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I'm Hannah Bryerton, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I am a lover of details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!

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For Photographers, Photographer Friend Thursday

March 31, 2017

Expenses, income, mileage & more- the program that will change your business

Raise your hand if you literally despise keeping track of your books. [Full Disclosure: BOTH of my hands are goin’ up for this one]

As an artist, there is nothing I despise more than being stuck behind a computer, updating spreadsheets and filing paperwork. The word “accounting” sends a chill up my spine and takes me back to a very dark time in college. Balance sheets, ledgers, revenue, capital, net income, equity, debit, credit, variable costs, expenses… they’re all one huge pain in my fixed asset.

Up until a year ago, I was slaving over updating spreadsheets and tracking my mileage manually. Tax season would roll around and I’d frantically be digging through my drawers looking for receipts, re-reading bank statements to figure out where all my money went, and re-tracing my steps to add up the mileage I’d racked up over the last 365 days. Three words y’all: Hot. Mess. Express.

Thankfully, I have sweet friends who like to share business tactics with me. And also love numbers way more than I do. Shout out to my nerdy finance friend, Nick, for showing me this amazing program that literally saved my life.

QUICK BOOKS SELF-EMPLOYED 

*Cue the angel choir and beautiful heavenly light*
I LOVE this program. You may have heard of QuickBooks before in the past, but maybe you haven’t ever tried it. Or maybe you haven’t heard of the Self-Employed version. Regardless, Intuit literally knocked it out of the park with this one. Below I’m listing my fave five features, but believe me when I say there’s about fifty more where these came from!

1. It’s all cloud based.
This entire program is accessible through your Internet browser. On top of that, they’ve created a killer app for on your smart phone, meaning keeping track of your books while on the go has never been easier. If I’m at my computer, I’ll pull it up and enter data there. If I’m at a client meeting, and need to enter the meal I just purchased, I can open my phone and enter the transaction in under a minute. It’s truly a beautiful thing.

2. You can connect your bank account.
You know that bank account you literally run all your business expenses and income through? Wouldn’t it be sweet if every time you used your debit card to purchase something or made a deposit at the bank, it just showed up within your books automatically? Welcome to the world of QuickBooks Self-Employed. It will even take the purchases that you make, and automatically assume what they should be categorized as. If you eat dinner at a restaurant: Meals and Entertainment. Fill up your gas tank at Sheetz while traveling: Gas and Fuel Expense. People…this is a real thing. I’m not kidding, it’s going to change your life.

3. An automatic mileage tracking feature.
If you carry your phone with you at all times (and let’s be real, who doesn’t these days?) this will revolutionize the way you track your mileage. I simply turn on auto-tracking within my QB app and review my trips every few days or so. It will tell you exactly how far you traveled, at what time, and the duration you were there. You can simply write it off as business mileage or personal mileage. It gives you the option to write a quick note about the trip, just to keep on record, and just like that, the app tracks your business mileage and keeps a running total for your tax year. It even gives you your tax deduction in dollars simultaneously. Right now, I’m at almost $800 worth of miles… And we are only three months in.

4. You can invoice your clients and receive payment directly.
I just recently started utilizing this and I was kicking myself for not doing so sooner. This feature is amazing. QuickBooks Self-Employed let’s you send out invoices to your clients and as soon as they view their bill, the program notifies you. Meaning, no more of this “I’m sorry, but I never received that” mumbo-jumbo… because it literally tells you when they open it. This right here is the read receipt of invoicing, friends! And after that, the process is SO easy for your customers. You have the option to accept an electric payment via bank transfer, or you can even accept credit cards. (I will warn you that credit cards do cost a small fee (2.5% or so) but in some instances, it may come in handy for you! Again, you can decide which payment method you accept!) After their payment is processed, it’s deposited directly into your bank account. Easy peasy.

5. It’s completely affordable.
Are we seriously to number five already?! I feel like I could keep going for days! Anyways, what everyone wants to know is the cost. What is my investment? How much is this going to put me back? Let me proceed by saying that I am a Dutch girl and that blood runs deep in my veins. In case you are unaware, a characteristic of these genes is that we are incredibly frugal. I am not one to just throw away money on meaningless things. (Unless it’s Chick fil-A, then all bets are off.) This cloud based program runs at $10 per month. That’s two coffees at Starbucks. Or in my case…one large lemonade, waffle fry & 8-count nugget followed up with an ice cream cone.

When Nick told me about this program, the Dutch girl within REJOICED. I was so grateful he shared such an amazing, beneficial and life-changing tool with me. And I want to share it with YOU. Through this link, you can receive 50% off your first six months of QuickBooks. That means it’s only $5 per month. FIVE DOLLARS. One coffee. One trip through the Target bargain section at the front of the store. (Don’t deny it, you stop there every time you walk in the door) It’s completely doable. It will change the way you run your business, and it is just ONE of the many ways you can get some your life back and spend more time doing what you love.

So step away from the computer screen and pile of receipts. Those are soon going to be a thing of the past. I can’t wait to see how this impacts your business!

( Oh, and one more time… in case you missed it: QuickBooks Self-Employed for 50% off )

 

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