Topic: Business, Accounting
Time Investment: 5 Minutes
Suggested Product: Accounting Spreadsheet for Photographers
For small businesses, organizing accounts and keeping track of expenditures, benefits, and income will reduce the amount of stress and frustration owners face during tax season. Even if a company does not yet have the funds to hire an accountant, limiting the complications of filing taxes isn’t impossible.
Here are 3 tips for photography accounting to keep you on the straight and narrow – plus more efficient! (and relevant for other small business owners!)
#1 Get Finances in Order
Organizing your company’s financial data according to different categories will make it easier to keep up during the upcoming tax season. According to Forbes, setting aside time each week to organize financial data will limit the amount of stress when it comes to paying taxes or understanding the company’s financial situation. It also allows time for reflection on different strategies for cutting back on costs while maximizing income.
Getting the finances in order should start on the first day of operations. According to IBTimes.com, small businesses can unintentionally skip steps while becoming established, especially when it comes to licensing, registration, and financial management. Hiring a consultant to help organize the information into different categories and keep track of costs that help reduce the tax rate is an option—but only if funds are available to pay the cost of a consultant, which can vary dramatically based on the location and business.
After every detail is set up, review the accounts regularly to double check that figures are accurate. Make use of statements from your business credit cards and bank accounts to verify expenses, payments, and other financial details.
It is always best to keep records as backups and not to rely on websites. Download reports and back up on external hard drives or input into spreadsheets. If you want to get fancy, check out photography business softwares available.
#2 Use Accounting Software
One of the easiest ways to simplify the process of tracking receipts, customer payments, and other data is through accounting software. Software provides the tools to organize the books based on various expenses. A mobile business will want to use tablet or smartphone accounting software whereas a business in a formal office setting should opt for software that is installed on a computer. Accounting software tools can record expenditures, keep track of payments, and organize company benefits provided to employees.
There are a variety of programs online to provide accounting services- on and offline. Finding one that works for you isn’t as tricky as you think – some have learning curves but are pretty straightforward and some are even automated!
Online programs import from your bank accounts and payment processors to give an overview of money going in and out. They can help sort your personal stuff as well. There are some limitations to reports. Online sites include Wave Accounting and Mint.com. Offline programs require a little more hand doing but so worth it in end to have a full view of all your clients and cash flow!
#3 Ask for Advice
Even if you have a limited amount of funds and can’t afford to hire a consultant, don’t hesitate to ask for advice. Jonathon Blum on Entrepreneur.com suggests using a service called Teaspiller that can provide answers to accounting questions for a very small price. Businesses can pay $10 to get an answer to accounting questions within two days or $15 to get answers to questions within one day. With this type of solution, you don’t have to pay a large sum to clear up any confusion regarding business accounts. Business owners or managers can only grow and thrive by taking valuable advice that is available from a wide range of resources. It is impossible to work out every detail independently, so asking for help can reduce tax and expense tracking-related problems.
Seek out attorney or business consultant help for business formation and acquire a CPA for the financial management. For a list of recommendations in your state, check out Photography Resources.
Running a small business is challenging, but ignoring tricks that simplify accounting will only make your job more difficult, so take advantage of your available resources.