Ian McGraw, Freelance Photographer

Ian McGraw has been working as a freelancer and photographer since 2001. With clients including Liberty’s, Unilever and David Lloyd Leisure, his portfolio covers product, corporate, social, architectural and interior photography. He also runs a successful wedding photography business offering a full service for the bride-to-be with packages including personal training, hair and makeup.

Challenge

Like many freelancers Ian went into business because he was good at what he does. Not because he was an aspiring accountant. After seven years in business he was trapped in "spreadsheet hell" with a bewildering array of systems he found complex to maintain.

You can't run a business without knowing the figures and Ian wanted a clear picture of his profit and loss so he could forecast income for the coming months and plan his business. Additionally he needed to keep control of cash flow by tracking invoices, so he could identify late payers.

Solution

Searching on the PCG website, Ian found FreeAgent, an online accounting service. Starting with a free trial on FreeAgent was painless and Ian was immediately able to generate invoices without inputting vast amounts of historic data.

Ian started entering data to FreeAgent mid-way through his financial year and quickly realised it was 100% more reliable than his existing system with a high correlation between what FreeAgent was telling him and what his accountant was telling him.

The software has a clean and simple design, highly intuitive and usable. It prepares VAT returns, calculates self assessed income tax, corporation tax and manages PAYE and NI. Users can monitor profit and loss; send and track invoices; track time and expenses and manage projects and payments.

Results

Most freelancers worry about their accounts. Feeling guilty that they are not on top of them. And fearing a nasty surprise if they were to look too closely.

FreeAgent is easy to use and puts the freelancer in control of their money. Ian now has a clear picture of money coming in and out of his business.

Tax is a major liability for any business, so having an up to date view of the amount that is accumulating is immensely valuable to Ian, particularly in light of the current changes in corporation tax and VAT.

FreeAgent has taken the quarterly panic out of preparing my VAT, invoicing and expenditure reports. It was quick to get going and is already saving me a large amount of time and is well worth the money. The home page gives me a clear picture of my finances, and my accountant can log in remotely. So now I know at a glance whether I should go buy that new camera or not!”

Ian McGraw LBIPP, Photographer

http://www.ianmcgrawphotos.co.uk
http://www.veilandtrain.com

Company:
Ian MacGraw
Company Type:
Limited Company
Sector:
Photography
Founded:
2001
Size:
1