The Joy of Accounting

09 May 13

Kris Atomic Accounting for people who hate accounting

A little while back I mentioned on Twitter that I was psyched about doing my accounts and kind of jokingly said I might do a blog post on it (because it's not the most thrilling topic and I didn't think anyone would care). Surprisingly I received some enthusiastic feedback from other freelancers so I thought you know what, I can make accounting thrilling, goddamn it! So this is me, trying.

I am loath to admit that I don't enjoy working with numbers because its such an ~artist~ cliche (as well as a dumb gender stereotype). Alas, we can't be good at everything. I have to work really hard to keep my financial shit together and it doesn't come naturally to me, but for that very reason I get immense satisfaction from doing it for myself. In this post I'm going to tell you what I do, because I really could have done with reading something like this last year when I was reading Accounts Demystified: The Astonishingly Simple Guide to Accounting and tearing my hair out when they still appeared very mystifying indeed.

Note: my basic knowledge of accounting is based on my working in the UK as a sole trader. The rules and laws in other countries may be different and accounting for a Limited Company is also more complex.

Why you should give a shit about accounting and book-keeping

It's not cute to misunderstand the basics of accounting. If you're a self-employed woman in your twenties working in the arts or fashion, there are more than enough opportunities for financial institutions to treat you like you're a moron, trust me. There's no need to make their job easier by not actually knowing what's up. It's a major part of running any business no matter how creative and your creative decisions are (or should!) be informed by your financial position. Keeping track of your income and outgoings allows you to see what's working and where you should concentrate your efforts or which part of your business is costing a lot of money for fewer rewards. It allows you to plan for the future by setting money aside each month (what's up late-paying clients), get on top of outstanding invoices owed to you and know how much you will need to pay out to creditors in the future. And of course, taxes. Waiting until the day before the tax deadline to know how much tax you'll have to pay is not the way to go.

Lots of ~business gurus~ suggest outsourcing everything to other people so you can concentrate on "being creative", but those people are douchebags because getting a handle on your finances is super important in allowing you to be creative. When it comes to finances, there is nothing worse than the unknown and stress over your bank balance can put tremendous pressure on your creativity and ability to work. The good news is that knowing your way around your books isn't hard and doesn't take much time because it's 2013 and there is awesome technology to help us.

When you start freelancing or working for yourself, you probably start small. Usually a few jobs come in here and there, you might still have a day job that pays the bills and the extra income doesn't feel like a Real Business yet. You probably know that you should have separate bank accounts - I definitely did - but it didn't stop me from doing foolish things like using the two accounts interchangeably because I couldn't be bothered to do a money transfer. That is a terrible idea, don't do it. If you are working for yourself in any capacity and haven't done so already, stop right now and separate your personal and business banks. This will make doing your taxes a whole lot less confusing. Get a business bank account with a debit card, a business savings account (because your money shouldn't be sitting in a current account anyway) and a separate PayPal account if you use one. Do not mix your business spending and your personal spending ever because it's easy to do, but very annoying to undo (if you really want to know, buying non-business things on a business account is less annoying than vice versa, but really, don't do either).

My income currently comes from several areas of work: freelance illustration, photography and selling prints in my shop. I have a business current account and a business savings account, as well as a separate Paypal I use for my shop. For the first couple of years, I made all my invoices by hand, vaguely kept track of income and expenses in spreadsheets that I never really updated, kept my receipts dumped in a drawer and spent days (inevitably just before the deadline) stressing out and crying about my tax return. After two years of this and overpaying taxes because I wasn't even taking advantage of all the write-offs, I had had enough. Last autumn I set up a system and have stuck with it since.

"You should just get an accountant"

When you first begin thinking about taxes, you might seek advice from friends and family or the internets. The advice will probably be to "Just find an accountant and get them do it". I call this "The Box of Receipts Approach". Taking a box of receipts and a file of invoices to your accountant annually is super common, but I would be wary for the following reasons:

  1.  Dude, do you know how much that stuff costs!? Are you made of money? Sure some or even all of it might be tax deductible, but there are way more fun things to deduct than accounting costs. You could get a new iMac for the price of a year's book-keeping. Which would you prefer?
  2. You are responsible for your taxes, even if a tax advisor submits your tax return for you. If something is wrong, it's on you. If they do it all for you, are you going to understand any of it? What about if you get audited (it's good to operate under the assumption that you're going to get audited), how much are you going to pay your tax advisor to do everything on your behalf when you have no idea what's going on? What about if you get audited 5 years down the line, what shape are your records going to be in then?
  3. You're made to believe that you need an accountant to do everything for you because it's too complicated (it's not), too hard (it's not), too time consuming (it's not), not worth your time (it is!) either by accountants who need your business or people who aren't doing it themselves for the above reasons and thus have no idea what they're talking about ANYWAY.

