Today's modern buildings have massive foundations. For example, in March of 2010, crews started pouring the foundation for the Devon (Energy) Tower in Oklahoma City. About 65 concrete trucks circulated most of the day between the site and various concrete plants. The 12-foot thick foundation made use of more than 16,500 cubic yards of concrete, weighing in at 26 million pounds, and was erected over more than 200 piers that encompassed another 13,000 cubic yards of concrete.
In addition to the water that evaporates while curing, concrete is made up of 3 fundamental components: sand, rock and cement. When mixed together in the proper ratio, and allowed to 'cure' over time, concrete becomes the 'foundation' for almost everything constructed from highways to bridges, buildings to patios.
The QuickBooks Foundation
There is an essential foundation when it comes to QuickBooks, at like concrete it is made up of 3 fundamental components: 1) Set-up fundamentals, 2) Accounting fundamentals, and 3) Operational fundamentals. Each of these are critical to the successful use of QuickBooks. For example, if you set it up wrong in the beginning your records will never be right. Equally, if you refuse to follow the appropriate steps in the correct sequence (operating fundamentals) your QuickBooks results will be trash as well. I hardly need to mention that 'despite Intuit attempting to make everyone think they don't need to know a "lick of accounting" to use QuickBooks', if you don't have a basic understanding of Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Income, Expense, Debits and Credits, you are in trouble. After all 'this is still "accounting software" folks.
The Results of a Faulty Foundation
Originally designed to be a bell tower, construction of the Tower of Pisa began on August 9, 1173. The foundation of the tower, only 3 meters deep, was built on an intricately crafted base of Ancient Roman design consisting of a clay mixture and compacted dense soil.
Construction seemed normal for the first five years, but by the time the third floor was completed in 1178 the tower began to lean. At that point construction was halted for 100 years. Then in 1272 Giovanni di Simone was convinced that he could cause the tower to straighten by compensating for the original lean by making one side of the upper floors taller than the other, and so he began to add four more floors to the tower. But Simone was wrong, his work actually made the tower lean even more.
In 1284 construction was again halted and not resumed until 1319 when the 7th floor was finished, the bell-chamber was added in 1372. In 1838 an attempt was made to inspect the foundation, during the inspection the tower began to lean even more. In 1964 a team of engineers developed a temporary measure to prevent the leaning tower from toppling by means of a leaden counterweight.
Despite having stood 842 years, Engineers expect the Tower of Pisa to topple within this century because, "you simply can not overcome an inadequate foundation."
Examples of Faulty QuickBooks Foundations
Faulty Set-up Fundamental:
"We originally set-up all of our items as inventory even though we rarely keep any quantities on hand, how can I turn inventory items into non-inventory items?"
Faulty Accounting Fundamental:
"To what Income account do I post a leasehold improvement allowance my company received from our Landlord?"
Faulty Operational Fundamentals:
"My tax man is asking me what 'Opening Balance Equity' is, and for the life of me I have no idea where the $30-sumpthing-thousand dollars in that account came from?"
(OK, so some of you will be saying, 'Murph, that is another faulty 'set-up fundamental', and since you think that, I will give you the other half of my original faulty set-up fundamental.")
"So since we always have items dropped-shipped, does it hurt anything if we ignore the insufficient quantity warning for inventory items, and go ahead and sell the items even though we have 100's of negative items ?"
The 'Cure' for Faulty QuickBooks Foundations
Time is essential to a 'cured' foundation, and so is the 'mix'. That's why Scaling New Heights is essential to QuickBooks foundations. I personally would like to see more 'users' attend Scaling New Heights as well as an 'out-reach' to take SNH topics to users in order to cure the foundation problems that exist out there across the land. To me this is part of 'the mix', but at least SNH provides the means by which the ProAdvisors who do attend can take what they learn and apply it to small business users back home.
We as ProAdvisors all too often get called in to 'cure' the faulty foundations of many SMBs, and Scaling New Heights gives us tools with which to make a 'best effort', but many times there is just not much we can do. Perhaps we can prop them up for a bit, or apply some creative counterweights, and hope to heck either the QB-file or the SMB itself makes it through the year, when we might be able to help them start over right.
But if we could take a more active role in providing valuable tools on a 'proactive' basis (wow, ProActive ProAdvisors) perhaps we might insure that the foundations of those SMBs are right in the first place, and thus prevent the towers of many small businesses from not only leaning, but toppling.