions on how to do all my monthly financial reports. I'm actually enjoying this more than I thought I would. I always enjoy writing, even, apparently, technical writing. One of the types of reports necessitates starting with the report from the same month last year, and building on that. I pull up this report only to find that it is obviously wrong. Very wrong. Only one region out of 63 might have paid in more than 100% of their expected funds for the year by August. This report shows that nearly all 63 regions have paid in over 130% of their expected funds for the year by August. How could I have missed this and goofed so very badly last year!? I check through several similar reports for that same month. They're all wrong too.

Did I have a stroke that month? Let's see, these are August reports, so they would have been generated the first week of September. What was going on then? OH! I was in Ireland! I didn't do these reports at all. Either my boss or my co-worker did them.

Oddly, I'm gratified that I consistently do them correctly month after month. (small smug smile)

Quickly on the heels of this little burst of feeling incredibly efficient and useful, I realize that I'm about to be gone again. And for longer. And while the quarterly reports will be generated which always draw more attention than regular monthly reports. Oh crap! And the reports were easier to generate last year than they are this year. Last year, our accounting system had a reporting system tied to these funds and you basically told it to run and then glanced over it to make sure it was right before publishing it. Now, you have to pull the raw data, download it to Excel, play with a pivot table to get the subtotals, then calculate the percentages yourself. This is due to a dubious "improvement" to our accounting system. Certainly sounds improved, doesn't it?

So I guess I better make doubly sure that my instructions are super duper clear, huh? Too bad I can't train my replacement with my instructions on this month's August reports which I will likely generate next week. There's been no mention of hiring a temp for my maternity leave. I hope they don't expect my Korean co-worker to do these reports while I'm gone. And I CERTAINLY don't want to be in charge of training her in doing this next week. She's only been in America for over 30 years and still speaks quite broken English. And she personally drives me nuts. Hmmm.... I think I'd rather do them from home 4 days postpartum while trying to nurse my son than help her try to decipher my instructions next week.

What to do?

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