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Monday, 12 October 2009

It's not about the money...


... but it helps!

I've been freelance now since November 07, so my business is nearly two whole years old. I'm loving it, it's truly a wonderful job (although doesn't ever really feel like a job). I get to meet amazing people, see amazing things and work for great companies. However, I no longer get a company car, a paid mobile phone bill, paid holidays, sick pay or time in lieu. It's different I tell you that for sure!

The benefits far outweigh all of those above, because money or 'things' don't motivate me. Earning money is a priority, let's not get confused here, but I do this job because I love photography. I love the challenges it brings and no job is ever the same, the money thing is just a necessary part of it all.

However, not being motivated by money doesn't mean I can ignore it and just watch it roll in. How money is handled from job pricing to accounting has been (and still is) a steep learning curve. I didn't do a business degree, I still get tangled up in Excel spreadsheets and I've only just learned the correct way to show my finances to my accountant to stop me having to pay him a million pounds to sort out my receipt jumble!!! I didn't account for that when I left the cosy world of life as an employee with ITV!!

So for the last week or so after my accountant asked for my income and expenditure for the tax year 08-09 I've plunged into the depths of Excel. I must have threatened to throw my computer and every scrap of tatty receipt and bank statement I own out of the window on more than one occasion and nearly had a nervous breakdown when my cousin showed me how I should be displaying my figures... i.e not at all like I had thought it should be done. So with patience in small doses by my side and the odd visit from Ben to check I haven't gone wrong, I've waded my way into the world of accounting and do you know, I've found it quite therapeutic. Excel was still born of the devil and we aren't quite the friends I think we could be but at the moment we tolerate each other and manage to just about get things done the way they should be. It also means I now have a stable grasp on how things need to be kept and so every month I can set to task to keep on top of it all without fear and also without having a whole year to sort.

People said going freelance would be hard. They were talking about getting work though, they never mentioned the bitty little bits like doing your own accounts. I thought if I had an accountant they did it all for you...wrong! I still have to provide the necessary information to allow the accountant to do his work. But I've done it, I'm a mere one hours work away from completing the battle that I started when he first emailed me those awful words... "Send me your figures".

So you see, not a drop of cash to be seen, it's all numbers written with silly formulas and put in confusing boxes that only numbers people can decipher.

It's not about the money is it... it's about the numbers... oh to be on a payroll (joke)!!!

H :)

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