Details Details

by | Mar 27, 2012 | Business-end-of-things | 6 comments

Every time I rub shoulders with VO elite (a la FaffCon), I’m reminded of how well they handle the detail of their business.

Most of us want to run headlong into being better talent, and finding new voicing techniques, but the good freelance business owners are developing new job prospects, and taking care of their current ones by using solid business practices.  Most have found tools and routines that save time, track important metrics, and handle details that should never be overlooked.

Although I’m not inspired, here, by any session I attended this last weekend on business practices, I must confess a deep frustration with my current accounting system.  Keeping track of work, invoicing, scheduling, payments, purchases, follow-up, and the like.

I use the highly-recommended QuickBooks, but I’m about to bail out.  First of all, I detest their annual “upgrade” ploy that makes you feel like last year’s program is now dog-poop, and that you should immediately purchase their latest and greatest version with improvements too numerous to mention.

Secondly, it keeps telling me I can’t do things.  Hey, I bought this program, I’ll use it like I want!  Aside from being obstinate and rebellious, I just don’t have the time to take a class on using QuickBooks — insisted upon by my CPA.  I pay him too, and he’ll just have to accept my financial data in the form I give it to him!  [see how I have this magical way of digging myself deeper?]

Regardless the pros ‘n’ cons of QuickBooks, I keep hearing fantastic things about the following trio of strictly online tools that I hope will replace my accounting software, my CRM management, and my follow-up system of invoicing and tracking paymements.

OUTRIGHT.com is described as an Online Accounting and Small Business Bookkeeping Software for small businesses.  The site claims: “…All in one place! No more spreadsheets, piles of paper, and sticky notes everywhere…”  The thought of having all my financial data “in the cloud” instead of having to rely on ONE computer stacked with all my financial records really appeals to me.  All I hope is that they have ironclad security.

FreshBooks.com is described as “…the fastest way to track time, organize expenses, and invoice your clients…”  You can brand everything you send out with your own logo, and it integrates with Outright.com.  Right now, I’m still using a spiral notebook to do all that Freshbooks could do for me.

BatchBook.com is an online  Customer Relationship Management tool with a specifically Social Media bent.  Using a shared address book, Social Media savvy, lists of contacts, integration with FreshBooks, MailChimp, Google, etc., iPhone support, and the ability to track leads (among other things) Batchbook might just be the best thing that came into my life since my youngest daughter was born 18 years ago yesterday. 🙂

Honorable MentionZoho CRM.  Lately, I’ve been digging deep into Zoho’s incredibly broad suite of online tools, and I’m thoroughly impressed.  Using Zoho CRM WITH Freshbooks might be confusing, overkill, though…so I’ll need to decide, here, what I’m going to go with.

Keep in mind, I’m PREPARING to launch into these solutions, and am not necessarily endorsing them yet…just telling you what my research has shown are the ones I think will be my focus from here on out.

What are you using?

Suggestions welcome!

CourVO

 

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6 Comments

  1. Jodi Krangle

    I LOVE Freshbooks, Dave. Really. It’s branded, so your invoices look SUPER professional to your clients, and there are a whole host of reports you can print out for your accountant at the end of the year that will make his job (and yours!) very easy. Plus, when you get paid, Freshbooks sends out (or CAN send out – it doesn’t have to if you don’t want it to) a little email letting your client know that you’ve received their payment. I’ve had a lot of my clients come back to me after receiving that little email to open up a dialogue for more work.

    Best of luck with your decision! 🙂

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Jodi,

      Duly noted. It’s your unabashed support for FreshBooks, that led to my checking them out in the first place. ‘Just need to get started and do it!

      Thanks, Jodi…missed you at FaffCon!

      Dave C

      Reply
  2. Adam Verner

    Hey Dave – in the session on this I lead at Fafcon, the attendees were pretty evenly split among these 3 solutions: Quickbooks(or Quicken), Freshbooks, and Excel. I still use a massive spreadsheet in Excel that I love to play with (file name: voice over for fun and profit.xlsx), but I’d like to move to Freshbooks eventually. $30 a month though! I wish I could just buy it outright.

    Reply
    • Roxanne Hernandez Coyne

      Hey, Dave and Adam! Glad to have met you both at Faffcon. Dave, I share your IMMENSE frustration with Quickbooks. I have spent hundreds of $$ on the program itself, training materials, etc. and I still don’t feel that I have a good handle on it. However, I am not prepared to bail out because of the financial investment I’ve already made. Not to mention the time I have invested in learning how to invoice and manage my business bank account on it.

      Thank you for devoting this blog to what I consider to be THE most challenging aspect of running my own business.

      Adam, I enjoyed the breakout session you led and took away several great bits of information. I think when it comes time to renew that pesky Quickbooks update I will jump over to Freshbooks.
      I think someone in the session said it best (might have been Bob Souer)…that Quickbooks is to voice over accounting as Pro Tools is to v.o. home studio recording. That is, OVERKILL.

      Reply
      • CourVO

        Thanks, Roxanne, for visiting and contributing in your comment. It was so great getting to know you at FaffCon.

        I’m with you…(and Bob Souer) in that assessment. In fact, a private email I got in reaction to this blog encourages me to leave ALL that stuff: accounting, graphics, website, branding, etc., to a professional. Farm it out, and pay another freelancer to do all that, so YOU can stick to what YOU do best: auditioning, voice-work, and being a talent.

        I just need to get busy and familiarize myself with yet ANOTHER online program (‘hope it’s easier than Quickbooks).

        Again, thanks for stopping by Roxanne!

        Dave C

        Reply
    • CourVO

      Adam,

      Thanks for that!…now I’m sorry I missed that session, but I think I was leading another class at the same time.

      I appreciate the synopsis. Great seeing you in Ventura!

      Dave Courvoisier

      Reply

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