Sunday, August 1, 2010

Now I know why I didn't go into Accounting!!

7:40 woke up, way later than I EVER sleep in.  We have gotten up at 5 almost every day this week. Got myself and the little boy in my room ready for the day.
8-8:45 Depot
9-9:30 feed the little boy and gave him a bath since he choose to throw it all back up.
9:30- 10 breakfast.
10-4:30 worked on the paper and computer part of payroll. (with a 15 min lunch break)
4:30-5:30 Nick and I filled 60+ envelopes with our employees monthly salary in them.
5:30-6 took a break under the mango tree.
6-7 began the process of handing out payroll
7-7:15 Depot
7:15- 9:20 finished handing out payroll
9:20- 10 showered and got myself and the little girl staying in our room ready for bed.
10- 10:45 got up several times because our little bundle of joy decided she was wide awake.  The rest of the night I was up every 2 hours feeding her.  Couldn't fall back asleep after the 3 am feeding, so I laid in bed until Nick got up to let the guard out at 6.

Isn't this what everyones Saturday consists of??

One of the duties that I am taking over is payroll.  Each morning I do roll call and verify who is and isn't here.  Most days there are around 2-3 subs, sometimes up to 5.  So since yesterday was the last day of the month, I had to go over all the roll call sheets and rewrite who subbed for whom onto the calendar.  I then have to write down each time a staff member missed a day and see whether or not they can use that as a paid sick day or if it's an unpaid day.  After doing this I transfer all this info into an excel spread sheet on our computer which calculates everyones monthly salary.  Since some staff work both as nannies and cleaning ladies, I have to be extra careful to see which days they worked in what positions as the pay is different.  For instance, one nanny might have worked 7 of her 8 scheduled shifts as a nanny and all for of her laundry shifts for the month.  In addition, she might have picked up 2 days doing laundry and 6 days being a nanny at the hospital with some of our children.  I then have to figure out how much she should get paid and whether or not the day she missed is covered under her sick time.

Doing all this by hand for over 60 people is a lot of work.  Yesterday I went really slow to try and minimize as many errors as possible.  I was sure to ask Jamie any time I had a question because next month when I do this both of our directors will be gone and I will be all on my own.  I'm sure he got very sick of Nick and I yesterday because we were in his apartment a lot!

Filling the envelopes was an interesting task as well.  By this time of the day my brain was fried from spending so much time figuring out everything else.  When it comes to Haiti, money is very weird.  Everything is labeled in the Haitian dollar, but paid for with the Haitian Goude.  The dollar doesn't even exist.  We calculate our employees salary in the Haitain dollar, but pay them in Goudes.  So on the front of the envelope, it may say for instance that so and so made $300 Haitian dollars.  Well I would then pay then $1100 Goudes.  Make sense??  And Haitian money is VERY OLD AND DIRTY.  It looks like it was printed 100 years ago and often is very hard to read and is basically falling apart.  We ran out of large bills early and had to pay a lot of people in small denominations.

By far the hardest and most stressful part of payroll was handing it out.  As you can see by my little time line above, it took Nick and I nearly 3 hours to hand out payroll.  This was only to the 12 ladies that were working last night.  We have to do it every night and afternoon for about a week until everyone is paid.  3 hours to hand out 12 envelopes.  Needless to say our Creole is less than perfect and so this caused most of the hang up.

A lot of the time we would understand what they were trying to say to us, but lacked the vocab to communicate with them what we were trying to say.  Trying to explain payroll in a foreign language is a VERY challenging task.  It seems like we had issues with almost everyone we were paying.  Some of those were our fault.  For instance, one of our nannies always has her sister sub for her and they look identical.  A few times this month, I just marked our normal nanny down not realizing that it was her sister that was working.  I then had to go back through and change who worked what days and try to explain to her what I did.  There was another lady who had an extra day added in the middle of the month, so our formula to figure out her wages was wrong on excel.  It took us a long time to figure out what was going on in her case.  Anyway, we got most of it worked out and are ready to try again tonight.

Good news is that it can only get better!  As I said, I went really slow this time to try and minimize errors.  Hopefully next time I will be able to go a lot faster.  And by next month we are really hoping that our Creole will improve drastically so that we can communicate better.  

The moral of the story is that if anyone knows of any good payroll software that I could just type this all into once rather than having 3 sheets that I have to fill out, I would really appreciate hearing about it as it would save me a ton of time and eliminate errors!


  1. Oh, I dont envy you at all, I hate accounting also. But your aunt Dana on the other hand, loves it. She finds it challenging and that it is. Well I hate to say, but we had the most relaxing, enjoyable weekend in along time. sorry yours was so stressful. Didnt know what all you were bargaining for did you. Just think of all the goods stuff you will beable to put on your resume out of all this good experience you are gaining. I'm sure your thinking...........whatever!! Hope your week goes better and you get some much needed sleep. Love you........MG

  2. Quickbooks! it's great software for that! what kind of computer are you on? maybe i can donate it!