Tools for Your Photography Business – Financials

This is the second in our series looking at essential tools for your photography business. We’re going to be looking at some of the essential tools you’ll need to acquire in at least the first year (if not the first month) of your business.
Other articles in this series –
Part 1  – Software and Online presence
This article is written with a UK audience in mind – especially regarding certain specifics with regards to Tax…….. the general message should be fairly universal though.

Part 2 – Financials

Forget the love for the medium or aspirations of finally winning the praise of our contemporaries…….. it’s all about the money at the end of the day………. Unless of course your business isn’t concerned with such irrelevant things money….. then it won’t in fact be a business at all so you’ll have no reason to read on…..

There are a few things that need to be done correctly when running any business and dealing with the monies is right up there.

Your business Account

Get yourself a business account even if you are working on your own and getting paid in cash which you then hide in plastic bags around the house. At some point someone is going to give you a cheque and accounting gets very confusing if your outgoings and incoming are all muddled with your personal transactions and weekly grocery big shop.

You’ll also going to ask for some sort of credit at some point so having an account (and history) certainly helps with this.

Get an accountant

Fact: Six million people had been wrongly taxed in Britain in the past two years.

It’s easy to blame HMRC but I suspect that many people just aren’t filling there paper work in correctly.

When hiring an accountant you’ll pay more depending on what type of company you are and if you’re VAT registered or not. A surprising amount of people seem to think it’s a good idea to become a Limited company but this does involve quite a lot of extra work and in the beginning there’s very few benefits.

There are lots of different things an accountant can do for you but here’s the two main things that you might consider.

1. Tax return

If you’re happy to keep your own financial records (and a big bags of receipts) then you might just want an accountant to take care of your end of year tax return. Even if you’re comfortable filling in the form yourself having an accountant there at least in an advisory capacity could save you thousands.

2. Monthly bookkeepings

Bookkeeping is just part and parcel of having a business and something that I don’t like doing….. that’s why my accountant does it! Obviously you’ll going to have a pay for this service but it can all be written off as an expense and you’ll be surprised how affordable it actually is.

Payment systems

Great! You’ve got somewhere for your money to go and someone to count it all for you…… now all you need is an easy way to get the money in the first place.

We’ve already mentioned getting a PayPal account in Part 1 and that is certainly a good place to start.

I’m a big fan of making it easy for people to give me money. When someone asks “can I pay by…..” I’d like to be able to say ‘yes’.

A mobile credit card payment device does this job perfectly. You’ll end up paying about the same monthly as you will for a mobile phone contract but believe me it’s worth it.

It also helps to let people know how they can pay you as it might not be obvious to your clients.

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