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Thread: Question for ProTogs - accounting/invoicing software ?

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    Member MajickStudio's Avatar
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    Question for ProTogs - accounting/invoicing software ?

    I'm in the process of setting up my photography business & am at the point where I need a comprehensive software package for the accounting & invoicing, as well as creating a customer database

    I have looked at a few different options (eg, quickbooks)
    - but I'm wondering what other Aussie Pro Photographers use / recommend & why

    I'd really appreciate some honest opinions - thanks
    Renee
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    "never take life too seriously .... there's too much fun to be had (while you're planning to do sensible things with you life)"
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    Gear: Canon 5DmkII ~ 24-70 f/2.8 L ~ 70-200 f/2.8 L II ~ Battery-grip ~ Canon Powershot SX20IS ~ CS5 & LR 2 ~ etc. etc.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    warning! I'm not a pro photographer, but work as a sub contractor-courier, and have to do all my accounting(so take my reply with a grain of salt)

    I love Quicken's QuickBooks.. easiest accounting program I found.. but this is coming form an accounting dunce too!

    if you have any semblance of an idea on accounting, and accounting practices and terminology, MYOB is better in a lot of ways.

    My brother also runs his own transport business, but also employs other drivers, and he found MYOB was more powerful, and he has a better understanding of accounting as that's more his line of work in the transport business.. not so much as good driver
    (in that respect he's useless! )

    I also tried MYOB and found the techniques it requires you to use, much harder to 'master', as it always requires the user to 'invoice' for every input.
    (thsi is something I dont; understand, as when all I want to do is input an expense(with the relevant GST and other taxes), Quicken simply asks how much, and does it's work seamlessly.

    I just found this method easier to perform.

    I have had issues with Quicken tho, and it's specific to my situation.
    i started with v8(CashBooks) and also got an upgrade to CashBooks 2004. Because it's an upgrade I have to install v8 first and then upgrade to 2004.
    With all other programs I've ever used, this has never been a problem for me, but the problem here is that when trying to install the upgrade to 2004, it asks me to remove v8. Do this and then the 2004 upgrade install says there is no previously installed program and the upgrade will not proceed!

    Bottom line(after calling the Quicken help phone line, as a registered user and all that useless garbage).. is that their support system sucks! there's no other way to describe it.
    Their only help offer is that I should update to QB2010 and they'd give me the full version at the upgrade price. I still have to pay over $200 to do this tho, and I feel robbed now.

    Note this has only happened recently with my upgrade to Win7, where I had no issues running Quicken on my old WinXP system.
    now I'm over a year behind with my accounting, and have to input over an entire years worth of expenses and income, once I get back on track(annoying, but with Quicken it's actually easy)

    My brother has MYOB, with multiple licenses and has offered me one of those(5) that he has, but I'm loathe to use it, as all I remember it to be was more of an accounting program for business managers and accountants, rather than a CashBook style program.

    Note that Quicken still does all the necessary invoicing you may need to generate to send to clients. It's the concept of generating an invoice for inputting an expense(such as $30 in fuel) that used to annoy me about MYOB.

    So my experience, as a layman; Quciken's support annoyed me, but MYOB's program annoyed me even more

    I think in the end, no matter what program you end up getting, you just have learn it's methods and stick with it.

    Also note: my brother also recently got a copy of a Quicken program specific to property investment, and he commented to me that it is easier to understand and use, compared to MYOB. But if you have any semblance of understanding of accounting(or can get some coaching/help) then MYOB will ultimately be the better program.
    My problem is that accounting is like a Canon camera ... I simply refuse to want to learn how to use it
    (ps. don't worry, I'm fire proof now ... but I did feel a need to add some photography related context into my reply)
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    hahaha ... Thanks for taking the time to reply arthurking ~ I'll take the Canon comment as a compliment , although perhaps not meant that way ... glad to see you've a sense of humor !
    I do have access to a licence for MYOB but I haven't found a usable template for photography which means creating my own which would probably take me forever because I'm not an accountant. And I can't find anywhere within the program where you can add T&C's (for individual clients) etc... simply without spending half an hour creating each invoice.

    I have found 2 programs created for the USA market that look very workable ~ but their not meant for the Australian Tax system or legal requirements
    I do have an IT background but don't really want to have to regress to creating my own database that will export to MYOB or quickbooks.
    I'm hoping someone has found a better solution & is willing to share it

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I also tried MYOB and found the techniques it requires you to use, much harder to 'master', as it always requires the user to 'invoice' for every input.
    FWIW, all you have to do in MYOB if you want to record an expense without raising an invoice is to Spend Money which is in the Banking module - this just "writes" a cheque basically.

    Quote Originally Posted by MajickStudio View Post
    I do have access to a licence for MYOB but I haven't found a usable template for photography which means creating my own which would probably take me forever because I'm not an accountant. And I can't find anywhere within the program where you can add T&C's (for individual clients) etc... simply without spending half an hour creating each invoice.
    MYOB allows the user to set T&Cs on a per client and even per invoice basis if you want. To set T&Cs for each client, go to their card and click on Selling Details.

    Regarding a template, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your accountant should be able to suggest a reasonable accounts list for you to start with and that's about all you need to get going. I'm guessing you might also want to customise invoices too, but you would need to do that if you had a template anyway and many businesses don't do it at all. If you really want to start with one of the pre-made templates, you could look at any of the service based ones and see which one looks like it might fit you best perhaps. There really aren't a whole lot of options.

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    Ausphotography Regular gcflora's Avatar
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    I reckon if you asked Kym nicely he'd be more than happy to write you a custom software solution



    *Craig runs and hides*
    Craig

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    Thanks for your replies ....

    I'm guessing there isn't really a better solution than MYOB
    (which my accountant will be happy about I'm sure)
    I must say I'm a bit disappointed, but will have another look at the MYOB beast & try to muddle my way through

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