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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> What ACCOUNTING program do you use ????
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10/11/2009 03:52:02 PM · #1
I'm wondering how to better keep track of sales & costs for jobs that I do... I've just gotten my business license so this is now clearly of more importance.. So, for those of you out there that do keep track, how do you do it??

I could use a quicken program or a word program I suppose.. I was wondering though if there is a specific accounting program designed for the professional photog in mind... One that keeps track of inventory, expenses and allows me to break those expenses down into their own categories, and allows me to print out receipts..

Thanks for any input !!!
10/11/2009 04:33:14 PM · #2
I'm sure there is one specific for photography but I don't recall the name. I believe it was quite expensive. I use Peachtree complete accounting although not for photography. I believe it will do everything you asked but it might be hard to set it up that way. //www.peachtree.com/productsServices/complete/
10/11/2009 05:04:57 PM · #3
No reason I can think of not to use Quickbooks. Anything photography-specific is bound to be very expensive (high development costs, small number of users), and Quickbooks can track all the things you mentioned.

~Terry
10/11/2009 05:58:51 PM · #4
Originally posted by ClubJuggle:

No reason I can think of not to use@Quickbooks. Anything photography-specific is bound to be very expensive (high development costs, small number of users), and Quickbooks can track all the things you mentioned.

~Terry


Ok... Sounds about right... Thanks for everyones input..
10/11/2009 06:13:26 PM · #5
For what it's worth, I'll mention GNUCash also. I used to use it, but had more and more trouble interacting with my accountant(s). If you have a CPA who embraces it, then you're in good shape -- otherwise, Quickbooks is pretty-much the industry standard for small business accounting. I've since moved to Quickbooks myself. They have a number of different versions to choose from, including a 'web-only' version.
10/11/2009 11:29:07 PM · #6
Gnucash is pretty nice, though not quite as easy to use as QuickBooks. Can't beat the price though.

~Terry
10/11/2009 11:53:52 PM · #7
MYOB is supposed to cover most small business wants, although it is not specific to photography
11/05/2009 02:23:58 PM · #8
I'm using Quickbooks 2009
11/05/2009 02:32:00 PM · #9
Homemade in Excel (advanced). Full control over everything and simple to use.
11/05/2009 02:59:29 PM · #10
I've been a CPA working with small/medium businesses for almost 20 years (geez) and I've been working with Quicken/Quickbooks pretty much as long as it's been around. I have set up hundreds of businesses on this software, along with other programs (Peachtree, One-Write Plus, amoung many others) and I highly recommend Quickbooks in your situation. It's very easy to learn and probably the most widely used for this size business. This means that if you one day hire a bookkeeper, he/she will likely know it (unlike Peachtree or some others which are not as widely used).

Excel will certainly do the job but Quickbooks can do much more (like print your checks out on nice professional looking checks, which means that you can do the same job in 1/2 the time), reconcile your checkbook, invoice with very customizable looking invoices, payroll (including payroll returns), and the list goes on and on.

If you have any questions please feel free to pm me. I get so much photography help on this site... it's nice to be able to give something back.
11/05/2009 03:55:26 PM · #11
Originally posted by Tammster:

... (like print your checks out on nice professional looking checks,

Wow! Do you really still use cheques in the US?? I thought that was in thing of the past and haven't seen a cheque for years. Nutso!

When someone writes a cheque; doesn't it really mean: "I'm broke but my pay should be in the bank by the time the cheque clears" lol

Message edited by author 2009-11-05 15:57:29.
11/05/2009 04:03:47 PM · #12
Originally posted by TrollMan:

When someone writes a cheque; doesn't it really mean: "I'm broke but my pay should be in the bank by the time the cheque clears" lol


Many businesses write checks to vendors here... and most arent even broke.
11/05/2009 04:06:05 PM · #13
Originally posted by TrollMan:

Originally posted by Tammster:

... (like print your checks out on nice professional looking checks,

Wow! Do you really still use cheques in the US?? I thought that was in thing of the past and haven't seen a cheque for years. Nutso!

