Monday, February 26, 2007

Tools of Trade?

I came across this post, suggesting that developers be responsible for their tools of trade in the same way that mechanics are. I guess it caught my eye in part because of the picture of a Herman Miller chair. It turns out that I have one of those chairs, and there have been times when it's become my office chair and people have said "when do I get one of those?", and my response has been "when you buy one for yourself, just like I did". I've had it for at least 12 years, I think it's been a great investment, and I don't expect I'll ever work for a company that will buy me one. On the other hand, computers are (for me at least) consumables that don't last more than a year or two, even if my accountant wants me to depreciate them over three. Who should contribute to each of these, how, and how much?

I'm fascinated by the underlying theme because I think it will be relevant to things that Cogent does over the next few years. At the moment the majority of our work is consulting and the vast majority of the revenue goes back to the consultant who earned it. The accounting is pretty straight forward, but we're starting to look at different things (the EAT program for example), with different people contributing to different initiatives, we're also about to become liable for payroll tax. What's interesting to me is that keeping the books open and the accounting "fair" is already stretching my knowledge of both accounting and my accounting software. Marty and Simon are off thinking about software and training, and I'm thinking about accounting automation!

Marty and I will be talking some more about financial aspects of Cogent later in the week, and discussing some fairly simple models. This is all new to us, and we'll no doubt struggle. If you're interested in hearing more about this side of Cogent add a comment or drop me a line and I'll blog more about it.

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