The box of receipts method gets the taxes done and you might even get a basic profit/loss report out of it too, but if you're only doing it once a year it just doesn't give you all the info on your business when you need it - right now, daily. It doesn't give you the same level of smug satisfaction either, let's be real.

I do have a very nice and very helpful accountant (who I hope never sees this, lol). After spending my first few days getting to grips with FreeAgent as outlined below, explaining as many transactions as I could and leaving anything I wasn't sure about, I made an appointment with a small firm who specialise in working with online accounting software. I wrote a list of questions to ask (mostly CAN I CLAIM THIS, WHAT ABOUT THIS?), we spent two hours going over everything I wasn't sure about, I left with a list of things to do and lots of handy tips. Once that was done, my accountant could log in to my FreeAgent and check over everything, fill in my tax return and submit it to HMRC. This cost me £300 all in and it was money well spent to have someone check everything over and verify that I was doing it right. I'm going to file my tax return for 2012/2013 next month and I won't even have to see him in person this time, because it's all ready to do online.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't seek professional help when necessary, just that you should know what you're doing when you get there. The more work you do yourself, the less they'll need to bill you for.

So here's what I do

Kris Atomic Accounting

I use FreeAgent as the hub of all my accounting activities (that's a referral link, if you sign up we both get 10% off). I previously tried Xero, which works great for my bf, but I never got on with it. I found Xero too stark and complicated, though they really do the same thing, so it's worth trying out several options before committing. Most services have a free trial period so you can test the waters. Some other options you might want to investigate are FreshBooks, KashFlow and ClearBooks.

As I go about my daily business, I save every invoice, receipt and bit of paper that relates to my work (it's now pretty much crossed over to my personal expenditure too and I've just got in the habit of scanning everything no matter how unnecessary). When I empty my wallet or get something in the post, I stick it all in a folder on my desk which acts as an inbox.

Once a month I go through the folder and scan everything and file it away physically and digitally.
The physical papers are put in folders/binders/boxes depending on what they are (I have a folder for each bank account statements, separate boxes for expense receipts by year and so on).
The digital copies get imported in to an Evernote "inbox" notebook and I organise them there. I set the "date created" of each note as the date on the receipt which allows me to sort them chronologically if I need to find something in the future. I tag it with what it is (receipt:travel), the payment kind (payment:Paypal) and any project it relates to, if relevant (project:LFW AW13). Once everything in the Evernote inbox is tagged and dated, I move it to Evernote folders separated by financial year.

tip: Make sure that you scan to PDF, as Evernote will then make all the text searchable. Between that, the tags and the dates, you'll never lose a receipt again. Some printed receipts actually fade away completely within a year, so get them scanned while you can still read them!

Once the receipts are sorted, I import my latest bank statement in to FreeAgent (this literally just means logging in to my bank and exporting a statement as a .QIF and uploading it to FreeAgent. Depending on your bank and software, this step might be done automatically, as Paypal is) and go through each transaction and "explain" it. For example a transaction that shows like this:

02 May 13     INT'L LINODE.COM    40.58

is the hosting for this blog. It's an outgoing and a business expense, so I would select  Money Out > Admin Expenses > Web Hosting from the drop down menus. I pull up the relevant receipt and attach it to the explanation and I can move on to the next one! Most of my explanations are either business expenses or payments to my personal account, which are filed as Money Paid to User. Anything that is an equipment purchase over £100 is classified as a Purchase of a Capital Asset. It's pretty simple, you can get a breakdown of the existing categories here and you can make our own categories too.

Once I do this for each transaction I end up with the paper receipt in a file irl, the digital receipt tagged and easy to find in Evernote and a third copy attached to the transaction in FreeAgent. Attaching the receipt isn't mandatory, but I like to do it so that everything is in one place and in the event of an audit I can go though line by line and explain everything right there in FreeAgent.

Other handy stuff I've done in FreeAgent

- I've categorised my work by kind i.e. illustration/photography/shop to see an easy breakdown of where my money is coming from each month.

