A few months ago, Greg Benson’s photography blog posted a series of Tips for Young Creatives. Part 3 of the series covers accounting aspect of a business. Here we show you how to apply the author’s tips when you use Wave to run a photography business.
1. Keep track of money in and money out.
Greg says: "You will need to implement an accounting system. It can be simple or complex, but you need a system."
We've built Wave to be the perfect system for freelance photographers or owners of photography businesses. It's a singular place that keeps track of money coming in, money going out, and tells you where your business is at, at a glance. Most of Wave is free and you don't need any accounting training to be successful.
2. Invoice promptly; and keep track of who owes you money
Greg says: "Develop a standard method for sending invoices, and email them promptly. I prefer PDFs over .doc attachments; a client should feel that he is looking at a finished product, not a work in progress."
Greg says: "Email slow payers. Sometimes I find that they never received the emailed invoice. Sometimes I find that they are a slow-pay. Don't be afraid to call people who owe you money."
With Wave, you’re not re-creating an invoice from scratch every time. After you customize your invoices (pick a template, upload a logo, choose an accent color), all your invoices will look beautiful, every time. Compose and send your invoices in just seconds, track what’s been paid and what hasn’t, and be super-organized with minimal effort.
When you see an invoice hasn’t been paid yet, you can send a reminder right from Wave. Or better yet, set up automatic invoice reminders, so that Wave sends a gentle nudge to your customers when they’re slow to pay.
3. Create a filing system to save crucial paperwork.
Greg says:"Save your receipts. Save your bank statements. Save your utility bills and credit card bills. I assume that someday in my financial life I will be audited. And when that day comes, I want to be able to show the tax auditor my receipts."
We agree: file away your receipts so that you can refer back when you need them. But one of the great things about Wave is that your receipts — whether in a shoebox or a careful system — no longer represent a big, ugly item on your To Do list.
Traditionally, a pile of receipts meant you had to sit down and enter each expense manually. But with Wave, you can connect a bank account, so your transaction information gets captured automatically — do away with the manual entry forever. You still need to keep your receipts for audit purposes, but you don't need to waste time bringing them into your accounting.
4. Hire an accountant.
Greg says:Establish a relationship with an accountant by January 1. April 14 is not a good date to find an accountant. (Accounting for Dummies hint: April 15 is the day that annual tax returns and payments are due [in the U.S.].)
An accountant is a must-have resource for any business owner. Wave allows you to work with your accountant, or anyone else for that matter. Make them a Guest Collaborator, so they can view or make changes to your accounts.
Need an accountant? Check the Wave Pro Network, our community of accountants, bookkeepers and financial professionals who are focused on helping small business owners succeed.
Wave is 100% free accounting software for photographers, freelancers and other small businesses.