Accountants and Spreadsheets ... - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Rant Room Clean ranting only - No Swearing!

 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Accountants and Spreadsheets ...

As soon as you start putting formulas and spreadsheets then you are writing software ... why is it that accountants think they are qualified to do this??? They don't have the training nor experience to do this and end up with a load of spaghetti which no-one (not even them when probed about it) can understand ... and yet they seem to get upset when you suggest that perhaps they should scrap the spreadsheet and start a fresh and actually think about how you want it to work (i.e. designing it) rather than just randomly putting formulas in cells ...


... "but it works fine" you hear them say (so why the cluck are you asking me to sort it out for you then )


... and before we get accountants on here defending themselves ... you are all wrong, leave software to the professionals

Alfa 156 10v 2.4 JTD + AHM fitted Koni FSDs, Eibach Pro Kit Springs,
AHM 200+BHP remap, Q2, 8C Alloys, GTA lights, Leather Interior...

CarPuter Spec: Gigabyte MA785GM Motherboard,2Gb Ram,
AMD Athlon X2 5050e Socket AM2 45W CPU,
K8061 D/A converter, M4 ATX PS, 60Gb SSD, Garmin x20 GPS
156Chris is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
DeaDLocK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,855

Member car:

GTV 2.0 TS Lusso

I dont really regard putting formulas in cells as writing software, certainly nothing that would require a software engineer. I usually class spreadsheets as a good parallel calculator.
DeaDLocK is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaDLocK View Post
I dont really regard putting formulas in cells as writing software, certainly nothing that would require a software engineer. I usually class spreadsheets as a good parallel calculator.

This is exactly the problem with accountants ... they start just putting a couple of formulas in, then the results of those goes into different formulas, which then get used across other sheets ... it balloons, until basically you have a computer program (a completely unstructured design)...


... if accountants knew their limitations and just stuck to adding up the values in columns then I agree, but they don't
156Chris is offline  
Status: Wishing people were nicer
AO Gold Member
 
FredDibnah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Beautiful UK
County: Surrey
Posts: 6,909
Two things are true of every accountant I've ever met:

1. They know the cost of everything but the value of nothing
2. They think they run the company they work for simpy because they run the numbers

I'm not a big fan of accountants. The profession seems to attract odd types......
FredDibnah is online now  
Nev
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Same with "Scripting" in my field.

Stuff written in Perl or TCL becomes so convoluted it's unbearable.


I'm amazed at the crap people import into Excel just to
re-format text data.



I stick to CSH/SH with SED/AWK/GREP and maybe CUT and PASTE.
that way you aren't tempted to over complicate things.
 
(Post Link) post #6 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev View Post
Stuff written in Perl or TCL becomes so convoluted it's unbearable.
Perl is a "write only" language ...
156Chris is offline  
sirwiggum
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Was actually looking at a chartered accountancy programme - Elevation Programme earlier.

But I don't think I could sell my soul.
It seems that engineering is constantly held back by the beancounters.
 
(Post Link) post #8 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwiggum View Post
Was actually looking at a chartered accountancy programme - Elevation Programme earlier.

But I don't think I could sell my soul.
It seems that engineering is constantly held back by the beancounters.
I don't actually mind the bean counters ... as long as the beans they are counting are the right ones ... (however usually bean counters decide which beans they are going to count )
156Chris is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
corbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Somerset
Posts: 1,610
Accountants you are not programmers. Treat it like constapation, work it out with a pencil.
corbo is offline  
(Post Link) post #10 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by corbo View Post
Accountants you are not programmers. Treat it like constapation, work it out with a pencil.

156Chris is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rochester Kent
Posts: 1,830

Member car:

1997 GTV 2.0 TS

First of all, I am not a qualified accountant, but I have produced final accounts, wages and overseen the buying and installation of countless accounts/practice management systems.
I totally agree with Chris, there is absolutely no need in this day and age to build "spider's webs" of excel spreadsheets, each of which has various formula attached to them, and which nobody (sometimes including the person who created them) seems to understand.
I have often seen excel used in addition to perfectly good software, simply because the person in charge does not trust technology.
The worst example I ever saw, was a person who continued to use the Inland Revenue tables to calculate the wages, alongside Sage Payroll - ludicrous!
andyalfagtv is offline  
Status: Daddy bear
Global Mod Team
 
bazza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Congleton - The centre of
Posts: 44,621

Member car:

AMG C63 estate

Wow. I'm not an accountant, but I do use Excel quite a lot, for various different tracking tasks.
I use various different formulae and conditional formatting systems to help me. Should I be hiring a programmer to set them up instead? I never realised.
bazza is online now  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
DeaDLocK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,855

Member car:

GTV 2.0 TS Lusso

Quote:
Originally Posted by bazza View Post
Wow. I'm not an accountant, but I do use Excel quite a lot, for various different tracking tasks.
I use various different formulae and conditional formatting systems to help me. Should I be hiring a programmer to set them up instead? I never realised.
You best be on the safe side and get a Software Engineer in to design it all for you, you dont want to set a programmer loose on it straight away as you may end up having to get them in again and again, its better to get it all done and hopefully keep the options open
DeaDLocK is offline  
Nev
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by bazza View Post
Wow. I'm not an accountant, but I do use Excel quite a lot, for various different tracking tasks.
I use various different formulae and conditional formatting systems to help me. Should I be hiring a programmer to set them up instead? I never realised.
So you're not a Microsoft Project users then?
 
