Friday, January 30, 2009

Financial Boondoggle

I pride myself on taking after my accountant mother and keeping good track of my finances. I keep a record of all transactions, a budget, reconcile all my bank accounts and investments, and adore

Unfortunately that was before a trip to Alabama, trip to Singapore, and trip to London, for varying purposes of business, pleasure, and sponsored work, which were variously paid for on account, by my own credit card, and by my Purchasing credit card. In addition, I got a travel cash advance before I left, and I exchanged money between three currencies on my way.


And of course, the appropriate people and procedures for turning in receipts for reimbursement vary depending on the trip and the account to which I'm charging. So all of this morning was sorting through receipts and ticket stubs, highlighting credit card statements and organizing Excel spreadsheets. Multiple Excel sheets. You can never have too many Excel sheets. Some of the receipts I had to tape to 8.5x11 sheets of (hole-punched) paper, and I found out that whatever is in the Singapore taxi receipt paper has a bad reaction to packing tape, and the ink disappears. Disappears! Who'd have thought?!

But I think, now that I've got my neat printouts (with the official double line under the total, true accounting style), I am owed on the order of a couple thousand dollars. U.S. dollars, if you please. And also, don't anybody dare tell me I followed some incorrect procedure, because if I have to go through it all again the receipts may turn into pumpkins.

So I was very pleased with myself for getting myself straightened out, until I went to pay for lunch. I pulled out my wallet, and all of my cash is still in pounds.

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