Don’t make “accounting” more


Don't make "accounting" more difficult than it has to be. At the most simple level you can keep a ledger that shows income and expenses. Hand this to your accountant at the end of the year and he/she will use the information to figure what you owe the government.

It may be useful information to breakdown the sources of income and expenditures. Excel is a good tool for this. In our state we collect a 10% sales tax and pay quarterly taxes for this and other state taxes. I set up my Excel spread sheet to reflect the client's name, date of service, a column for each part of the job — e.g., shoot, edit, burn DVDs, download to client's hard drive. Excel adds up the total income for the project and calculates the tax. Analytically I'm able to look at the income for each type of service we perform and make informed decisions regarding pricing and even whether or not it's worth continuing to offer this service.

A similar part of the spread sheet reflects expenditures, including payout for sub-contractors, service fees and supplies. This section includes monthly insurance costs, security, business phone, etc. A summery sheet pulls all this information together so that on any day I can see where the business is vis a vis income and outlay. Having all this information at hand makes preparing data for Federal Income Tax quite painless at the end of the year.

When we started our business 20 years ago we attempted to use Quick Books and concluded that there was just too much involved with the setup to make it worth wrestling with. However, QB is an excellent program and many videographers have found it very useful.

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