Get Paid Faster: Bookkeeping For Voice Over
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Are you drowning in receipts? Or worse, have you LOST all your receipts? Yes to drowning? Bizarrely, yes to both? OK, and how are you at tracking your income? What are your total earnings for the year so far? Got it (finally)? Great! Now, who is your highest paying client? How many invoices are still outstanding? What are your net earnings (earnings after expenses)? What does your balance sheet look like for the quarter, the previous quarter, the year so far? Has your overloaded brain begun to quietly cry and whimper at all the incomprehensible numbers yet? Have you perhaps burst into flames of frustration at your poorly maintained and updated Excel spreadsheet - you know, the one you promised yourself you were going to keep on top of? In a rage, have you accidentally spilled coffee over the few remaining paper receipts you have managed to keep hold of? No judgment here, until about a year ago this was very much me. I had built a semi-decent Excel spreadsheet to track incomings and outgoings. I had an email folder where I'd place my digital receipts and a real-life folder where I'd place my paper receipts. However, come the end of the tax year there would always be receipts missing, receipts incorrectly filed, or receipts that, frustratingly, I'd find after I had filed. And as for my spreadsheet, well, I had grand hopes, but the fact is, even if I had maintained my diligent updating of it, it would never have provided me with the juicy data that is so valuable to a self-employed freelancer. I was chatting with a fellow over VO the other day and to found out that he was still rocking the same kind of system I used to use. Why? Because he couldn't 'afford no-fancy software!' If this is you too, then fear not, I have good news. That 'fancy software?' It's free. Completely free. And not only that, it's so intuitive, so in-depth, so sexy (yes, numbers are sexy) that you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. Don't believe me? Give it a cheeky google, or, check out this very handy FREE ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE list from HubSpot (who, shoutout, I use for their free CRM - more on that in another blog). Free accounting software options for entrepreneurs and small businesses are plentiful in numbers these days and for someone working in the Voice Over industry, half the time, these options are overkill - unless you're so successful that you employ a staff of five and have to conduct payroll - in which case, why an earth are you reading this blog, ya big hotshot?! I use Wave Accounting (disclosure, I'm not in any way affiliated or being paid to advertise them) and I could not be happier. Wave (as I'm sure many of the options out there could too) has changed how I do business. It's completely hassle-free.
Here are just a few examples:
If I receive a business-related email receipt I simply forward it to the Wave receipts email address and they automatically file it for me. Pulling all the numbers and pertinent info off using their AI.
If I receive a paper business-related receipt, I simply open their app on my smartphone take a picture of it, and voila, same as a digital receipt all the info is automatically pulled off and stored.
Invoices, they're automatically tracked. Waves lets you know when they've been paid, and will even send out, polite, payment reminders.
The invoices include a card-processing option directly in the PDF invoice, which means your client can pay right away by credit or debit card and the money is deposited straight into your bank account.
Whatsmore, Wave allows you to charge clients in different currencies (which I find essential in the ever-growing global voice-over market)
Wave generates Profit and Loss Statements, Balance Sheets, and Cash Flow Statements at the click of a button.
Aaaannnnnnddd does a whole host of other cool things!
Again, I'm not being paid to advertise Wave, and there are many other fantastic options out there. I just want to share the knowledge, and the joy, of how simple your accounting, invoicing and record-keeping can be.
Pre-free accounting software, when I was being REALLY good I'd schedule in a whole Friday afternoon to update all the necessary spreadsheets and systems. Now, I barely need to spare anytime at all, it happens automatically, and the odd task I do need to carry out manually through Wave can be done over my morning cup of tea, or on the bus, or while waiting in line at a store. If you don't use one already, or if you do but are paying for it (heaven forfend), I can't recommend enough looking into the free accounting options out there - they'll make your business run more efficiently and allow you to focus on what really matters, being creative.