All Things Writing

The Craft of Writing

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QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor

Hey! I decided to attain the certification for QuickBooks Online – I’ve been certified at various times over the years I’ve been using QuickBooks. If there’s an interest, I’d be happy to do a monthly QBO column. I have an MBA in Finance, have worked as a small business consultant and trainer, worked with start-ups, etc., so I promise I won’t just make stuff up!

Please leave me a comment if that’s of interest to you!


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Hey! I tried 17Hats when it was first out and loved it. Then my life got beyond complicated – I’m sure you all know what I mean. So, now I’m back to 17Hats. It’s even better than it was, and I’m including a referral link so you can check it out. Seriously, you can also go there directly, but either way, do the trial. The part I like is the Workflow. It’s like I can finally delegate something and have it get done. I’m looking forward to a smoother 2018!

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Tracking Freelance Work

AssignmintI’m determined to be ultra-organized this year. I re-did my office over winter break so that I have clearly defined areas for each type of work. I also did a thorough search for some sort of database for tracking queries, book proposals, and contracted work for magazines and books. I was ready to create a database in FileMaker, but really didn’t want to add that to my To Do list.

The tracking program I discovered is Assignmint. Happily, this Web-based application is doing what I need, far better than what I would have created.   Continue reading


QuickBooks Questions

Certified-QuickBooks-Online-ProAdvisorI’ve noticed a lot of recent activity on my QuickBooks posts. Rather than write a new post that may or may not meet your needs, how about if you feel free to ask me your five most pressing QuickBooks questions? I’ll create posts that answer those questions. While I’m at it, I’ll create a FAQ.

Why ask me? I’m QuickBooks Pro Certified. I also teach a QuickBooks online class at the local woman’s business center, have an MBA in Finance, and have taught business courses at the local community college. I’m  a writer who has used QuickBooks for my own writing business for years.

Why am I suggesting this?   Continue reading


QuickBooks for Writers

So here you are. It’s nearly the end of the first week of February and you have done nothing proactive about the accounting mess you pledged you’d clean up. Your receipts are piled up on your desk – a good start – and you have scribbled notes about who owes you what when. You could enter that information into a spreadsheet, but why not enter it into QuickBooks and get some real use out of the information and effort?

QuickBooks is the best-selling accounting software for small businesses. It has more bells and whistles than you probably care about, BUT it does have the ability to track the things you need to track if you think about it before you set it up. What exactly does “think about it before you set it up” mean? I’ve been using QuickBooks for years and have also been QuickBooks certified for several years. In addition, I have my MBA and was a financial analyst and small business consultant for many years. Here is what I’ve learned along the way.

As a writer, you most likely want to know these things on a regular basis:

  1. How much money is due to you? Who owes it to you? When is it due to you?
  2. How much money do you owe? Who do you owe it to? When must you pay?
  3. How much money is in your checking account? How much money do you have in savings?
  4. Are there any charges on your credit card that are related to your writing business.

Let’s tackle the first one – how much money is due to you – in this post.

How much money is due to you is also known as your Accounts Receivable. The total of your Accounts Receivable is the total of the money due to you. The tricky thing with writing is that you don’t always know a definite payment date since it is often “upon publication.” For me, that makes it easy to overlook a Receivable – something I do NOT want to do.

As a way around that, when I submit a query to a new client, I create a Customer Record for that client. It takes very little time. All I do is put in a name, address, and other contact info. In the notes, I put some information about the query itself. This way, if I get the assignment, I can go on to the next step. If I don’t get the assignment, I can make the customer inactive or delete it entirely. For the time from the query to the response, I have the potential client in my system – safe and sound where I can’t lose it!

When I get the assignment, I create an Invoice. The invoice may or may not be the one the client wants from me – if they even want one from me. Very often they send a contract and I sign and return it. My payment comes without an Invoice from me. So why create a Contract? Because it takes very little time but yields a bunch of useful information for my purposes. Plus, it sits there with the potential due date, letting me know when that date is approaching so I can watch my mailbox and follow up if necessary.

What information can I get from the invoice? I can tell what sort of writing paid me the most, if that is important to me. I can tell which Clients paid me the most. I can keep track of my time if I’d like, and see which writing was the most profitable.

For me, the most important part of entering the information and creating an Invoice is that I have one place to look to see who owes me money, and a system that keeps track of when it is due without any additional effort on my part.

Related Posts:
QuickBooks for Writers – Getting Started

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To PayPal or Not to PayPal

PayPal. The ubiquitous money-mover that’s popping up ever more often as a method of payment.  The question is, do you use it as a way for people to pay for your services?

Let’s consider the pros and cons. Since I like my bad news first and quick, I’ll start with the cons:

  • PayPal takes a 3% fee for each payment made to you via a PayPal button on your shopping cart. (The majority of similar services also take a fee.)
  • In the case of a customer dispute, it will take approximately 8 weeks for the funds to be re-deposited to your account if you are victorious. Yes. Eight. Weeks. If your business is as cash-starved as mine, that will be a very looooonnnnnggggg eight weeks. And I’m here to ensure you that no amount of pleading, crying, whining, threatening, or cajoling is going to make that less than eight weeks.  Even if the customer informs his credit card company that the charge was correct and he was in error. Eight weeks. Just saying’
  • You could have your client deposit your funds into your bank account automatically – without any fees.

Then again …

  • The fee is tax deductible. Truly. Check it out for yourself in IRS Publication 334.
  • The money is in your account and ready to use – immediately.
  • For many individuals who are using your services, using PayPal is simple, easy, and not a matter of a cash outlay on their part.

Bottom line? The entire time I was waiting for my money to re-appear in my PayPal account, I swore I’d never use PayPal again. Then I had over sixty families in four separate locations registering for my KidWrite program and – what can I say – PayPal was once again a no-brainer.

Next time – Getting your money out of PayPal!

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Tracking Money Due to You

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Tracking Money You Owe