- Breaking down the Cost of Sales categories to all the different elements of, well, my cost of sales, so I can see how much I spend on shop packaging, promotional materials, printing, postage etc.

- Any fees that get taken from Paypal payments and international bank transfers can be added back on and classified as a business expense.

- Dealing with cash is now a lot less annoying because you can split transactions and apply separate receipts to parts of a total amount. So for example, you're working at an event for the day and take out £40 cash to pay for 3 taxis, some office supplies and a coffee. Once you've imported it to FreeAgent, you can break it down in to several transactions, categorise them according to type and attach individual receipts.

There's loads of other cool stuff you can do with all this data in FreeAgent, like see your profit and loss, balance sheets, depreciation of capital assets, etc etc. Most of the aforementioned services let you do the same stuff, the most important thing is to find the one you like using best and get your data in there.

In FreeAgent I began by concentrating on taxes, but now I use the Invoices section to generate all my invoices and automatically send increasingly stern reminders if they are overdue. Likewise, I put in any invoices that I owe to others such as my printer, so that I know how long I have until payment is needed. When your income fluctuates and payment terms are anything between 30 and 90 days (never again) it makes everything much less stressful when you can see everything laid out on one page. With money coming in it's the same workflow as above, I just mark the incoming transaction against the invoice to explain it.
Once I've done all that, FreeAgent shows me a nice overview of my finances, including cashflow, bank account balances, open and overdue invoices for the last 3, 6 or 12 months in an easy to understand dashboard.

That's IT? That's not even hard!

Exactly, it's not hard at all! It takes me half a day every month to get up to date. When things are fresh in your mind it's much easier and the satisfaction of being on top of it is pretty addictive. We're just at the beginning of a new financial year, so if you want to make some changes to your book keeping system it's a great time to do so. Think how smug you'll feel when people are panicking about their tax return in January 2014 and you already did yours in Spring 2013!

Do let me know if this has been helpful to you. If you're self employed I'd love to hear about your accounting triumphs and tragedies too (believe it or not), do you use an online service or go it alone with spreadsheets? Y u make it so hard for yourself, bro? Did I manage to make the subject of accounting even a little thrilling? Isn't asking questions at the end of a blog post the most tedious comment fishing?? You tell me! *drops mic*

Kris Atomic Accounting



Amazing post. I actually feel quite ashamed when reading it, as you seem to have your accountancy shit so totally together… and I do not.

I’ve been freelancing for almost 2 years. For the first year, I kept a very basic spreadsheet of my jobs and invoicing, colour-coding it for money received, outstanding, etc. 12 months in and I found updating it possibly the most soul-destroying task in the world. I was getting busier and busier, and just to add to the creative person cliché, numbers are not my thing. So I let it slip… 1 month, 2 months, 6 months. It’s now been an entire year since I updated it. Urgh.

I’ve dabbled in various online bookkeeping/invoicing programmes and found them all so hideously boring. I do all my invoicing (and the subsequent chasing of invoices) from scratch, relying solely on the power of my own brain to remember what’s due when. Honestly, I do keep on top of things. I know how much I’m owed, I know when invoices are overdue and when I need to start chasing. But it’s a HUGE burden on me and I feel constantly stressed about it.

I paid an accountant a heinous amount to do my tax return last year. I’m not comfortable with that and I think the start of a new tax year should be a chance for me to really look at how I manage my accounts and sort things out so I don’t feel so terrible about them all the time. I am TOTALLY taking your advice on board and will try all your tips. Frustratingly, I have all the software but I just don’t use it… I know, I’m a dick.

Here’s to tax year 12/13 – a new beginning! YEAH! x

Jen replied almost 10 years ago.

YOU CAN DO ITTTTTTTTT. Just break it down into manageable chunks and then make it a routine, I promise the boredom gives way to a thick blanket of smug with time. xx

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

flipping heck, this is getting bookmarked and passed on. cheers, very handy and mega thorough!

mat replied almost 10 years ago.

Thanks Mat! x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

I’m just about to graduate and start properly plugging my work as I move onto a sort-of-part-time-ish postgrad in illustration, so I’m hoping to sell a bit of stuff just to have some extra income.

This is fantastic – I hate numbers and am awful with bank accounts (which drives my boyfriend, who studies economics, insane!) and having it explained from the point of view of a creative is wonderful. I am definitely bookmarking this for future reference – thank you so much!

Anna replied almost 10 years ago.

