Beth Jennings – The Journey Captured » I capture the journey of people in their personal and professional lives. I teach amateur photographers how to capture their life in beautiful photos. Photography, Melbourne Photographer, Photography Workshops, dSLR Camera Workshops, Creative Camera Course, Photo Course Melbourne, Camera Class Melbourne

MYOB [financial management of a photography business]

Are you good at numbers?

Can you balance a spreadsheet? Do you get excited by the prospect of making a bank reconciliation balance? I don’t. I’m quite the opposite.  I break out in a sweat when the figures don’t balance. My fingers tingle with anxiety that I can’t get those numbers right.  I get a knot in my stomach even just thinking about doing my books.  

It sounded like a good idea at the time

…starting a business in photography…well, OK…what do I need to do? Get an ABN? Register for GST? Submit a quarterly BAS? PAYG tax on earnings? WTF? How many acronyms can one girl take? OK I do know what they all mean:

ATO = Australian Taxation Office (about the only website that makes my eyeballs hurt)
ABN = Australian Business Number
GST = Goods and Services Tax
BAS = Business Activity Statement
PAYG = Pay As You Go … well … nice in theory but not happening in practice YET (that’s not an acronym, that’s a promise)

I’ve had my books in MS Excel for a while now and frig around with MS Word to create invoices and issue receipts…all incredibly tedious and accident-prone.  That includes managing all my income and expenses, reconciling against my bank statements, recording payments to the ATO, tracking cash payments and loans…every time I have to open those documents, my palms sweat and I get a mild thumping headache just behind my right eye that starts off as a dull ache then turns into a migraine after about 30 minutes.

My sister’s an accountant

Yeah something weird happened in the Jennings gene pool.  In 1971 we were all about the right and wrong, black and white of it, by 1976 it had turned to a-wishy-washy-hard-to-describe shade of grey.

At the end of financial year I was out on my balance sheet by $3000 and I had a melt down.  Why doesn’t she just do it you ask? She always helped me at school to write my essays, why can’t she just do my books for me and be done with it? Because I’m mildly stubborn, that’s why. I’m a grown up I ought to be able to handle a lousy spreadsheet.  Then I crash and burn every time…she says, it’s a good exercise to do it all, because you know where it’s all supposed to be and how it works.  Yeah, tops, I understand it but I still can’t do it. Physical impairments seem to keep getting in the way.

We’re going to get me started in MYOB, a non-Australian Government acronym for Mind Your Own Business. They tell me it’s super simple software for for small businesses to manage their finances.  Yeah, right, we’ll see.  I’m mildly relieved but keeping my reservations – and the accountant sister – up my sleeve.

Wish me luck, I think I’m gonna need it.

Are you a business owner? How do you manage your books? More importantly, will you do mine?


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Vanessa MacLeod - September 7, 2010 - 8:51 pm

I use software called “Billings” for Mac. It has totally changed my life in terms of invoicing/getting money in. In fact it makes it easier to get money in. So super easy to use, and my personal favourite (as this is SO applicable to me right now) is that it has multi currency support, so I can charge my clients in the UK in pounds, the US in USD etc etc. Helps me to keep track of absolutely everything all in one place :)

Beth Jennings - September 7, 2010 - 9:21 pm

Ah! Thanks Vanessa, I haven’t heard of billings before, that’s a new one for me. Very cool that you can can multi currency it…thanks Vanessa!

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