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Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-21-2005, 06:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Any recommendations for a good source or two on these topics? I'm particularly curious about the early phases, at least in my case, where all I have is TFP/TFCD work, resulting in zero profit, thus far and probably into next year. Also, silly question, but would membership in sites like GG be considered as a business expense, e.g. membership in professional organizations?

Oh yeah, what accounting/tax software do you find best suited for a photography business?

Cheers!
Glenn K.
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-21-2005, 09:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm still growing, so I don't have an accounting package...but something like Quickbooks would work fine.

As for taxes, Turbo Tax does a great job with Sole Proprietorships (Schedule C).
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-21-2005, 10:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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QuickBooks and PeachTree are probably the most popular with QuickBooks being a bit more User-Friendly. Usually you can find a good accountant to help you set up the program from the beginning - it will be easier and pay for itself in the long run.

Just make sure you hang on to ALL receipts for everything you buy, (memberships, props, equip, legal/accounting, etc, etc) you'll be able to use them as right offs.

A good accountant can also advise you on being Sole Proprietor, LLC, or S-Corp. You can check with the local schools or University - they often have Small Business classes that include record keeping, taxes, marketing, etc. They're pretty good, I just went through them and I'm in the process of converting all my records into QuickBooks. You can get a lot of information from the SBA (http://www.sba.org) but it's a lot easier sometime going over it in person and having the opportunity for Q&A.
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-21-2005, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Subscribe to Photo District News (PDN). Their subscriber's on-line site has lots of resources. You can join professional organizations like PPA or ASMP.
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-21-2005, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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http://www.allworth.com/Catalog/PH215R.htm there are some excerpts in the tips section of GG
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by the numbers
Old 09-21-2005, 06:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Any good business software and accountant should be able to help you with keeping track of stuff, but since there are some special considerations for photographers (when to charge sales tax, when not to, when to PAY sales tax, when not to), it's helpful to find an accountant that is familiar with the photo business, the same as finding one who is familiar with any specialty, be it the restaurant business or construction. I could give you an accountant here in LA, but you probably want someone more familiar with CO tax law. Some of the other suggestions you received are good - subscribing to PDN, and joining some professional organizations that not only have resource files, but members in all states, and message boards where you can post specific questions, even a request to find a photo-friendly accountant in your state.

Here is my usual list of pro-oriented websites. If you spend some time and click on all the links on the APA and EP pages, especially the "resource" links, you'll find a quite a lot of information. BTW, I use Quickbooks Pro myself, but there are some comprehensive "studio management" software packages available (they include photo-specific options and terms), you'll see them advertisted and mentioned on all the sites. I'm not familiar with any of them, I've been in QB too long to switch. Plus, most accountants know QB, they probably won't know the specialty software.

http://www.apanational.org/ *
http://www.editorialphoto.com/ *
http://www.asmp.org/ *
http://www.fotoquote.com/
http://www.loundy.org/commoncents/
http://www.pdn-pix.com/
http://www.stockartistsalliance.org/
http://www.pickphoto.com/
http://www.copyright.gov/register/visual.html (find the short form VAS)
http://www.photoplusexpo.com

Note: APA, EP, and ASMP have active Yahoogroups or online forums. APA & ASMP have local chapters around the country and often put on evening seminars dealing with business topics, marketing, and simple creative motivation. EP exists only in cyberspace, but it has lots of good info and experienced members.

Also, if you feel like traveling.... Photo Expo (also above) will be in NY next month, and amoung the seminars offered will probably be some business-oriented ones.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio

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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-22-2005, 06:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply. Turbo Tax is what we use now, so that would be good for the "I don't hafta learn nuthin' new" factor. QB will probably be adequate for quite some time, I would think.

Cheers!
Glenn K.
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-22-2005, 06:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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From what I recall, and this was years ago, Peachtree was pretty heavy duty and more than a little "user-abusive." I think one of the reasons QB has been so successful is that you don't have to have a degree in accounting to set it up.

As for the receipts, the wife is pretty anal when it comes to filing, so as long as I get them to her (and that's the big trick), I should be fine.

I'd all but forgotten about the SBA, I'll need to look into that. I know the city also has a small business development center, so that gives me another resource to tap.

Thanks for replying,
Glenn K.
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-22-2005, 06:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Subscribe to Photo District News (PDN). Their subscriber's on-line site has lots of resources. You can join professional organizations like PPA or ASMP.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'll check them out.

Thanks!
Glenn K.
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Re: Photography: Business, Taxes and Accounting
Old 09-22-2005, 06:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
http://www.allworth.com/Catalog/PH215R.htm there are some excerpts in the tips section of GG

[/ QUOTE ]

PhotoByte looks like a good investment.

Thanks for the tip!
Glenn K.
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