Photographers like you are thriving with simple systems that help them manage their bookkeeping and empower them to be strategic entrepreneurs who thrive.
As a professional photographer, you have an eye for composition. You combine tools like lenses and lighting with your natural talent and learned skills to create remarkable photography that gets you hired again and again.
Now imagine if one of those tools of your trade helped you get paid faster, gave you insights about your business to help you grow and allowed you to take care of basic accounting functions in just a few clicks.
That’s the power of cloud accounting—and more and more creatives like you are thriving with simple systems that not only help them manage their bookkeeping, but empower them to be strategic entrepreneurs who thrive.
If you’re considering accounting solutions, here are a few reasons cloud accounting is ideally suited for photographers.
1. Time Tracking Will Change Your Life
You probably have price packages and an hourly rate for ad hoc work, but do you know how much you really get paid per hour? You’ll never know unless you track your time to the minute. Creative professionals who meticulously record how they spend their billable hours are often rewarded with aha moments that help them create more accurate prices in the future.
Plus, when you know how you spend your time, you’ll be able to spot ways to create efficiencies. And when you snag a corporate client who pays by the hour, time tracking ensures you never leave money on the table.
2. Creating a Quote/Estimate Has Never Been Easier
When most small business owners start out, they offer quotes or estimates for their services using email, Word or Excel. While this is a reasonable solution for small projects, it’s not the most professional way to communicate with your clients.
A good cloud accounting solution allows you to create custom estimates that feature your logo and aligns with the look and feel of your other accounting documents, including invoices. No more formatting from scratch!
It also tracks your quotes so you have a record of when you sent them and whether they were accepted, allowing you to create an invoice from the quote quickly and easily.
3. Managing Expenses is a Snap
Running a professional photography isn’t cheap. From cameras to lenses to software to transportation costs, you have expenses. If you want to grow a successful business, it’s important to stay on top of your expenses.
Cloud accounting allows you to digitally record your expenses so everything is accountant-ready at tax time. You can even enter recurring expenses such as rent or subscription software so you don’t have to manually enter it every month.
When your expenses are up to date, you’ll know exactly what your profit/loss is in real time which can help you make smarter business decisions.
4. Accounting on the Go Saves Time
Forget about setting aside the third Friday of every month to tackle invoicing, entering expenses, writing estimates and other accounting chores. That Friday has a way of filling up fast, which delays your ability to get paid and be organized.
Many cloud accounting solutions (including FreshBooks) have a mobile app that allows you to do all your bookkeeping on your phone or tablet, wherever you are. Send the estimate on the bus on the way home from the meeting, whip up an invoice while you’re waiting for your lunch order and record the receipt for supplies before you’ve even left the store.
Cloud accounting transforms accounting into a series of small tasks you can do on the go instead of one big chore that has to be done at your desk.
5. Collaborate With Clients in One Spot
You probably have a system to share images with your clients, but what if you want to fire off a quick shot to get their input? In addition to billing features, your FreshBooks account creates a space to collaborate, including managing and sharing information, files and updates. Rather than start a long and complex email chain, simply start a dialogue in your accounting software and you’ll have a record of the conversation, including images and feedback, in one tidy spot.
6. Get Paid Faster with Online Payments
FreshBooks’ research reports that you’ll get paid twice as fast when you accept credit cards online. And many consumers appreciate the efficiency associated with paying online, straight from a link in an invoice.
Most cloud accounting platforms allow your clients to pay by Stripe, credit or debit card, bank transfers and e-checks. When you’re being paid through your cloud accounting platform, it’s easy to keep track of who’s paid and when.
No need to manually file earnings anywhere. A solution that makes your and their life easier – and gets you paid stat can be game changing.
7. Automate Payment Reminders
One of the worst tasks for a small business owner is the dreaded phone call or email to follow up on a tardy payment. A good cloud accounting solution will take care of this unpleasant chore with a Payment Reminder feature.
Simply set up incremental payment reminders into your accounting software so an email is automatically sent to clients who miss your payment terms. It’s a professional way to track your payments and send a clear message.
8. Learn Even More About Your Business
How much do you know about your business performance? What’s your most profitable month? Who are your top three clients? How much do you have out in invoices right now?
Freshbooks’ reports feature lets you dig deep into all the ins and outs of your business so you know where to focus and what to tweak.
When you have access to important information about your business at your fingertips, you can make smart, big picture business decisions. Plus, all your numbers will be in one place–from the money you’ve collected to the taxes you’ve already paid and everything in between.
Most small business owners who adopt a cloud accounting solution find it an indispensable tool that helps them manage their accounting better and provides important and easy-to-use business planning tools. And when you’ve got a streamlined look and feel, you always project a more professional image to clients.
about the author
Heather Hudson is an accomplished freelance writer and journalist based in Toronto. She writes for a number of publishing, corporate and agency clients who depend on her to deliver high-quality, on-brand content and journalism with a fresh perspective. Learn more about her work at .