Since becoming a freelance sound mixer, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects ranging from television commercials to feature films. I have also been fortunate enough to work on some very fun documentaries that bring with them plenty of traveling. This past year I spent time on the road filming for NatGeo’s popular documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, working closely with on-camera talent including Arnold Schwarzenegger, America Ferrera and Bradley Whitford. Additionally, I’ve mixed sound on location for commercials for brands ranging from Pepsi to Chevy to Dove, allowing me the opportunity to meet and work with musical artists such as Alicia Keys and Dionne Warwick, actors and actresses such as Uma Thurman and basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. While it is thrilling to have a growing list of clients and credits that have been accompanied by some amazing opportunities, it has also forced me to revisit how I was managing my finances.
Four years ago, I took the plunge and started my own company. During the first couple of years, most of my accounting was based on guesswork. At the time, I used Google Drive to create invoices and track expenses. This process was far more complicated than I had anticipated and not intuitive in the least.
While Google Drive digitized my records, it was a step up from the scratch pad and a shoebox of receipts. This system proved to be extremely tedious and inefficient. I would sift through countless documents and folders in order to locate important business material. It ended up creating more work for me. I had less time to spend on day-to-day operations as my business began to grow.
In the first year, I had less than 10 clients, which made my manual process tedious, but still workable. As my business and client list grew, however, it became increasingly laborious when it came to managing my accounting. In my field, I work with a long list of production companies on different projects so, for each new job, there would be a new client and a new folder to keep track of. The entire process was labor intensive, time-consuming and not nearly as organized as I would have liked. It was time to make a financial investment for the sake of my business and sanity.
A colleague recommended that I try FreshBooks. I was amazed at how its cloud-based accounting software simplified the invoicing process. The time I spent on repetitive accounting tasks diminished immediately. It freed up my schedule to focus on activities that helped my business grow. Instead of spending time billing for previous jobs, I could turn my attention to networking and finding new clients. FreshBooks also made it easier than I could have imagined to generate forecasting reports. That way, I could better plan my schedule and roadmap my goals.
Every small business owner has different needs, and I am no exception. Working on location for a television show or commercial means I need to be able to access my accounting records on-the-go. I don’t always have a computer when I receive an e-mail regarding an invoice or expense reimbursement that needs to be investigated. Having FreshBooks with me wherever my office happens to be makes it easy to bring my books with me wherever I go. With FreshBooks’ custom features, I feel empowered to get my financial work completed quickly and efficiently through:
At first, I was hesitant to transition from Google Drive to FreshBooks. I thought the process would be arduous and I would lose precious data during the transition. Surprisingly, FreshBooks and their customer support team made the move hassle-free. Now that I am set up with FreshBooks, I can plan my schedule more efficiently. I no longer waste time on repetitive, time-consuming tasks and can finally plan exciting adventures in my free time.
To other self-employed professionals using manual accounting methods, I recommend switching to a smart, simple and automated accounting system. Not only will you have more time to expand your business, your accountant will sing your praises come tax season. You’ll also be able to invoice clients with ease. You’ll learn from FreshBook’s financial reporting on how to improve your company and forecast for the future. You’ll finally be able to reduce the stress of bookkeeping since all your accounting resources are available at your fingertips. Working with a trusted financial software puts me at ease. I can kick back and focus on the work I love and, more importantly, enjoy life as a freelancer.
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