Don’t they know journalists aren’t good with numbers?

Business

Attending to the business side of owning your own business. It’s the pits.

I’ve never been good with numbers. I’m great at algebra, but only because it involves letters. Math just isn’t my thing. Unfortunately, we all must use it. Whether it’s managing a household, making change, buying anything, leaving a tip or running a business. Math matters. Getting the numbers right matters. And that, my friends, takes an ungodly amount of time. (For me anyway.)

I’ve been on the hunt for a solution to this keeping track of my business accounts thing. My first instinct was to go straight for the Quickbooks. Isn’t that what everyone does? Well, it turns out Quickbooks costs money. It’s not cheap. And I am cheap. We just don’t groove. So I began the hunt for a more affordable solution. By affordable I mean free. And by solution I mean easy way to add and subtract while keeping everything nice and neat in one place.

I came up with a few solutions after researching for hours. Several blog posts helped my search:

http://designwoop.com/2013/03/10-best-accounting-tools-for-freelancers/

http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/roundups/40-well-designed-apps-for-running-your-freelance-business/ (I love tuts plus.com btw.)

I ran into some trouble. After narrowing down my search I came up with Freshbooks.com and Wave.

I love, love, love the Waves accounting system. It is beautiful, easy to use, and is completely free. Yes. Completely FREE. One downfall though — it doesn’t have time tracking. WHAT? How can I freelance without time-tracking?

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 2.15.35 AM

The second option is Freshbooks. Free, but extremely limited with the free version. This is absolutely a great time-tracker/invoice cloud-based program. But … it’s ugly, and doesn’t have the features I love in Waves. It does however offer a payment option when you send out your invoices.

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 2.15.57 AM

For example, Waves allows you to control expenses for multiple companies and integrates with multiple bank accounts. It keeps track of personal expenses and assets as well as your business and it keeps them separate.

Neither will allow me to import my current system, which is an Excel spreadsheet of my time, into the software. Which is fine, but unfortunate. And creating estimates are rather limited in both.

What do you use for your freelance photography business?

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