Lets face it, no one likes to balance the books. But as a part of running your own photography business, it is no doubt a critical part. Fortunately in this day and age, the old school accounting softwares with prehistoric user interfaces have become close to non existent! Thank goodness!
As these platforms have becoming such valuable tools for commercial, wedding, corporate, realestate and event photographers. I have rounded up what I believe are some of the best accounting softwares for photographers. But first…
Is Accounting Software Needed For Professional Photographers?
For the longest time I wasn’t using any accounting software (I kept it old school, noting profits and losses in my diary, until one day I lost my book). This forced me to rethink my accounting process.
Using a well rounded accounting software has allowed me to keep on top of my expenses, profits, drawings, mileage, invoices and more. I gave up film cameras along time ago, so it was about time to give up my physical books too!
Top 3 Best Accounting Software For Photographers
1. QuickBooks (My Favourite Pick)
When it comes to QuickBooks, I find they follow the KISS principle, which means “keep it simple, stupid”. When unpacked, this is marvellously brilliant idea that can be applied to almost anything.
In a nutshell, the KISS principle translates to the simplest systems working the best while unnecessary complexity should be thrown away. So for me, I find that QuickBooks keeps it simple while not burdening me with too much information.
Here is a great video that goes into more depth on the setup and layout of QuickBooks.
Above is a screenshot from my QuickBooks dashboard on my Mac laptop, and as you can tell, the information is laid out in a very simple and easy to understand manner. At a glance, I can get a quick overview of how I am going month to month.
There is even a App for iOS and Android that syncs all this data via the cloud!
Some other benefits that I really like about QuickBooks is the simple invoicing system they have and the bank account integration. Creating an invoice literally takes me 2 minutes and can be sent directly from within QuickBooks itself with the payment terms set along with payment information.
When it comes to the price of QuickBooks, there is 4 payment tiers ranging from $10/mo to $60/mo depending on the size and needs of your business. Personally I chose Self Employed option as I’m a one man show.
Also there is a free 30 day trial, and if you sign up for a year, you get an upfront discount of %50 off, which I opted for. So I only ended up paying $5 per month, with an upfront cost of only $60!
Overall I have been very pleased with this software and would highly recommend it to any photographer or freelance video maker.
Here Are More Accounting Platforms For Photographers That I Know About, But Have Not Personally Used
While I have only personally used QuickBooks. I thought it would only be fair to include other accounting software options. As there are many great ones available to photographers. I haven’t personally used any of the below platforms, but some of by good photography buddies swear by them!
Next up any my list of best accounting software for photographers is FreshBooks. This was actually my second option when deciding on what platform to use. Their user interface looks incredibly clean which is what drew me into it.
FreshBooks almost has identical features such as expense tracking, invoices, estimates, time tracking, projects, reporting and more. Another big bonus for this platform is that it integrates into other services like G Suite, Shopify, Stripe and more!
Up next is another great online bookkeeping option for studio, food, action, landscape, aerial and fashion photographers. Xero was created in New Zealand close to 10 years ago and has now become one of the most popular accounting platforms available. It’s even traded publicly on the stock exchange!
While the above two options focus on simplicity and are more focused for small business owners. I would say that Xero is for larger business with payroll and other more complicated practices like BASIC.
Here is a video that gives a brief introduction to the accounting software.
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully this guide has steered you in the right direction for picking the right accounting platform for your photography business. If you are still going old school like I was, then integrating one of these platforms into your workflow will do wonders!