Here at No Film School, we focus a whole lot on the technical and creative processes of filmmaking. However, for those of us who are attempting to make our living from freelance filmmaking (or any other creative endeavor), it's incredibly important not only to be artistically and technically proficient in the craft, but to have a basic sense of how to run your business. One of the biggest steps that you can take is to develop organized and responsible accounting practices. As intimidating as the accounting process might seem, there are tons of excellent online tools that can help you and your business tame the finance beast. One of my favorite tools is called Wave. It's easy to use. It's powerful. And it's free.
A cursory Google search for "accounting and invoicing tools" will reveal that the internet is chock-full of tools for large and small businesses alike. However, the most powerful and reliable tools can get expensive quickly, especially for freelancers who work with a wide variety of clients. And for those of us who go through dry-spells and bad months as freelancers, paying month by month for accounting tools doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That's where Wave comes in. Wave is completely free, and the feature set is comparable to most online accounting tools available today.
Here's a quick video rundown of what's available in Wave:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXaYQyq-CFQ
And here's an introduction to just how easy it is to use Wave for basic accounting and organization of business and personal transactions:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6vLUo9OwNY
Wave also makes it absurdly easy to electronically invoice your clients, which allows them to pay online with a credit card, and which usually results in you getting paid for your work much faster than sending traditional invoices through the mail. For people who are just starting out with business accounting and invoicing, these free tools demystify the process and make it easier than ever.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNX54VEU_ag
Ultimately, accounting is probably the least exciting part of owning a business or working as a freelancer, and it seems especially boring and tedious for those of us who are creative by nature. But if you're serious about making a living as a freelance filmmaker, photographer, or creative of any kind, then Wave might just become your new best friend.
What do you guys think of Wave? For the freelancers out there, how do you keep track of your business finances and invoice your clients?
Link: Wave Apps