Status: frenzied burrowing
AO Platinum Member
 
Fraser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United Kingdom
County: South Lanarkshire
Posts: 19,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by bazza View Post
Wow. I'm not an accountant, but I do use Excel quite a lot, for various different tracking tasks.
I use various different formulae and conditional formatting systems to help me. Should I be hiring a programmer to set them up instead? I never realised.
I was thinking the same thing. I'd stall and go broke if I had to appoint a programmer to do every little spreadsheet for me.
Fraser is offline  
(Post Link) post #16 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by bazza View Post
Wow. I'm not an accountant, but I do use Excel quite a lot, for various different tracking tasks.
I use various different formulae and conditional formatting systems to help me. Should I be hiring a programmer to set them up instead? I never realised.
Well you're not an accountant so I'll let you write your own spreadsheets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
I was thinking the same thing. I'd stall and go broke if I had to appoint a programmer to do every little spreadsheet for me.
There is a difference between "a little spreadsheet" ... and the sprawl that I've seen ...
156Chris is offline  
Status: Easter! Bring it on
AO Silver Member
 
rodz1300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Vale of Glamorgan
Posts: 2,703

Member car:

147 GTA

If you need to be a software developer to put a few formulea in a spreadsheet it kind of defeats the object of a spreadsheet,
I have made some very good spreadsheets for navigation, ship stabillity and draft surveying, and i would certainly not consider myself a computer programmer. On the other hand, My wife to be is a management accountant and her main problem at work is the fact, unlike spreadsheets, the build of sage that they use is expensive, bloated, unintuative and when there is a problem( and there quite often is) they can never get an IT bod to come and fix it as they are allways too busy pretending to e working while they are on internet forums complaining about accountants

-----------------------------------------------------------
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Real Italian Job
rodz1300 is offline  
(Post Link) post #18 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodz1300 View Post
they can never get an IT bod to come and fix it as they are allways too busy pretending to e working while they are on internet forums complaining about accountants
156Chris is offline  
Status: Daddy bear
Global Mod Team
 
bazza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Congleton - The centre of
Posts: 44,621

Member car:

AMG C63 estate

Quote:
Originally Posted by 156Chris View Post
Well you're not an accountant so I'll let you write your own spreadsheets




There is a difference between "a little spreadsheet" ... and the sprawl that I've seen ...
Cheers
bazza is online now  
Status: Daddy bear
Global Mod Team
 
bazza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Congleton - The centre of
Posts: 44,621

Member car:

AMG C63 estate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev View Post
So you're not a Microsoft Project users then?
I'm not. I haven't fully explained what I do, and what I use the spreadsheets for, but I don't think Project would actually be relevant.
Doesn't matter if it would anyway though, since I haven't the foggiest how to use it.
bazza is online now  
Status: ready to race
AO Silver Member
 
rafe005's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Devon
Posts: 5,245

Member car:

159 1.9jtdm

ok heres a perspective from the other end of the room. I'm a qualified accountant (CIMA) but dont do it anymore. When I was working for a rather large international company as the assistant financial controller for the uk division I did infact try and get our IT bods to create software for me to do what I needed....but here was my problem......things would invariably end up on my desk after they were due (I was kind of a trouble shooter for the useless piece of **** financial controller we have) and so didnt have the time to wait for the couple of weeks they would invariably take to 1) respond to my request and 2) to actually create something that worked . It was far easier and quicker (and would work exactly how i wanted to, rather than how they thought it should, mainly because they couldnt understand what was needed and why) to do it myself on spreadsheets.
the one time I did actually get someone up to me in good time it took longer to explain what i wanted than it would have done if i had created it myself........

So dont just blame the accountants , remember that sometimes they are forced into doing these things because of either lack of resources, bad experiences with IT depts or a complete lack of time

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Website www.mansellracing.co.uk

No.3 of the NORM collective

UNDERSTEER is when you hit the wall with the front of the kart
OVERSTEER is when you hit the wall with the rear of the kart
HORSEPOWER is how fast you hit the wall
TORQUE is how far you take the wall with you
rafe005 is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
corbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Somerset
Posts: 1,610
Boxing

Quote:
Originally Posted by rafe005 View Post
ok heres a perspective from the other end of the room. I'm a qualified accountant (CIMA) but dont do it anymore. When I was working for a rather large international company as the assistant financial controller for the uk division I did infact try and get our IT bods to create software for me to do what I needed....but here was my problem......things would invariably end up on my desk after they were due (I was kind of a trouble shooter for the useless piece of **** financial controller we have) and so didnt have the time to wait for the couple of weeks they would invariably take to 1) respond to my request and 2) to actually create something that worked . It was far easier and quicker (and would work exactly how i wanted to, rather than how they thought it should, mainly because they couldnt understand what was needed and why) to do it myself on spreadsheets.
the one time I did actually get someone up to me in good time it took longer to explain what i wanted than it would have done if i had created it myself........

So dont just blame the accountants , remember that sometimes they are forced into doing these things because of either lack of resources, bad experiences with IT depts or a complete lack of time
IT support bods aren't programmers
corbo is offline  
(Post Link) post #23 of 24 Old 10-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
156Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 12,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by corbo View Post
IT support bods aren't programmers
I was going to point this out ... but accountants can't tell the difference ... we're all just beans to count
156Chris is offline  
Status: ready to race
AO Silver Member
 
rafe005's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Devon
Posts: 5,245

Member car:

159 1.9jtdm

Quote:
Originally Posted by corbo View Post
IT support bods aren't programmers
Quote:
Originally Posted by 156Chris View Post
I was going to point this out ... but accountants can't tell the difference ... we're all just beans to count
the company I worked for had both (maybe i didnt differentiate properly but i'm sure you got the gist) EDIT: Actually I did, i said IT dept not IT support

The point I was trying to make (obviously not very successfully) is that in large firms, all you have access to is the IT dept and as thats how most accountants start off life (ie working for someone else) when they do start their own firms, they have lost the faith in IT dept/programmers doing it so prefer to do it themselves.
rafe005 is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Misc Lounges > Community Discussions > Rant Room

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome