There are projects and deadlines afoot. One of the larger ones involves my CAF gig as Finance Officer for the Southern California Wing and a conversion of our accounting records from Quicken to QuickBooks Online (QBO).
The nicest thing I have to say about QBO is that is probably is no longer in the top three worst programs I’ve ever used in my life. It easily was when I first looked at it about two years ago. Now, it’s probably just in the top ten worst programs I’ve ever used. When you’re stuck with the hand I’ve been handed on this one, you look for “good” wherever you can find it.
As an example of the difficulties involved, consider that when our old file was converted to their new format and uploaded two years ago, there were thousands of “recurring transactions” created, every single one of which was wrong. Flat out wrong. Garbage. Useless.
Worse than useless in fact, since the “recurring transactions” function is one which I’ll need to rely on heavily. But I can’t use it because of all of the garbage that’s already in there. So I went in to delete the old stuff, the garbage.
3,153 useless, problem, garbage entries.
Where’s the delete button?
Well, I finally found it. On each item listed (slowly, because QBO has to refresh the screen via its Internet connection after every change, so you had damn well better have a good one) there’s a tiny icon that will let you edit, duplicate, or delete that entry. Hit “delete.” Now, of course, you’re asked to confirm that you want to delete the entry. Hit “yes.” Wait for the screen to refresh. Repeat.
Cool – so how do I delete all of them? (If you see this coming, don’t spoil it for those who haven’t been exposed to QBO yet.)
I searched and searched for something that would let me block a whole bunch of entries and once and delete them en masse. Can I do a “page” of 50 or 150 or 300 at a time? Nope. Can I go down the list and highlight or tag a whole bunch of them one at a time and then delete them, like I would spam emails? Nope.
So I went to the “help” function, which actually isn’t really any help from QBO at all, but a portal into a user community. The people who wrote the program don’t seem to be able to take the time to answer questions, but I can throw myself on the mercy of those who also have to use it and pray for guidance.
Guidance was swift and brutal. There is no way to delete those 3,153 entries other than to do it One. Entry. At. A. Time.
Click the icon, click “delete,” click “yes,” wait for the screen to refresh, repeat until the heat death of the universe.
Mind you, this needs to be done in addition to the thousands of records of data that need to be entered and reconciled and verified from the old program file. This is just one tiny little aspect of the bigger problem.
The only good news is that this particular useless task can be done on my iPad. That means that if I need to take a break and sit and watch a ballgame or just plotz for an hour or so, I can mindlessly work through another few hundred entries. At lunch time, every single day this month so far, you’ll see me sitting out on the plaza, stuffing my face with one hand and Icon-Delete-Yes-Waiting with the other.
It was while doing this today that someone saw me and came over to chat. “I see you here every day on that thing. What are you playing?”
Yes, yes, please tell me, you look so engrossed! Minecraft? Some new MMORPG? Pokemon Go? How can I get in on some of this?
“The most boring video game in the universe.”
“So…why are you playing it?”
Nothing gets past some folks.