When someone writes a cheque; doesn't it really mean: "I'm broke but my pay should be in the bank by the time the cheque clears" lol


LOL.... That's funny you say this, I couldn't find my debit card the other day at the store so I said to the cashier, Oh well, I'll just write you a check !! And, she looked at me and said "you know, checks go through just like debit cards"... I guess she thought I was going to try & float a check or something... She must think checks mean the same thing you do.. LOL.. It actually pissed me off.. She was a little snotty about it and there was a line of people behind me... So, I was an equal B*#tch back and went on my merry way.. But NO, here in the US, we still use checks... some of us old fashioned people I guess..
11/05/2009 04:07:11 PM · #14
Originally posted by Tammster:

I've been a CPA working with small/medium businesses for almost 20 years (geez) and I've been working with Quicken/Quickbooks pretty much as long as it's been around. I have set up hundreds of businesses on this software, along with other programs (Peachtree, One-Write Plus, amoung many others) and I highly recommend Quickbooks in your situation. It's very easy to learn and probably the most widely used for this size business. This means that if you one day hire a bookkeeper, he/she will likely know it (unlike Peachtree or some others which are not as widely used).

Excel will certainly do the job but Quickbooks can do much more (like print your checks out on nice professional looking checks, which means that you can do the same job in 1/2 the time), reconcile your checkbook, invoice with very customizable looking invoices, payroll (including payroll returns), and the list goes on and on.

If you have any questions please feel free to pm me. I get so much photography help on this site... it's nice to be able to give something back.


and, you're right.. I went with Quickbooks.. I can't believe how much I love it.. especially the client database it keeps for you, the month end reports I can get and the invoices that I can easily print out..
11/05/2009 04:16:47 PM · #15
Originally posted by Tammster:

[quote=TrollMan] Many businesses write checks to vendors here... and most arent even broke.

hehe - crazy! What a waste of trees. Businesses (and regular people) transfers money electronically here. I can transfer money into any Norwegian bank account (no charge) and it usually appears in the other account the same day. I guess that's why we don't bother with cheques.

Even when you buy lottery tickets you give your personal account number so that potential winnings goes directly into your bank account instantly as they draw. And instead of post dated cheques for for example rent, car payments or loans; you'd just enter recurring payments in the internet bank so that it automatically comes out on the date you prefer. I actually don't get one single bill in the snail mail when it comes do monthly or quarterly expenses - just an e-mail notification.

Anyways... I do agree that an off-the-shelf accounting system is the way to go for most people. We used Quicken for our business while I lived in Canada.
11/05/2009 04:42:16 PM · #16
Originally posted by TrollMan:

Originally posted by Tammster:

[quote=TrollMan] Many businesses write checks to vendors here... and most arent even broke.

hehe - crazy! What a waste of trees. Businesses (and regular people) transfers money electronically here. I can transfer money into any Norwegian bank account (no charge) and it usually appears in the other account the same day. I guess that's why we don't bother with cheques.

Even when you buy lottery tickets you give your personal account number so that potential winnings goes directly into your bank account instantly as they draw. And instead of post dated cheques for for example rent, car payments or loans; you'd just enter recurring payments in the internet bank so that it automatically comes out on the date you prefer. I actually don't get one single bill in the snail mail when it comes do monthly or quarterly expenses - just an e-mail notification.

Anyways... I do agree that an off-the-shelf accounting system is the way to go for most people. We used Quicken for our business while I lived in Canada.


LOL... We're not exactly living in the stone ages... We have those same options also.. Many many people do all of their banking online.. The only reason I keep my checks is in the case that I lose my debit card and then I have no cash on me.. Using a debit card is essentially using a credit card to provide them with your bank information and they take the money directly out of your account...Other then that, we do all of our transactions electronically..
11/05/2009 05:24:37 PM · #17
Microsoft Accounting Express

Not sure if you can still download it for free from the MS website, but it does everything all the major accounts packages do. I used ( a dodgy copy of )SAGE originally but had to look around for something.

1. that did the same as SAGE
2. Was cheap/free with no yearly service costs
3. wasn't pirated.

This fit perfectly, and the reports facility is very good as well - showed me where my biggest overspends were and has allowed me to cut costs already.

It tracks,

Suppliers,
Products
Clients
Invoice
Quotes

Message edited by author 2009-11-05 17:30:15.
11/05/2009 05:25:39 PM · #18
Just found the UK version is available for free until the 16th of November. Not sure about the US version.
11/05/2009 05:29:55 PM · #19
OK, sorry about the posts-

US version can be downloaded from HERE

UK Version can be download from HERE

Message edited by author 2009-11-05 17:31:12.
11/24/2009 09:49:00 AM · #20
Is it possible for someone to share their quickbooks photo biz "template"? I've been messing with QB a bit but there seems to be SO much going on that I can't really follow all of it. Wondering if anyone here is a QB whiz and could offer some tips, share their template, or point me to a good tutorial or something like that.

Thanks!
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