It’s Accounts Payable Day- A Day In The Life of an Accountant

By PRETTY BOOKS ON August 20, 2020
DAY IN THE LIFE is a snapshot of the life of an accountant, taken one day at a time. If you ask an accountant what they do, they will probably tell you “it depends on the day.” Because an accountant’s scope of responsibilities is vast and integrated into the decision making and operations of a business, it frequently shifts depending on the time of month, day of the year, and the needs of their clients. While you can’t pinpoint a typical day for an accountant, there are some days that pay out similarly throughout the year.

Today is Accounts Payable Day. Once a week, accountants spend a day gathering invoices for their clients from monthly utilities, Internet service providers, or vendors. They collect receipts for employee reimbursement. Accounts payable day is not most accountant’s favorite day. It mostly consists of an accountant signing in and out of online portals to download invoices and inputting numbers into QuickBooks.

6:30 AM: Alarm goes off and I roll out of bed. It’s another accounts payable day, which means I know exactly what I’m going to be doing, how long it will take me, and when I’m going to be doing it.

9:00 AM: Arrive at the office and grab a cup of coffee with my coworker. She introduced me to a new show last week about thousand-year-old vampires living in modern-day New York. It’s so good that I’m already near the end of the second season. I can’t wait to finish it. They’re leading up to something BIG. We spend a couple minutes laughing about the characters, then it’s off to the grind.

9:15 AM: Put in my headphones and take a deep breath in. I know if I’m thinking about something there is a greater chance I’ll mess up a number in Quickbooks, so it’s important to clear my mind. I breathe out and let my thoughts go with it, letting my brain refill with the sounds of Snow Patrol.

9:16 AM: Start working on inputting utility bills. Go to the website, log in, export invoice as a PDF, log out. Upload the utility bills into the accounts payable system, make sure they’re coded to the right account and class, make sure the split is exact, input the cost into Quickbooks, and repeat. Electric, water, rent, cable, etc. Numbers, number, numbers, accounts payable days in and accounts payable days out.

10:17:04 AM: Just like usual, I entered the last utility bill in at 10:17:04 AM on the dot. At the same time my favorite song ended. I really do have this down to a science.

10:18 AM: Pull up employee expense reports to start entering them into Quickbooks.

11:16 AM: Wonder if anyone else ever looks at a word for so long that it stops looking like a word. “Office supplies.” That’s what most of these receipts are for. Nothing but office supplies after office supplies. Who needs this many office supplies? My client is a delivery service. Their office is like 14X14 with three chairs, a coffee machine, and two desks. The only things out of the ordinary are “office signs.” Again, I’m not sure why my client needs them.

11:32 AM: Another ‘office sign.’

11:56 AM: Okay, ANOTHER “office sign?” What is an office sign? Promotional signs?

12:12 PM: It has to be motivational posters or giant employee of the month cut outs or something. Surely it’s not all promotional. They rarely have visitors. It’s just the two employees. I’m going to have to go pay them a visit. I have to know what 50 signs they could possibly be putting up in their office.

12:40 PM: I wonder if they are signs for their delivery trucks? I’m not sure where you hang a sign on a truck, but surely they mean a logo printed on the side, right?

1:00 PM Get restless. If I didn’t have to record the Internet invoices next, I would just drive over there to see. But I’ve got a beast headed my way. Time to turn up my headphones, hunker down, and forget about these office signs. It’s about to get even more monotonous in here.

1:01 PM: I put the first user name and password into the media conglomerate’s outdated website. There are thirty accounts I have to log into, and I get to do them one by one. Now it’s time for the ads. The website already loads so slowly, but now there are video ads. Four 30 second ads for sitcoms no one will ever watch, that take a minute and a half each to load. Ads for the same sitcom that has been rehashed with different actors for years. Sitcoms with the same characters. Sitcoms that are so boring, someone had to have a baby to liven up the drama. Ugh.

1:11 PM: Finally get to the customer screen. Press “customer bill.” Export invoice as a PDF. Open PDF. Input numbers into Quickbooks. Exit PDF. Log out of media site. Re-type in media site homepage and click on “customer portal” because it doesn’t take me back to the log in. Zone out so hard I’m not even thinking beyond inputting numbers. Repeat.

2:15 PM:

3:15 PM:

4:15 PM:

4:27 PM: Notice a weird sound. Instead of the usual sitcom droll, there is a voice. I can only hear a second long clip while the ad loads, but it sounds like someone speaking with an old accent. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was Transylvanian.

4:28 PM: See a flash of a cape on the ad screen while it loads in pieces. The characters in my show wear capes. Surely, it can’t be…

4:30 PM: Audibly gasp. It’s an ad about my show! I watch in horror as the scenes flash before my eyes. Season three. There are my favorite characters talking about the seance in the season two finale. A seance? They’re vampires, they can’t have a seance!

4:30:24 PM: Sit dumbfounded. The big twist the show has been working on since episode one had been revealed through this ad. I won’t go into it, but I now know the guest stars, the twist, who dies, and what happens. There’s no point in even watching it now. The least favorite part of my day had just gotten worse by spoiling my new favorite show for me.  And even worse, the characters have a baby (predictable).

4:45 PM: Rant silently about the spoilers in my head. “If I didn’t already dislike this Internet service provider before, I sure do now. Coming in here and spoiling my show. Dropping bombs like the death of my favorite character in an ad.”

5:15 PM: AND ANOTHER THING, this show is popular! Why would they need an ad?

5:25 PM: Internal rant is now communicated in under-my-breath grumbles. My coworker asked me what’s wrong and I let her know what happened without spoiling the twist I’ve been awaiting for two seasons.

5:56 PM: Log out of the last customer account on the media site. Ponder sending them a mean tweet, but remember that I’m an adult. Close my computer, walk out of the office, get immediately on the bus. I am drained.

6:30 PM: Get home and make dinner. Play with my cat. Watch the next episode of my show anyway. I know the destination, but at least I can enjoy the ride.


Share this article

The information provided in this post is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your financial, business, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Pretty Books assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon this information.
Sign up for our newsletter.