December 1 my business, Abby Glassenberg Design, became an S Corp.
Now I get junk mail that refers to me as CEO and President! As such I've commited myself to all that being in charge of a legitimate
business requires and this includes serious bookkeeping.
first need to make clear that I am not a numbers person. Ever noticed
that I don’t quilt? Or knit? Math kills the joy for me. I don’t cut in
straight lines. I don’t sew in straight lines. I don’t calculate stuff.
Except now I do. Financial record keeping is a vital component of having a
business and it cannot be avoided. It was time to grow up and figure it
beginning on December 1 I started doing my bookkeeping every Friday.
Charlie helped me set up a nifty Excel spreadsheet where I enter every
Etsy sale, Craftsy sale, eJunkie sale, and check, along with every Etsy
fee, PayPal fee, postage receipt, and other expense. It takes about a ½
hour on Friday mornings and you know what? It’s been awesome.
Looking the numbers in the eye once a week has made me:
Cut back on how much fabric and supplies I buy. Now I evaluate every purchase before spending anything.
harder at marketing. If I don’t sell any copies of my ebook one month
can I really justify paying the $5 fee to eJunkie to host it? Better
Feel great when I can see my sales growing.
Start a sponsorship program for this blog.
Feel confident that I can invest in things that will help me grow even if they might be a bit costly upfront.
numbers is necessary and makes tax time much simpler, but what’s really
valuable for a business owner is analyzing those numbers. Where is your
income coming from? What’s seen a good return on investment? Where do
you need to improve?
Is there an easier way?
Since December I’ve had my eye on an online bookkeeping service called Outright
that seems to be designed just for people like me. It promises to help
me reduce my ½ hour/week time investment by automatically linking to
Etsy and PayPal, and it has the power to easily create graphs and charts
to help me analyze my numbers visually even if I hate analyzing
I reached out to Jennifer Dunn who works for Outright
to get some more information because I thought you might like to learn
about this service along with me. I am not a financial expert by any means and I
wanted to be sure I was getting things right so I owe Jennifer a big
thank you for helping me with this post! Okay, here we go!
How does this work?
is a free online bookkeeping service designed specifically for small
businesses. With Outright’s free version, there is no monthly fee, no
credit card required, no trial and no expiration date.
allows you to import your PayPal, bank account, credit cards, and
marketplace accounts like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and Big Cartel to make
your accounting easier and less prone to errors. You link your accounts
to Outright and Outright imports your sales and expense transactions.
From then on, Outright downloads your new data every night.
linking your bank account or credit card you are not providing your
account number. You're simply authorizing Outright to download your
transaction history. Outright doesn’t deposit, withdraw or move any
money. It’s just bookkeeping software.
Crunch Your Vital Numbers
With Outright you can easily see visually how your business is doing. Check out this super clear profit and loss chart:
The green bar is either up or it’s down. See, I got it!
you can break your profit sources down into categories, too. As a solo
entreprenuer you most likely have multiple income streams. Maybe you
teach, sell at craft fairs and sell online. With Outright you can easily
see on a chart or graph which of these streams is bringing in the most
Your reports automatically refresh as your data comes in, so they are never behind the times. And you’ll have reports on:
Your profit and loss
Your sources of income
Your best customers
Your biggest vendors
Your sales by state
Very nice! Now let’s look at spending.
tells me, “We’ve had many Outright users tell us that they didn’t
realize they had such an addiction to office supplies or buying domain
names until they took a look at their spending habits on their Reports
Tab.” I do have a tendency to randomly purchase cute ribbon and buttons
on Etsy from time to time, but seeing it as a slice of that pie would
make me think twice!
Make Tax Time Less Taxing
Since tax time is just around the corner, let’s explore what Outright has to offer to help make filing taxes easier.
You might be wondering how Outright makes money if it’s offering it’s services for free. Well, it’s a fremium model.
you’d like help with taxes, you can upgrade to a paid account called
Outright Plus. Outright Plus is $9.95 per month and has more features
than a free account, including Annual, Quarterly and Sales Tax tracking
and reporting. And Outright
Plus also automatically pulls in any sales tax you collect through the
marketplaces you sell on, and lets you know just how much you need to
remit to your state when sales tax is due. That might be handy. Right now I
track sales tax on yet another spreadsheet.
Plus version will fill out your Schedule C form for you (this is the
one that’s due with your 1040 form on April 15th). Just print it out and
hand it to your accountant or tax preparer.
If you have to pay quarterly estimated taxes – and any sole-proprietor who will owe more than $1,000 on April 15th generally does – then Outright Plus helps you calculate those amounts each quarter – and reminds you to pay.
says, “We understand that everyone has a different level of experience
with bookkeeping and taxes and that everybody’s tax situation is
different. That’s why we have the Outright Community
where you can ask tax professionals or your colleagues what they would
do in a certain tax or business situation.” That’s sounds pretty helpful.
not an Outright user yet, but I thinking of signing on. I feel like it’s
the responsible thing to do and I’m actually looking forward to running
reports and doing some analysis. I want my business to be a success and I think this is going to be a great step toward that goal.
Do you use Outright? Please tell us how you like it. And if you have a different system (or no system!), let's hear about that, too. Financial recordkeeping was something I skirted around for years. I've been there.
you have particular questions or comments about Outright, or about my
super cool spreadsheet system, please fire away in the comments. It
might not be the sexiest topic, but it’s important, you know?
**I was not compensated in any way to write this post. I honestly think this is a great tool for creative businesses and wanted to learn more about it. Okey dokey.**