The curse of being a creative entrepreneur is that, more often than not, you are bogged down with the business side of things. I find that I spend more time trying to run a business than actually creating things. I’m constantly trying to realign my priorities to spend more time creating, but its hard, especially when there are so many IMPORTANT tasks that go into running a business, including accounting.
This venture is a woman show, for now, so I’ve had to learn accounting as I go. It’s definitely had a learning curve, but its not as steep as you’d think. that’s because I researched products that would help me with my finances almost immediately.
These are the products I use every week.
This is my launching board and pretty much the only thing I really need as far as finances go. It’s a lot of things all wrapped up in one neat little program.
It tracks my business bank accounts. This is great because every week on Friday I go in and sort out my expenses. I go through my purchases and sort them into categories, which is really easy because Xero starts to “learn” which expenses go to each category. The whole process doesn’t take me more than five minutes and it saves me so much time when I’m doing taxes. (Did I mention you can upload receipts, purchase orders and invoices?) All your financial statements and documents are in one place.
I also do my invoicing through Xero. It’s automated. I write up the invoice, which is takes two minutes because Xero saves product prices. Then I send it out. Xero has the option to let your client pay online ( I use Stripe). The money goes into my bank account without me depositing or transferring. If my client doesn’t pay, Xero sends automatic reminders.
Did I mention you can also pay employees and do your taxes? It’s literally the best.
In summation, Xero is a serious time saver and life saver, if we are being completely honest.
Sometimes I do hourly work. I can look at a clock and track what time it is when I’m done. That works fine. But since I started using Timely as my time tracker, its legitimately saved me time. And time is money.
Timely has a desktop and mobile app which makes really easy to use. You can create clients and projects. You can plan out your work week or simply track as you go. You can input what you’re working on doing that time. You can add time if you forgot to track it.
My favorite part is that it can export reports in excel or PDF form. I typically create my invoice in Xero but I also attach the itemized list of hours for my clients.
I mentioned earlier that I use Stripe to accept payments. I switched over from Paypal and haven’t looked back.
The pricing is 2.9% + 30 cents for each charge.
I integrate across everything I do, from online classes to invoicing clients and my online shop. All my money is going through the same funnel and its much easier to track. People also don’t have to create a new account, they just enter their card information.
Stripe has a lot of great functionality as well. You can do recurring payments, subscriptions and coupons, to name a few things.
I definitely don’t use Sellf to its full potential. It’s a simple CRM but I use it for financial planning. I set financial goals and use it to track where I’m at. that way I know how much I need to promote or work in order to make my money goal for the month, quarter of year.
Every year I’ve doubled my income because of this and I’m hoping that increase continues.
So those are the financial products that I use to keep my business running. I highly recommend them (And I’m not even getting paid to say so. I just love them this much!).
What are your favorite financial tools?