June 30, 2017

Horse 2292 - No Year's Eve Celebrations

Today being the 30th of June is the last day of the financial year. Once upon a time in the land that they call the past, this would have been a hectic day where all kinds of things were taken stock of, where all outstanding invoices were collated, and where all of the entitlements and partially paid accounts had giant lines drawn through them. Indeed, when manual accounts were kept in ledgers and figures were copied studiously and meticulously from one book to another, I imagine that the 30th of June would have been a day of much yelling and running in places that have a lot of accounting work that needs to be done.
Today though, in an age where computers aren't people but machines (yes, there used to be jobs called "computers" once upon a time in the land that they call the past), quite literally sets of accounts can be prepared for any date in the year that you'd like to nominate; even those imaginary dates which only exist in the minds of accounting programs like the 39th of Treizember.

Probably because I live in the world of accounting, people often assume that this is a time of imagined celebration and to be perfectly honest it could be if there were enough people who were willing to join you but that will simply never happen. The truth is that accountants at this time of year are busily thinking about the usual sorts of things that happen at the end of every quarter and nobody else particularly wants to celebrate with you. The imagined celebration remains precisely that and in that regard the day works out to be as sad as someone who remembers their departed relative's birthday. If you really want to make an accountant happy and feel that they have something to celebrate, then maybe you should consider taking them out for coffee and cake, or scones with jam and cream and a pot of Lady Grey, or scotch whisky which was put into the barrel last century.

Curiously both accountants and football fans share the knowledge that all years contain a slash; tomorrow for instance,​ is the first day of the year 2017/18. If you are reading this in America, you will of course begin to internally yell at me that you use the calendar year as the accounting year but I say that that is patently daft because the 1st of January occurs bang in the middle of the Christmas holiday period and whoever thought that this was a good idea obviously has never had to live with the consequences. If you are reading this in the United Kingdom, then your accounting year also contains a slash but begins on the 6th of April because once upon a time in the even older past, New Year's Day used to be the 25th of March and then in September of 1754 there was a calendar reform which made the date leap forward 11 days; which incidentally is also the same reason why the October Revolution in Russia is celebrated in November.

All of this means that next week, I will start inputting things into the accounting program that I use as 01/01/2018. It also means that for many clients I will start inputting adjustments with dates such as 01/13/2017 and I can keep on going until the truly imaginary date of the 50th of Vingtember (50/20/2017). I don't think that I've ever needed a whole eight months of imaginary dates in which to make accounting adjustments but the fact that they exist merely serves to prove the fungibility and arbitrariness of the calendar.

The world continues to spin and in theory you could pick any point on its circuit around the sun as a designated cake day. You could divide the year up into thirteen periods of 28 days (plus 1) like Kodak did, you could divide the year up into four quarters of 91 days (plus 1) like I would for a forever fixed calendar or you could operate in Eternal September like the internet does. Just don't assume that your accountant is actively celebrating anything because unlike once upon a time in the land that they call the past, the new year which begins tomorrow actually begins with the push of a button. It is the same as answering "OK" to a dialogue box that asks you if you are sure, or the warning that I get on my scanner at work when without fail it tells me to replace the pick roller and I have to select "ignore". That is unless you'd like your accountant to celebrate; in which case that's something that you need to take stock of.

July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, Onzember, Douzember, Treizember, Johnember, Paulvember, Georgember, Ringoary, Vingtember.
There are twenty months in the accounting program that I use and it does allow you to name them as anything you like. If you can choose anything then why wouldn't you want a little bit of surreal happiness?

No comments: