Love your portfolio & website! Found this article during my research, to address solopreneur's questions about bookkeeping. You raise very valid points about being prepared & having a team assembled to do just that! It's the same advise I give to prospective & current bookkeeping clients! Another thing to keep in mind for photogs: a bookkeeper helps you track your business - income & expenses - according to your seasons. Some are busier during "wedding" season, while others are busier during "acting" season. Prepare, prepare & shoot! 06.19.12 - 12:48pm
Sarah My boyfriend- a CFO and sometimes accountant not unlike Andrew - would agree with the spirit of this post, if not every single detail. Just want to send that little virtual high-five. (Wait? Do the kids still high five?) :) 06.19.12 - 11:16am
This is a great post about a topic that is very important to wedding photographers. Bookkeeping isn't fun, but it's important. Thanks for the info JS! 06.18.12 - 5:39pm
Jasmine - thank you SO much for this post! Even though I am not a photographer, I too run a small business and your insights have been beyond helpful!!!! 06.14.12 - 5:23pm
I think the bangs are cute! But they do get frustrating after awhile! &You can't tuck them behind your ear! 06.14.12 - 4:25pm
Jasmine* @Andree: I found both my CPA and bookkeeper by asking fellow photographers for recommendations. I wanted to work with professionals who specialized with photographers. @Mallory: I set aside state sales tax in a separate account since I'm charging it out front and we set aside an estimate for federal taxes based on the previous year's income. @Lindsay: I'm set up as a sole proprietorship, BUT (and this is a big but!) I've taken out a specific personal insurance policy to cover incidentals. According to my CPA, getting an LLC wasn't in my best interest as this point, but I needed to be sure to cover my business in case of being sued...this is how we accomplished that. Definitely do more research to see if this works for you. @Wayfaring: There are quite a bit of categories and getting a bookkeeper is the best option to ensure you're maximizing and properly categorizing your deductions. @Allie: The percentage owed for federal taxes changes depending on your income bracket. In a matter of one year, our percentage owed changed by 10% (ugh...yes, TEN), but having a conversation with an accountant in advance is best advised. Hope this helps! :) 06.14.12 - 1:40pm
This was really helpful because I wasn't sure if I should be charging sales tax for my services (even though I have met with my CPA...I didn't ask that question!). :) Thanks! 06.14.12 - 1:29pm
awesome! Great info! I am blessed to have a husband that is currently going to school to get his CPA license! :) 06.14.12 - 1:22pm
Awesome as usual- and great tip about the business credit card! 06.14.12 - 1:13pm
Andrée How did you go about finding a bookkeeper and CPA? Word of mouth, yellow pages, magic eight ball? :) 06.14.12 - 12:26pm
Thanks for the advice. We're starting our new business and didn't realize we had to charge sales tax on services. I'll have to check that out.
Dennis 06.14.12 - 11:42am
Mallory What do you think is the best way to set aside the money for the quarterly payments? Is there something a certain bank offers to make that easy? 06.14.12 - 11:41am
Lindsay Can you share more about actually setting up your business? Are you a LLC/sole propriorship, etc? How does taxing stuff differ with those types of businesses? I feel overwhelmed with finance/tax information. 06.14.12 - 11:39am
Thanks for posting this, it seems like these are the little-thought-about types of things that could put the unexpecting photographer out of business early! Love your work! 06.14.12 - 11:30am
While this is helpful, I would love for you to elaborate on this topic!
What kind of deductions do we get that we might not know about?
What categories do you use for expenses?
Yeah, I need to get my own bookkeeper! :-) 06.14.12 - 11:28am
How do you do that?! I've just sent out a tweet about ten seconds ago asking for advice from other photogs about book-keeping and accounting. You're a mind reader! Thanks as always x 06.14.12 - 11:24am
It will take us too long to read that :) You might not even receive a comment for a whole 10 minutes LOL - Thanks though! :) 06.14.12 - 11:10am
Finances, taxes especially, are a slippery slope if not done correctly. It could literally make or break a business. 06.14.12 - 11:07am
ohhh sales tax. I've actually contacted lobbyists and congressmen about that because it's so unfair!! Lawyers aren't charging sales tax when they hand over a will that took creativity, knowledge and their expertise to produce! Why should we have to charge sales tax on SERVICES?! It's just insane and in VA, there is a specific extra tax code that makes this apply only to photographers! bleh!!! 06.14.12 - 11:05am
Willie Hawkins Thanks for this advice Jasmine. 06.14.12 - 10:22am
Hi Jasmine- Thanks for this! It's so helpful! In regard to taxes, is there a percentage you just know is standard for taxes that you'll immediately set aside when you get paid? For example, I also do freelance writing and know that 30% is going right into savings to pay out for taxes. Just wondered if there was a specific percentage you use. Thanks! Oh, and my favorite part of the picture is the socks! I remember those days with wearing layers of socks... what was that?! :) 06.14.12 - 10:07am
suuuuuuch good, helpful info! I've been looking for a good bookkeeper here for a few months now... still hoping / trying to find someone asap. I can't handle doing all this myself anymore! 06.14.12 - 9:45am
Yes a CPA is a must! We were blessed enough to catch the fact we were shorting ourselves a couple thousand dollars the first year [we went to him after using the ever so not user friendly do it yourself turbo] - we love him and wouldn't EVER do anything without him now! 06.14.12 - 9:44am