Monday, June 10, 2013

A New Challenge

I've given myself a new challenge.

For the past 18 years or so, I've been a bookkeeper.  I've never had any ambition whatsoever to become an accountant of any kind.  I was always content to just take care of the books in a meticulous way at whatever company I worked for.

Then Mr. Smith and I moved to Sydney.

I found finding a similar position quite challenging.  Where in the states, most small companies would employ a bookkeeper for every day tasks and bring in an accountant or team of accountants to take care of more detailed transactions quarterly and annually, they don't do that here.

I've been told that about 10 years ago, Sydney offered education as either an accountant or a chef (and perhaps one other profession that I can't recall at the moment) to neighboring countries.  At the time, I suppose Australia had a shortage of people in those professions.

Fast forward to today and there are thousands of accountants out there looking for work.  They are in the position of having to take work starting at a lower salary than they could perhaps earn outside of Australia due to all the competition for positions.  And why should a company just hire someone trained to do bookkeeping when they can get an accountant for the same price?

Well, I did find a job when I came to Sydney.  I was lucky enough to find one that I actually like and I really like the people that I work with.  It's a very diverse group!

But for some reason, it's started to bother me more that I'm the one with the least knowledge about all we are doing and I've been doing it longer than most of my team.  Stuff like reporting and what all that means.  What do you look at the balance sheet for?  Why would it be more beneficial to see the profit and loss statement?  What information is found on those reports?  How are things done differently in Australia to how I know them in America?

So I spoke with Mr. Smith about going to TAFE, and more specifically studying using OTEN.

As he is the most supportive man I know, he agreed without hesitation that if this was something I wanted to do, then I should do it.  No matter that in my opinion it costs a fortune.  Thankfully, we can write off the expense on our Australian taxes, but it's still quite an expense nonetheless.

Thus, at the ripe old age of 40, I'll soon be embarking on a journey that will *hopefully* end in my earning a diploma in Accounting.

My Trip Home and Other Stuff

I know...  I know...

It's been a while.  Don't faint.

Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I posted.  I know that it was before Mr. Smith and I went to the states and that was early April, so I apologize for the lack of communication.  LOL

The trip back home was as to be expected, I suppose.  I'm not going to go into much detail.  I'll only say that the trip was too long for me.  As an American who has never really been afforded much time off for vacations, three weeks in a row was just too much.

Also, I've changed.  After many, many years of pretty much being on my own, I'm not accustomed to having people around me 24/7 with almost no time alone.  I guess I need my alone time now.  Mr. Smith went back home *almost* a week before me and I probably should have left at the same time.

As some of you know, the main purpose for our trip home was my brother's wedding.  And the wedding was beautiful.  It was held at Rip Van Winkle Gardens in New Iberia, Louisiana.  Just following the ceremony was the most gorgeous sunset.  These pictures really don't do it justice.

We also had lots of fun dancing the night away.  Finally we had to leave.  Bummer pie.

Mr. Smith was all set to leave the Monday following the ceremony.  We took the opportunity to spend Sunday night in New Orleans.  Oh, what the heck...  here are a few pics.

When we first arrived to Bourbon Street and realized that
we had to drive through the pedestrians.  Eek!

View from our hotel room directly onto Bourbon Street.

The roof right outside our window.  LOL - throw me somethin' mister!

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was the following weekend.
Boy!  That would have been fun.  Too bad we missed it.

Yep.  That says 100 ounce daiquiri.  You read it right.

Step right up and pick your fav daiquiri flavor!

When you buy a daiquiri, you get a free shot on the side.

New Orleans night life all year round

We ate dinner at the Acme Oyster House.  Best crawfish etoufee I've ever had.
First time in a long time that I wished I had more of something.

Can't go to New Orleans without getting some beignets.

Those are just a couple of the highlights of our trip.  There was plenty more going on, but I don't have many pictures of other things.

Now that we are back in Sydney, life is pretty much back to normal.  We went on a day trip to Canberra.  Total ghost town.  Not really excited to go back.  But now we can say we've been there and it's checked off the list.  It was significantly colder than Sydney and less humid.  Our first stop in Canberra was the Old Bus Depot Markets.  Totes up my alley.  Loved that part.  There was a guy inside selling fresh homemade muffins.  I got a white chocolate raspberry muffin and Mr. Smith got an apple cinnamon muffin (I think).  They were awesome!  Would totally make the four-hour trek there for the muffins.  Okay, maybe not.

We also had a day trip to Melbourne.  Mr. Smith has been there on business before and this trip was more of the same.  But it was my first time.  We were only there for a few hours.  I spent most of the time with Melby work colleagues and then one hour at the Hollywood Costume Exhibit.

Now, those in the "know," know that there is a rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne.  As soon as I returned, I was peppered with the same question over and over in different ways.

"How was Melbourne?"

"How did you like Melbourne?"

"What was the weather like in Melbourne?"

"Did you like Melbourne?"

"Do you prefer Melbourne?"

And on and on.  Honestly, it would be unfair for me to make a judgment on Melbourne seeing as I was only there for a few hours.  But I can tell you that Sydney and Melbourne are quite different.  I actually like them both for different reasons.  However, I think that I would live in Sydney and visit Melbourne. That's what I think.