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#2028943 - 02/07/13 07:06 PM Finance software
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 172
Loc: South Jersey
Sorry to be asking so many questions lately - but as I ramp up my tuning and try to keep a more efficient business model, I keep finding myself curious what the rest of you out there in Piano World land do.

How do you keep track of your finances, particularly for tax purposes, but also just in general? I would really like some good software and wonder what has worked well for you.

I know some advocate incorporating as a business - that's probably a separate discussion depending on the state, but I'm mainly curious what you have found is the best way to keep track of finances.
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2028959 - 02/07/13 07:25 PM Re: Finance software [Re: BenP]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3475
Right now, I'm using Excel, but as my business becomes more complex, that will probably change. FWIW, you can probably get away with being a sole proprietor. Incorporating isn't worth it until you're doing it full time.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2029016 - 02/07/13 09:43 PM Re: Finance software [Re: BenP]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1449
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: BenP
Sorry to be asking so many questions lately - but as I ramp up my tuning and try to keep a more efficient business model, I keep finding myself curious what the rest of you out there in Piano World land do.

How do you keep track of your finances, particularly for tax purposes, but also just in general? I would really like some good software and wonder what has worked well for you.

I know some advocate incorporating as a business - that's probably a separate discussion depending on the state, but I'm mainly curious what you have found is the best way to keep track of finances.


Get some made-for-accounting software like Quickbooks or Account Edge. (Quickbooks may be considered the standard for small business, but it does lock in your data if you ever desire to change programs for some reason.) The design is already there, the formulas are done and you just do minor customization to fit your business and plug in your data.

You should understand the difference between "S" Corp.; "C" Corp and sole proprietor. There can be tax advantages with incorporating. I have operated both ways.

This is the place to take advantage of the information from your local Chamber of Commerce or small business incubator or whatever you have going on there. There is a wealth of information on the "business" of business. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by being uninformed about these aspects of business that are every bit as important as being able to tune good unisons.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
Editor, Piano Technicians Journal
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2029113 - 02/08/13 02:34 AM Re: Finance software [Re: BenP]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22782
Loc: Oakland
A good place to start is downloading a copy of Schedule C from the IRS. Read it and see what information you need to put into it. There will be several categories. If you keep a record of your income and expenses separated into those categories, you will make your life much simpler.

At some point you may decide that you need professional help with your taxes. A professional can set you up with bookkeeping software.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2029314 - 02/08/13 01:32 PM Re: Finance software [Re: beethoven986]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1148
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Right now, I'm using Excel, but as my business becomes more complex, that will probably change. FWIW, you can probably get away with being a sole proprietor. Incorporating isn't worth it until you're doing it full time.



Another vote here for using spreadsheets. But, I'm too cheap to pay for Excel... I just use OpenOffice wink smile

_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2029922 - 02/09/13 02:13 PM Re: Finance software [Re: daniokeeper]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 172
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Another vote here for using spreadsheets. But, I'm too cheap to pay for Excel... I just use OpenOffice wink smile



OpenOffice is great. I use Microsoft Office still, but only because I have a dinosaur (2003) version that I got practically for free when I was a college student and it still works fine.

I'm thinking of upgrading to Quickbooks. Haven't heard of Account Edge, I'll have to look that one up.
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2030224 - 02/10/13 02:26 AM Re: Finance software [Re: BenP]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1148
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BenP
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Another vote here for using spreadsheets. But, I'm too cheap to pay for Excel... I just use OpenOffice wink smile



OpenOffice is great. I use Microsoft Office still, but only because I have a dinosaur (2003) version that I got practically for free when I was a college student and it still works fine.

I'm thinking of upgrading to Quickbooks. Haven't heard of Account Edge, I'll have to look that one up.


Gnumeric is also a nice spreadsheet. smile

OO is nice because it works cross-platform without having to use an OS emulator.... or "non-emulator" like Wine. My desktop is Linux, one laptop is Linux, but the netbook with the Verituner software is Windows. I keep everything synced and backed up with Dropbox.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2030248 - 02/10/13 03:37 AM Re: Finance software [Re: daniokeeper]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3475
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Right now, I'm using Excel, but as my business becomes more complex, that will probably change. FWIW, you can probably get away with being a sole proprietor. Incorporating isn't worth it until you're doing it full time.



Another vote here for using spreadsheets. But, I'm too cheap to pay for Excel... I just use OpenOffice wink smile



Oh, I bought it at the student price.... when I was a student, oh so long ago! Feels like ancient history!
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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