Accounting for Photographers - Pretty Presets
by Guest Contributor Shannan Painter 

Did you know that 80 percent of all businesses fail within the first 2 years?

Did you know that the number one reason for failure is cash-flow problems? Translation: poor accounting habits.

You may feel like you didn’t get into business to be an accountant, but let me point out that if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of how to read and interpret financial reports, you put your business at a serious disadvantage. Understanding how and when money is coming in, and what is or isn’t deductible helps you make critical decisions for the sake of your business.

Are you someone who has a shoebox, drawer, or pile of receipts sitting somewhere with no idea how to organize them?

You have (roughly) 90 days until the end of the year. Use them wisely!

Here are 5 tips to ensuring your business won’t just be another statistic:

1. Make it a date. Schedule on your calendar a day and time – weekly or monthly depending on the size of your business – dedicated to entering expenses, and planning a little time budgeting.

2. Organize. Buy an accordion file to sort receipts by month for easy organization and access.

3. Get some tools. Our SNAPSHOT spreadsheet is a tool designed to organize all your business financial information to pass off to your accountant at the end of the year. Show up with one of these and you will earn major brownie points (plus have to pay a lot less!)

4. Read. Learn. Grow. If you don’t know what qualifies for business meals, or how much of your home you can deduct for business use of home, it’s time to find out. Our BUSINESS 101: Setting Up Shop was written with you in mind.

5. Start now! Don’t wait until it’s urgent, and you have a deadline looming ahead.

Business can seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Excellence doesn’t come easily – you have to work for it, and believe that it can happen! Grab yourself a latte, turn on some kickin’ tunes, and when you’re done with the work, REWARD YOURSELF! If being a professional photographer is your dream, don’t give up. A wise man once told me: “Never, ever, ever quit!” You DO have what it takes.

About the Author: I graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Accounting Degree from the University of Montana. Instead of pursuing a career in public accounting and being stuck behind a desk for 70 hours a week, I turned down jobs at big accounting firms to pursue a different love. I chose instead to work from home where I live with my husband, two boys and a puppy named Growler. I live a glamorous, exciting life working from my living room in my pajamas, cleaning crayon off the walls, driving kids to school, playing superheros and taking care of a little dog that likes to refinish furniture with his teeth. I get to work with fun, creative & artistic photographers and help them understand that numbers can be our friends!