Industry Spotlight: Photography
One of my favorite clients is a phenomenal photographer. She captures families in their most natural form, whether in a beautiful outdoor space or at home. My client is definitely a right brained individual. Her creative eye is brilliant, but she's like many creatives when it comes to the business side of things. Record keeping and accounting is something she thinks about at tax time, but not so much throughout the year. Spring is peak season for photographers and leaves little time to race against the April 15 tax deadline. These tips can help lighten the load and leave more time for creative genius:
1. Automate - When deciding on an accounting system to use, keep in mind that many business tools can integrate with accounting systems. What system are you using for booking? Invoicing? It helps if these systems are compatible with Quickbooks Online, Xero or Freshbooks. This takes extra steps out of your process and ensures that income is automatically recorded and categorized.
2. Save and Categorize Your Receipts - Creating a designated place for receipts throughout the year is better than scrambling to find them in March or April. A binder or folder will suffice. Try to keep them separated by expense type (meals, supplies, etc.). An even better solution is to use a tool that allows you to take pictures of receipts and record them directly to your books immediately. There are multiple options that will integrate with cloud accounting software.
3. Keep Track of Mileage - This is an expense you do not want to miss! Photographers are constantly on the go, shooting at exotic locations...or the neighborhood park. Either way, you can deduct the expenses related to getting to your shoots. For the 2018 tax year, that deduction is 54.5 cents per mile. I'd suggest a GPS/Mileage Tracker tool. There are countless apps for mobile devices. Any tool that automates your accounting leaves more time for other tasks.
We hope these tips take away some of the headache of accounting so that you can focus on taking beautiful photos. If you're a photographer interested in outsourcing your bookkeeping, we are here to help implement these strategies for your business, plus more!