Business Bookkeeping for Wedding Planners

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

written by guest expert Timothy Gill of The White Box of Wedding Design

QuickBooks Financial Software

With the New Year here, you may have told yourself that this year you want to “do it right” when it comes to keeping track of your business finances. Mixing your personal and business money has gotten confusing and you want to simplify your bookkeeping.

If I have just described your personal situation, I recommend you purchase QuickBooks Financial Software.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it before and you may be intimidated by it, but I have found it to be the best way to keep our company’s finances in order.

With this software you can keep track of every dollar you spend and assign it to a specific category. By doing this, at the end of each month or year, you can look back and know exactly how much you spent on advertising, for example. You can even create sub-categories to be more specific (Advertising-Print or Advertising-PayPerClick).

We also use QuickBooks for keeping track of clients - their contact information, wedding date, the original contracted amount, deposits made, and amount due. If you make a purchase from your own funds on behalf of a client, QuickBooks will automatically keep track of that purchase and it can easily be referenced in a client summary page.

If you bill a client based on the amount of time you spend working on their wedding, you can also keep track of that.

Printing checks is a breeze and we also handle our entire payroll through this program (for an extra fee).

I believe there are about 100 different reports available so you can get quick snapshots of your business such as your cash on hand, what you owe vendors, and what you still have coming from brides.

You may be wondering how complicated the software is and how long will it take you to learn to use it. It is actually quite user friendly with a home page that helps the user navigate in a logical manner. If you have never done any sort of accounting before, you may wish to purchase a tutorial book or try one of the many training options QuickBooks offers.

There is a free version of QuickBooks available for trial which you may want to toy with. I recommend the Pro version ($180) for anyone who provides only planning services, and possibly the Premier version ($400) for those who offer retail items for sale.

We bought our copy of the software from a boutique that was closing right around the time we opened up our studio. I recommend checking Craigslist or the classifieds to see if any businesses are closing in your area that may be offering their copy of QuickBooks for sale at a much cheaper price than retail. Or, it might be a great time to use one of those Office Max coupons they keep sending out.

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