As for me it was back to work from the Dec. 29th on, I am pretty much in my regular routine again. Despite the calendar telling me, it is supposed to be an all fresh start.
Closing all accounts, checking each account against contracts to make sure everyone is billed the right amount at the right time and setting up the file structures for 2017 all went smoothly. But yesterday the hickups started already.
It was one of the few days I was all alone at work. The 50 or so people turning up for a quick New Year round of golf to clear away the nebulae of partying the night before were easy to handle. At the same time I tried to start the yearly billing process. Prior to which the safety copies of all data are due. Copying our databases pretty much clogged all three computers I had in use. I think, the reason for this is, that our main software is set up to copy to the local computers rather than on the server. As yesterday was a bank holiday, I could not get a hold of an engineer to sort this problem. So I semi-solved it on my own, shoveling most data onto the server manually. A process, that took hours on end, after which I cleared the local computers and could start with part of the bills.
It was much easier, when there wasn’t so much time pressure to get the bills printed, before the big change in the EU system of direct debiting was introduced in Germany maybe three years ago. Banks now insist on a two week period with data files for direct debiting new customers. As our due date is always the 15th of any month, I have exactly two days in January to produce the bills and create the debiting files to go to the bank. In other months, it is much easier, you just produce the bill four or three weeks prior to their due date, no hassle. But in January, the time frame closes, as bills need to be in their correct year. Well, theoretically, they all could be produced in December the year before, but that would cause lot’s of ensuing double and triple work for book keeping, booking each post to the old year as debt due next year, then book it again from money outstanding from last year to sums actually due. Noone wants that, least my colleague in accounting. So that leaves me to the two day option. Just my bad luck, that roughly two thirds of billing has to be done in January. So by the end of today, I should have printed roughly 4ooo bills. Wish me luck.