I love to keep my life organized. I also love to have physical copies of documents. I know, old school, right? Well, call me old-fashioned, but it’s the best system for me. I thought I would share a little bit of my accounting/bookkeeping/client organization process with you today. Sound good? Ok, here we go…
At the client consult, I have each client fill out a “client information” form. This gives me all of their contact information and provides a place for me to write down their session ideas, details, and notes.
This next part is very important. Without it, my business would be nothing. Ok, not really. But it would be far less organized. There are many programs out there that allow photographers to manage their business and finances. Most of them have monthly fees attached. I’m not a fan of monthly fees. That’s where StudioCloud comes into play. StudioCloud is a free program that makes life much simpler.
This program allows me to create client invoices, record expenses/income, keep track of all client information and session dates, and print reports/charts that come in handy around tax season! If you don’t have something like this yet, you should look into it.
Now, even though I’m able to keep all of these things in place online and on my computer, I really do prefer to have an actual document as well. So, I have three binders that organize my entire business and make things much simpler for taxes.
The first of these binders is my “Bookkeeping & Records” binder. It’s the heart and soul of everything behind the scenes of Hannah G. Photography…
This binder keeps every aspect of my business (that doesn’t have to do with clients) organized. Here’s what’s in it…
1. Records of all past and present sales and promotions
2. Bank statements for both my personal and business bank accounts (very important)
3. Records of all past and present pricing information (includes product production costs also)
4. Business licenses and tax permits (past and present)
5. All receipts from business expenses (extremely important!)
Another binder holds all client information and contracts (in alphabetical order of course!). I have a binder for each year I’ve been in business. I also have returning clients fill out a new client information form (as well as sign the updated contract) if they come to me for another session in a different year. That way, I can look back through my 2011 binder and see all the information from every client I photographed.
This works great for me because I don’t like searching through past binders for previous clients. I like everything to be organized by year.
My last binder holds all client invoices, purchase order forms, check copies, and product invoices (from the vendor) from every order. These are all organized by the month the order was placed. This binder really helps when having to pay quarterly sales and income taxes!
I keep it all organized by using these steps…
1. Create purchase order for client
2. Create invoice based on purchase order
3. Save digital copy of invoice to my computer
4. Print purchase order and invoice and place in binder (under the month the order was placed)
5. Send order to vendor (and then wait)
6. Receive invoice from vendor and attach to purchase order
7. Attach copy of check (or “paid-in-cash” form) to purchase order and invoice
8. Stamp each copy of invoice and purchase order “paid” and “entered” (very important!)
So, that’s how I keep track of all sales and payments. These are my little life savers to make sure nothing is overlooked…
I know that was probably a ton of information to take in, and if you made it this far into the post, thanks! This is just my way of running my business. I know there are tons of other ways out there! This works for me, and I hope you find what works for you!