Business of VO – Accounting

Invoices, Expenses and Taxes, oh my!

How do you keep track of it all? Anne and Gabby share some pros and cons of different accounting softwares, give you a history of what they’ve used in the past and what features they just can’t live without in the VO biz! You may not be using your current system to its full potential!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. You need accounting software to know where your money is going.

  2. Organized accounting will make taxes simpler.

  3. Have a separate business account for simpler accounting.

  4. Use online bill pay, accounting software, and paypal so you can go paperless.

  5. Invoice immediately after a job is complete!

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Keep track of your outstanding invoices with Freshbooks
Another good program to use is Quickbooks
Xero is also a popular program!


VO: Today’s voices need to be more than just a pretty voice, today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss. A VO boss. Set your self up with business owner strategies and success, with your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business, like a boss, a VO boss.

Anne:  Hi everyone, welcome to the VO B.O.S.S. podcast. My name’s Anne Ganguzza, and I’m here with my lovely co-host, Gabby Nistico.

Gabby:  Hi, hi.

Anne:  And today’s podcast, we’re gonna talk about I think everyone’s favorite topic, Gabby. And that would be accounting.

Gabby:  Dun dun duh.

Anne:  And accounting software. Which I know for a fact, for me, personally, it’s so not my favorite thing to actually have to do, but it is an essential part of the business. And so I think we should start off talking about well, number one, why do we need accounting software? Gabby?

Gabby:  Well, you know, I this topic, it’s so funny, I feel like I know we’re a podcast, but I feel like going “Show of hands, who loves accounting? “Show of hands, anybody?” Oh there’s that one guy in the back, got it.

Anne:  Yeah, I don’t see anybody. For sure.

Gabby:  Okay, why do we need it? All right. So probably the number one downfall for businesses is that because their accounting is improperly handled, they don’t know how much they’re spending, where they’re spending it, and ultimately where their money is going.

Anne:  That’s a super, super important point. Because I know when I began, and I wasn’t as concerned, all I cared about when I first started doing voiceover was, okay, where’s the next really cool class, what’s the next cool class that I can take, and what job did I just get, or can I book this job? And I wasn’t concerned, necessarily, about actually inputting numbers into tables or checking accounts or balances. That sort of stuff was the furthest thing from my mind. All I cared about was getting the job and making the money, but other than that, I wasn’t really concerned. And so I love that you just brought that point up. It is so, so important that you know where your money’s going, and you know how much you’re spending. And even moreso, I think as you progress in your business. As I’ve been in this close to 10 years full time now, I’m like, so where is all my money going? And who is, where am I getting the most money? And it really helps me, once I have an idea, of the numbers that are happening in my business, it gives me a great idea on how I can improve, how I can move forward, how I can progress and become even more successful.

Gabby:  Absolutely.

Anne:  So let’s talk about… I’ll talk about progression. After I first started in the business, I’ve done a few different types of accounting softwares. Let’s talk about actual software that we’ve used and maybe we liked or didn’t like. I’ve used a couple of different softwares in my business. I started off with, gosh, back in the 1990s, I was paying my bills using Intuit. It was called Check Free. And so that became like Quicken. But I was paying electronically in the 1990s and I remember people were really like, aren’t you afraid that, you know, you’re giving up all your account information on the bad internet? And that somehow that information is all gonna get stolen. Well I’m here to tell you that I’ve been doing accounting and banking electronically since the early 1990s and I’m still here. I’ve never actually, knock on wood, if I have wood, never had any issues. Never had any credit cards stolen, never, nothing bad has ever happened.

Gabby:  Wow.

Anne:  So I’m here to attest to that. And so I started off with that paying bills online through Check Free, and doing my checking balances through Quicken. And I loved that for many years. And it wasn’t difficult until I started becoming a business and then I had to try to keep my finances separate and you know, there was electronic formats of people being able to pay me online. Then it became more complicated. It used to be easier. Do you remember balancing your checkbook by hand?

Gabby:  Yes, sadly.

Anne:  I do. Yeah, I know. All this electronic digital format has really made things easier but yet, also, all the things that you need to consider in terms of accounting.

Gabby:  Yeah, I mean, so funny ’cause you are so incredibly progressive, and to hear you say you were Check Free all the way in the 90s, that is unbelievable to me. So my first accounting software was called shoebox,

Anne:  What a cute name.

Gabby:  Because it wasn’t really software, it lived on my desk. And it was a shoebox.

