Jamie isn’t what you’d call an everyday creative and her career path was anything but typical. She’s a Vancouver-based web designer and brand strategist for her business JamieLeigh.com.
She thrives on connecting people with technology; a byproduct of her background in network administration, visual anthropology and Indigenous studies. So when Jamie started a business of her own, she knew she wanted to bring that piece of her past into the next chapter of her career.
Jamie focuses on a particular type of clientele, empowering them to build their business’ presence online.
“I work primarily with female business owners who may or may not do their work online,” she explains. “I also work with nonprofit organizations, so we dig deeper into who they’re trying to reach and who their audience is.”
But while web design and brand strategy came naturally to her, becoming a business owner brought a whole new set of challenges including, tax and accounting.
Jamie’s accounting process was anything but simple. Before starting her business in 2012, she took on a number of freelance gigs. But she needed a better way to bill her clients and track expenses.
“It was so embarrassing—I used Excel spreadsheets all the time and that’s how I invoiced,” she says. “It got to the point where I was so overwhelmed. I had shoeboxes full of receipts and my desk was crammed with more receipts.” What’s more, Jamie confesses she failed to do her taxes for 7 years and was in complete denial about it.
So, when she transitioned from her freelance work and started JamieLeigh.com, she needed a better way to do accounting. Jamie knew she wouldn’t be happy in business—or indeed life—if she didn’t find a great solution.
“I did not want another tax catastrophe like before. I decided I needed to get my s#!@ together now, before I started to bring in any clients.”
Fed up with spreadsheets, Jamie started her search for a better accounting solution. Her approach: “If they offer a free trial, try and test it.” She wanted to make sure she got her fingers under the hood of every platform to help her make the best decision for her and her business.
On top of testing each service, Jamie dreamed up a wishlist of must-haves:
Testing a number of different services and scouring the Internet for online reviews to see what others had to say, Jamie finally found a solution that checked all the boxes: FreshBooks.
For Jamie, moving her accounting to the cloud has been a huge difference-maker.
“If I was still using spreadsheets and the shoebox, I wouldn’t be in business right now,” she says, explaining how FreshBooks has become a staple in her business software. “It’s connected to my bank account, to my payment processor, to my email marketing program and my online appointment scheduler.”
What’s more, Jamie says FreshBooks has nixed her fear of numbers. Plus, she’s now able to manage her cash flow and taxes better.
“I always have the next year’s taxes already saved up and I’ve used the profit-first model because of FreshBooks. I don’t think my life would be as profitable or organized as it would be.”
As a result of her new-found organization, she’s been able to make a bigger and better impression with clients.
“[With FreshBooks] all of my clients’ data is in there,” she explains. “So my clients receive regular invoices and they know when to expect them because of FreshBooks. Everything is just so streamlined and automated—it’s just dreamy.”
As a FreshBooks customer since 2012, Jamie says it’s hard to imagine a time without FreshBooks.
“FreshBooks is always open on my computer. Let’s just say I don’t want to live without it.”
With that, she encourages other business owners to face their fear of taxes and accounting, and seek the right solution.
“You think [accounting] is going to be scary and will take up so much time—that’s why people put it off. FreshBooks takes away all that wasted time because it’s literally just one extra tab and click to add to your workflow. Saves time, saves money, the end.”