If there are 2 things that are certain in life, these are death and taxes. And while we cannot avoid the first, we can at least try to do our best to pay as less of the latter!
Freelance business is a tough ship to steer and the seas are not always calm and peaceful. If you are a freelancer you might have learnt that the hard way – if you are not, I am telling you my friends, it takes a lot of courage, or a strong stomach as we say in Greece [do you say that, too, in your language?], to handle all the different issues you might need to tackle as a freelance business owner.
From logo design to website maintaining, to actual translation work, project management and bookkeeping, the freelancer has a lot of roles to juggle.
Today I will talk to you about the importance of keeping track of your finances in order to avoid nasty surprises in the form of taxes.
I definitely learnt that the hard way. I have been neglecting these duties for a long time and I think I was one of my accountant’s worst clients. Not to mention how bad that was for my business.
It took an amazing financial advisor (thank you,you know who you are <3 !) and the discovery of a very good business accounting tool for me to become better in keeping track of my business accounts AND be more professional in communicating with my clients.
I’ll give you 5 tips for keeping track of your business accounts
#1 Record everything as it happens – if you let time pass you might not remember what those 20$ receipt is or why you are missing 200$. Use an Excel, Word doc. or, even better, see #3 😉
#2 Check your balance once a week – It is easier to devote 30 minutes a week to keep track of your expenses than spend hours trying to tidy up an ocean of invoices, receipts and lost payments at the end of the year. This way you have a clear idea of your business transactions and you know if you need to cut spending down or if you can splurge on that holiday!
#3 Invest in an accounting tool – you can buy one or research online for a free tool. This is a must for your business and I cannot recommend this enough!
After some research I have found my personal favorite tool: Wave! I am in no way affiliated with it and I don’t get any commission whatsoever as this is FREE tool. It is an amazing, easy and professional accounting tool that will not only help you keep track of your business, it will upgrade your customer experience and freelance business profile. Think customized invoices, online receipts, all the necessary statements (Cash Flow, Balance Sheet e.tc.), mobile phone app, instant payment receipt for your clients and more! I cannot imagine how I was working before!
***If you want more info on Wave or even a tutorial for its use or a personal consultation on your business with a financial analyst e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#4 Think like an investor – Every successful business has to grow if it wantσ to continue being successful. Investing means spending, almost certainly, but this is tax deductible money that will bring money back to you.
#5 Look out for emerging market trends – is your industry going digital? What are other translators/freelancers doing? Read print or online publications, keep an open eye and be sensitive to change. You never know when your next opportunity will come to grow your business.