Congrats on your impending graduation! Your painting work especially is so beautiful, so I’m sure you’ll do great!
Kris x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

Thank you! :) I’ve been following your work for years (creepy lurky stalker alert) and you’ve been a massive inspiration to me; you’re one of the reasons I decided a career in illustration/the arts was for me!

Anna replied almost 10 years ago.

dude, this was incredibly helpful! thanks so much!

Eliza replied almost 10 years ago.

Happy to help, thank YOU! x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

YES! Just what I needed to know and learn about!!!!!
Big Thank you for taking your time to post this.

Dinara replied almost 10 years ago.

Hi Dinara,

So pleased people are finding it helpful!
Btw your illustration work is so charming, just added you to my feed reader so I can follow it :)

Kris x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

Well, I started a new blog this week, registered a new account on Etsy – soon to be shop, and with our financial year (I’m in Australia) beginning in July, to say this is perfect timing is an uber-understatement.

And to top it all off … I can use FreeAgent! Was afraid it might be UK only.

Have I mentioned how much I love you :)

Thanks Kris, so much!

Mel Buchanan replied almost 10 years ago.

Thanks Mel, glad you found it helpful :)
Best of luck with your new creative venture! x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

Wow, you are INCREDIBLE. This is just what I needed. I’m a freelance illustrator and photographer in my 20s and sometimes there is just so much information out there that I’m unsure of what to do. Thank you for thoroughly discussing what works for you…

Jade Sheldon replied almost 10 years ago.

Very happy to help!
I like your photos, too. x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

Wow, you really did make it sound fun! I’m getting back to business after maternity leave and most likely should check in to this. Before I used to take the receipts in a box approach and had no clue what the accountant was talking about, but yes, the days before taxes were due were PRETTY stressful :)

Jutta replied almost 10 years ago.

Very pleased you found it helpful :)
Just been scrolling through your blog for ages and a) your toddler style posts are adorable and b) your house renovation was amazing, wow! x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

This post is AMAZING. As a freelancer who has tried a million different methods including an accountant and never felt fully in control, these are some great tips. I’m going to check out FreeAgent and see if it works for me. Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s been a super interesting read!

Lil replied almost 10 years ago.

Thank you for this post :)

Sara replied almost 10 years ago.

Thank you so much for sharing this! I don’t know why, but I often find that the people in an industry, like creative freelancing for example, are so secretive about how they do things and there’s nowhere to find real comprehensive info on stuff like this. I try to share as much info as possible when asked for it to help others like myself who have been struggling.
Anyway, I’ve been freelancing for about 8 months now and from the start recognised the need to do things properly, mainly to see what I could claim for from tax and to get back as much as possible but also for all the other reasons. Just the other day I booked a free consult with a company that deals with small business finance, so hopefully that will also give me better insight.
But this post was super helpful, thanks again!

fathima replied almost 10 years ago.

Oh, wow. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been trying the excel-spreadsheet method for years to keep track of projects, and I always inevitably save everything for the last minute … I’m going to check out FreeAgent & some of these other links for sure. I hope you’ll post more business-y type tips in the future; it’s really super helpful!!

Jen replied almost 10 years ago.

As an accountant myself, I love Freeagent. It’s simple to use even if you aren’t an accountant. When it comes to submitting tax returns I can offer much cheaper service if my client uses Freeagent than if they just dump me with a box of receipts!!

Douglas Lethbridge replied almost 10 years ago.

Brilliant. Just set up my own accountancy business. Have been getting my clients to use FreeAgent. I was looking to put something on my website about this and how not to spend lots of money on your accountant. You have said it so well – can I put a link to your blog?

Eamonn replied almost 10 years ago.

Sorry, missed this comment before. Of course you can link to this post :)


kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

Wow, this is great! I’m actually an accountant, although I don’t do small traders, but your step by step guide is so succinct you’re gonna make us redundant ;)

Katie x

Katie replied almost 10 years ago.

Great post, very helpful, tahnk you!

Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today replied almost 10 years ago.

Great read! To the point. :) Where i work we have really taken to freeagent and it has actually saved people time and money!

Hardeep Mangat replied almost 10 years ago.

This is great, really you and I seem to work very similarly. When I first started my business/going freelance professionally, I started under a new business scheme who really helped out with taxes and accounting but now I am flying solo with it all and it can be quite overwhelming at times. Have to agree though, taking a little bit of extra time to just do it all really helps. x

Sarah KANE replied almost 10 years ago.

