For this section, we’d like to share accounting software recommendations given to us by successful members of the voiceover community.
Wave Accounting (https://www.waveapps.com/). It’s free (ad supported) and does everything I need it to.
Quickbooks. Finance Friday. I update invoices and expenses every Friday.
Specifically Mac OS:
I try not to rely on my memory too much – I keep logs for long projects, and try to get invoices out right away. I have a spreadsheet that contains all my billing info, and another with client info. I bold unpaid invoices, and unbold them as soon as the check comes in-makes it easy to see who I have to nag. I don’t record expenses-I just throw them into either a physical or virtual box until the end of the fiscal year. I never delete an e-mail stream until every last detail of a project is wrapped up-including copies of projects and inputting client info. If my e-mail gets out of control I move them into a follow up folder.
Again, choose one which works best for you and realize that they have a learning curve. If you’re not a numbers-person and you’re likely to struggle, remember that tax accountants may not cost nearly as much as the damage you can do to yourself with bad bookkeeping. You may save a great deal of time, too; after all, this is their area of expertise.
If you’re lucky enough to be very successful, perhaps you can hire someone to handle your books. But it’s more likely that you’ll have to do it yourself. Set up 2 bank accounts: one for workable capital – the one from which you can use and spend income, and another for taxes and the unexpected. Use a program like Quickbooks, or even Microsoft Excel or something similar. Track every dollar in and out if you can. Keep receipts. Write down expenses. If you’re working for yourself, all of this is tax-deductible. You’ll probably really need the write-off, and if you’re writing it off, the government might want to know how and why one day. Make sure you have the trail to show them or it becomes a nightmare. And get a tax attorney or accountant. They’ll keep you straight.
Think carefully, research, and then make a decision. Do what’s best for you.
PayPal has a nice invoice section where you can keep track of billing and such. I personally also use a formulated Excel sheet, though you could also use something like Quicken. The important thing is to find some form of record-keeping that works for you. If you’re not organized, get there or find someone to help! Otherwise, you’ll be hurting come April.