Anne:  I love that.

Gabby:  I threw all my receipts into.

Anne:  Shoebox.

Gabby:  It was a totally manual process, and it sucked so bad. And yeah, writing checks and all of that, so I used to do things… So from there I went to Excel spreadsheets, and I was doing everything in spreadsheet, which definitely was a step up and a step in the right direction. About five years ago, I switched over to FreshBooks, which I love, love, love, love, love dearly.

Anne:  Mmm hmm.

Gabby:  And there’s other products that are now similar in nature to it that are on the marketplace. But ultimately, they all do the same thing. They allow you to keep your invoicing, your accounts payable, your accounts receivable, and all your expenses all in one easy-to-use place, which is fantastic.

Anne:  So you used shoebox until FreshBooks, is that correct?

Gabby:  No, I went from shoebox to Excel spreadsheets then Excel to FreshBooks.

Anne:  Now I used FreshBooks myself, too. That was one of the softwares that I tested out. Which I loved. They were great for invoicing, I’ll tell you that. Phenomenal for invoicing.

Gabby:  Yes, and that’s one of the reasons why I love them, ’cause it makes that process really quick and easy. I know plenty of voice actors who wait like designated times to send invoices,

Anne:  Oh, no.

Gabby:  whether it be like twice a month or like all these ridiculous things. The amount of jobs that get forgotten are unbelievable.

Anne:  Yeah, so true. I’m so glad you said that because I invoice…

Gabby:  I invoice immediately.

Anne:  right after the job is done.

Gabby:  Yeah, immediately.

Anne:  Exactly, sometimes before I do the job I’m invoicing, because I’m requesting that I get paid in full before I deliver files.

Gabby:  Yeah, it’s the only way to fly.

Anne:  So a lot of times I’m doing that prior. Exactly.

Gabby:  Plus, all the details are fresh, and you can create a more robust invoice that has all of the job details right then and there.

Anne:  Absolutely. I am gonna talk a little bit about my progression from Check Free into what used to be Quicken, right, and that’s what I did for my books, and then Quicken turned into QuickBooks, right, that was their business software, and QuickBooks was something that ran on the desktop, and I had that. Because when I first started, I was running all of my business on a pc. So I was running QuickBooks on my pc. And I got, it wasn’t intuitive, but it was something I kind of had to learn as I went along. And so that’s where I think I really started to develop my hatefor accounting in general, because it wasn’t easy, it didn’t come naturally to me, but I did know that it was important for me to start putting every transaction into the database. And I didn’t have a problem with QuickBooks for many years, until I did.

Gabby:  Mmm.

Anne:  And QuickBooks was my solution for many years, and when I did have a problem, I think they had changed ownership, or tech support had changed considerably. Because I was like a complete Intuit adoring fan, until I had to call tech support. And once I had to call tech support, it just became really frustrating for me. And I had an instance where I had a technical problem and my database was corrupted and then I wasn’t able to retrieve my database. We’re talking about a year’s worth of… I had kept sequentially every year’s worth of data in a new file, and so I had lost a considerable amount of data through a technical issue that I had, and I was not happy with the tech support. And so I tried to get away from QuickBooks. And I went to FreshBooks. And I loved FreshBooks invoicing. But I’m progressing forward now a good many years, to where now a lot of people pay me electronically, through PayPal, through Stripe, so there’s multiple ways that people are paying me. They’re paying me through direct deposit, and so I wanted a software that could handle all of that, and handle the fees and so FreshBooks for me, while they did great invoicing, they didn’t handle the PayPal fees nicely. I shouldn’t say they didn’t handle them nicely, but I had to input those in manually, and I get paid a lot via PayPal.

Gabby:  Yeah, I had to calculate them separately as well.

Anne:  Yeah, and so I really wanted a software that could handle as I import the database into it, I wanted it to split off the fees. And believe it or not QuickBooks came back. They came back and their QuickBooks Online finally incorporated that into it nicely, and so I am now at QuickBooks Online.

Gabby:  Oh.

Anne:  I love it because my accountant and I can go into the database at the same time. I can see what she’s doing and she can talk to me and tell me, all right, here’s how you’re gonna generate this invoice. And the nice thing about it, is they take payment. So if I send an invoice, there’s just a link, all they have to do is click and they can pay me via credit card, they can pay me via electronic deposit, and I can also accept payments via PayPal, the same way.