I’ve never been particularly good at math. Perhaps that’s why writing is my career of choice. But unfortunately even as a writer it seems my responsiblities include my own bookkeeping. Apparently until I make it to the big times and can afford an accountant, I am my accountant – who knew?
The bottom line? All Americans are required to report their earnings & pay taxes on said earning to the IRS. By keeping an accurate record of income and expenses, you can reduce your “income tax liability”. In other words – by going the extra mile to keep accurate financial records you can keep more money in your pocket.
So now that you know the why of keeping accurate financial records, Thompson’s workbook-style book Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers can help you out with the how. The book has all sorts of helpful little tidbits, from types of businesses (s-corporation, partnership, etc), to naming your business, to filing your taxes, and then some.
My suggestions for how to use this book are as follows…number one, beginning writers can use it as a research tool. It can help you get an idea of some of the work ahead of you as a writer where your finances are concerned. Number two, more experienced writers will probably get the most use out of the chapter on tax write offs. Number three, there is an entire chapter dedicated to blank forms for your convenience – make use of them.
I fancy myself a pretty smart gal, but the first time around even I stumbled across a couple areas that I had to read a couple times over to understadn fully. But on a whole Ms. Thompson does a lovely job of making the tedious and often complicated process of bookeeping seem simple in a “Ohhhh, so that’s how you do it!” kind of way. As a budding freelancer, it’s been added to my shelf of resources and filed under “read again”.