I have been running a small preschool business in Jakarta, Indonesia for the past 5 years, and have been using Xero as my primary accounting tool. The main currency is Indonesia Rupiah, but I make several purchases through Singapore dollars from time to time as well. To handle this multi-currency, I have to subscribe to Xero’s most expensive package — which costs me $40/month.
I’ll let Steve Carell replay my reaction.
Tool used: Python 3
Time-wasting-soul-numbing way: For each transaction, I get the forex-of-the-day from any forex website, multiply that with the SGD to get the corresponding IDR. Assuming I take 1 minute for each row, it will take me 20 minutes for 20 transactions.
Quick Math:1 min x 20 transactions x 12 months x 5 years = 1200 minutes (20 hours)
Using Python: I would rather spend the 20 hours watching the entire Harry Potter series, so I pulled up my Python script and started coding, which took me an hour to complete. I am not going to explain my code in too much detail here as it requires certain basic understanding of programming on your end. If you are a geek like me, go here to get the full documentation and code.
Basically, the flow of the code is simple.
How long does it take? Well, let’s see the following GIF.
It took me 20 seconds! That’s 3 times faster than any Nas Daily video!
Now that I can convert multiple currencies by myself (I mean Python), I can use the $30/month subscription plan instead. This means I have saved $600 in the past 5 years time and counting.
Quick Math: $10 x 12 months x 5 years = $600 (but still cannot buy an iPhone 11)
Tool used: Zapier
It’s always a good accounting practice to attach receipts for every transaction you’ve made, even if it pisses some people off in the organisation. However, searching for those receipts is still a pain in the ass.
FAQs that I have in my mind whenever I search for those receipts:
It took me about 5 to 10 minutes to find one single receipt. Let’s do the math again…
Quick Math of best case scenario: 5 minutes x 20 transactions x 12 months x 5 years = 100 hours
So I used Zapier to do this. Zapier is an incredible tool to automate things without Python. One downside: Zapier is a freemium software and it costs $20/month if your automation process requires more than 2 steps (but for the time it saves, I don’t mind 🤷♂)
This is how a typical workflow in my Zapier looks like:
In plain English, these are the steps:
That’s it. That’s how I saved my money and time — the world’s most scarce resource.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch the Chamber of Secrets.