Some of the developers and designers who I admire the most in the wider development community are really good about being open about various aspects of their businesses. Sometimes they talk about their challenges, sometimes they do financial reports, and other times they cover different topics.
I’ve slowly been trying to share some of my own experience as it relates to self-employment. It’s not meant to be prescriptive or meant to be a guide on how you should do anything, but it’s something that I hope proves useful if for no other reason than to show what’s worked for me.
So in this post, I thought I’d share how I’ve gone about managing my books – or how I’ve done self-employment accounting – since working out of Pressware.
Before getting into how I do things now, it’s worth noting that my first year in business I ended up doing everything myself. Part of this was being inexperienced, part of this was being naive, and part of it was because I figured it’s my business so I should run all aspects of it.
But then tax time came – to say that that resulted in a little bit of sticker shock would be an understatement.
Luckily, there were (and are) enough people in my life that helped to share the significance of saving when you go into business for yourself so the bill was covered. Still, when you’re used to having your payroll taxes deducted as well as all of the other items such as FICA, et al., you neglect to research just how much you should be withholding.
So from there, I went with a two-step system in order to prevent anymore surprises like that from happening again.
To be clear, I’ve kept books ever since the first time I took on a client contract – even before I was self-employed. To say that I went with a two-step process is a little misleading.
I more or less went with, say, a-step-and-a-half.
First, I continued to keep books using my software of choice – FreshBooks – but I got more organized with how I was tracking things so when it came time to do expense reports, review the P&L and so on, it was less tedious than prior years.
But I didn’t stop there. And when people ask me what the smartest thing I’ve done since being in business for myself I can only