I have had the opportunity to interview the amazing Amanda Gascoigne of the Biz Buddy! In this episode, we talked about how she got into accounting, how to make accounting simple and easy, and great tips on how you should value your art works or business so as to make a profit!

If you would like to know about Amanda you can visit her website at TheBizBuddy.com or her Facebook page.

Show Notes:

  • Felicity and Amanda met 8 months ago through a business network opportunity
  • Amanda has been an accountant for the last 20 years. Over the last 17 years she had her own accounting practice, ‘Gascoigne Consulting’ and it is a practice that deals with small-medium sized businesses and individual taxpayers
  • Started at her home in East Maitland
  • She ended up doing Accounting when she was doing her HSC – she had two choices: Accounting or Textiles Design so she is a creative person as well!
  • How you manage money, how organised and charging for the creative work that you do is incredibly important for Felicity
  • Business owners – there’s no way to get around that but why not use that information for your benefit first and let the tax office use it to lodge your tax return or a BAS
  • Just understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing makes it easier to get your head around
  • with creative things that you are actually producing, your clients are putting a value on that – likewise accountants can put a value on what they’re providing as far as what we’re giving to the tax information because they’re actually giving more than just lodging a form – they are actually helping business owners understand business better and potentially improve record keeping and profitability
  • Accountants generally do not ask some relevant questions before working with someone – they assume that clients understand it whereas clients do not like to ask because they think it is too basic to ask but no one achieves out of that
  • Very basic questions to ask an accountant – bookkeeping and keeping of your records – one of the biggest problems is business owners come to accountants to do their tax returns and they don’t have all the information in a nice, sorted manner
  • Keep everything because it is not an embarrassment to bring something that isn’t deductible
  • It is better to have more than really not enough
  • Every time you get a receipt, put it in a folder – which is a very simple way of keeping records – there are lots of apps out there which is nice, but you can also pop in the folder and see at the end of the month to summarise how you are going
  • Categorise at the end of the month on how much you have spent on travelling, art supplies, telephone, etc.
  • Another place that accountants can help is to extract the value of your services – if they know how much it is costing you to run your business, they then have an idea of how much extra profit they’d like to make to remunerate you. All of a sudden you’ve got a target on how much sales or how much do you need to sell each month to start covering your overhead and then making a profit to actually reward you for your time and effort
  • If you don’t know what it is costing you to operate your business and know what you need to live off your own personal budget, how do you get to be a profitable business? Quite often, they don’t get looked at especially with creative people they concentrate on their productions. They just need to have a simple filing system – 10 minutes at the end of every week.
  • As artists, they don’t really think much about investing for themselves – future proofing their business
  • Hobby artists vs professional artists
  • If someone is doing art as a hobby there is no need to declare it for tax purposes
  • Still keep the receipts even if you are just doing it as a hobby
  • Amanda is rewarding herself now after working full time for 17 years and more. She is now doing the reverse
  • Winning prize money or getting grants? What taxation issues might be around that? Yes it goes back to the hobby. If it is part and parcel of your business, it will be included. If it is just a one-off thing but you are still working on that hobby stage, you probably might not need to worry about paying tax on that
  • Her website is thebizbuddy.com.au where she shares some blogs and helpful information, etc.
  • Her future projects include e-courses that involve Record Keeping, Understanding your Financial Statements, etc. checklists on what business owners must do on a monthly and quarterly basis and will open up a 1-on-1 coaching