This is a short post that will appeal to the knitters in the hostel. If so let me know and we will show you how to Yarn Bomb a Mailbox in San Francisco. Actually, my wife will come to the hostel and show you. Every time I see this I smile and think about "Where the Wild Things Are". Ahem....By the way, my wife had nothing to do with this....really police officer.
I was recently in Romania for 2 weeks. However, it was not for a vacation this time, but for a 12 day hack-a-thon with Romanian programmers for the hostel front desk system. It was very interesting (Really, it was!) so I want to share it here.
As a small business owner, bookkeeping occupies (IMO) way too much of my time. This is time that I could be spending to make the hostel a better place. I'm currently working with some programmers who are smarter than me to help with this situation. However, when I explain to friends about my loathing of bookkeeping they don't seem to understand. "It's easy math" they say. Easy for some I say, but I have a mind that can get very easily confused with numbers.
Bookkeeping data entry is the bane of many small business owner's existence. Each receipt, invoice, check and income item needs to be entered into a bookkeeping system, usually one at a time. This work does not improve the bottom line. On the contrary, it subtracts from it. Recently I began thinking about this problem and how to reduce or elimate the time wasted doing data entry. There are a number of time saving solutions for the small and micro-business owner to help. I'm already a fan of Shoeboxed and Bill.com Zen Data Entry.
I created a web based CSV to QIF convertor tool that will allow me to convert CSV files (like you receive from the bank) into QIF files so the data can be imported into Quicken. It's primarily made for Bill.com since (although the provide good bill payment services) they do not provide output of their reports in Quicken format. If you would like to try this convertor please email me at csv2qifconvertor AAAATTT temps.e4ward.com.
In my recent post about my QIF Converter for Processing Shoeboxed Check Receipts I mentioned my Mac automator workflow for automatically uploading receipts to Shoeboxed. Since that post went live, I have already received a couple of emails asking how I do this. Apparently there are others looking for ways to make receipt data entry as painless as possible. As promised, I'm posting the details here.
As most small hostel owners know, it's difficult to keep up with the bookkeeping for a micro-business when there are so many other important aspects of the business (like customer service, maintenance etc). Recently, I have been trying out a service called Shoeboxed. So far, Shoeboxed seems fantastic. All one needs to do is stuff all the business receipts in their prepaid blue envelope and the Shoeboxed service will do all the data entry for you. Then at the end of the month, you just have to download a Quicken export file (in QIF format) and import said file into Quicken.
This just in....I just noticed we are now in the #1 position for speciality accommodation in San Francisco on Tripadvisor. Yeah! Now, if Tripadvisor would establish a hostel category on their site we might be the #1 hostel in the world! In any case, we love tripadvisor because people who use the site are real travelers.