This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been put in charge of my boyfriend’s company’s paperwork so this will definitely come in handy!

Jasmine Brink-Li replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] Joy of Accounting […]

Great post, I am just about to start my own business and this opened my eyes to a few things. I have a couple of questions if you have a sec:

I’m intending on starting as a LTD company for better tax and possible expansion later – have you ever considered this?

You mentioned PayPal charges can be classified as a business expense – can you explain what this means briefly?

I have no money for the business yet, but need to get a new laptop, monitor and a few other physical things and some memberships (freeagent might be one). I took out an interest-free (for 16 months) personal credit card and intend to put them on that but was hoping to still get tax back on them.. Is this wrong?

Thanks again


Mike C replied almost 10 years ago.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comment!

There are several reasons I haven’t registered as a Limited Company, mostly to do with the ease of paying myself/moving money from business and personal accounts and borrowing money from the business. I’ve found that at this stage of my business, the upsides of being LTD aren’t worth the extra hassle in tax filling and restrictions in dividends etc etc. As of the 5th of May all LTD companies also have to file PAYE in real time ( which basically means that you need to inform HMRC each time you pay an employee/yourself, which is a massive headache if you’re your own (sole) employee and your income fluctuates each month. It really depends on your business and your cash flow though, so it’s something to investigate!

Re: Paypal, it just means that for example if I sell a print for £25, £1.18 of that is taken by Paypal as a fee, so I can claim that as a Cost of Sales expense and write it off my tax. It all adds up!

Yes, you should still be able to set those things against your taxes 100%, even if you paid for them via personal card. In FreeAgent you can enter them in as Out-of-Pocket Expenses > Capital Assets, my accountant tells me that anything over £100 should be a Capital Asset rather than a standard operating cost. (this post is quite helpful

Don’t forget, you need to register as a business with HMRC within a certain amount of time once you’re trading or you get a fine. When I did it it was 3 months, but that might have changed since.

Hope that helps!

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

Thank you! You have just saved me a lot of research and a couple of potential meetings. I might have to rethink the LTD company, but I see I can still use a business name and transfer from sole trader later on so I might go that way. The extra £1.5K per £30K made by being a LTD company is quite a lot though – but, like you mentioned, if it becomes difficult to keep up with PAYE.

I worked freelance for a while a couple of years ago and used PayPal once or twice and never knew to do this (in fact, I don’t think I claimed a single expense when doing my taxes), good to know.

I’m currently working through my 4-week notice at my current job and will launch properly mid-to-late-June, but this has been invaluable! Thanks for the fast response too.


Mike C replied almost 10 years ago.

This was great! I use Wave Apps which seems to be similar to FreeAgent but is free (although I don’t understand how it can afford to be), you can upload receipts to it too so now when I have a receipt I take a picture of it straight away and upload it, and then it does its text recognition malarky and sorts it out.
Also it’s so handy with these accounting sites to have a framework/drop down menus to make invoices in because when I was doing them in InDesign I’d put off making them because it was a bit fiddly to do. And obviously putting off making invoices isn’t good.
(also, I agree with the addictive thing, now I kinda do it in the same way as cleaning for procrastination)

Fuchsia replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] in five years. | The joy of accounting: some tips for all freelancers but especially UK ones from Kris Atomic. | Michaela McGuire on one of the worst parts of Twitter: people tweeting at each other about how […]

67. READ.LOOK.THINK. | JESSICA STANLEY. replied almost 10 years ago.

Great post. Can you tell me, I just started out as freelancer in the UK and work as both a photographer and graphic designer and wanted to know, besides asking an accountant, is there a way to find out what I can claim as a business expense? How did you figure this out?

Thanks again for all your tips.

Joshua replied almost 10 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

This is a good start for what you can claim –

Sometimes you just have to google the specific thing you have in mind and see what everyone else thinks! Some of the things I claim are travel costs to jobs/meetings, art supplies, software/online services like dropbox, domain names and hosting, computer equipment and office supplies (if over £100 it should be a capital asset), phone and broadband bills. Then there’s cost of sales, which include things like printing for my shop, postage fees and paypal fees. Don’t forget, if you work from home you can also claim part of your rent and bills, or the cost of an office space if you have one.

Generally speaking you can claim anything that’s used “wholly and exclusively" for your business. The only things I wasn’t allowed to put through by my accountant was food expenses while out on a job (because we all have to eat!) and my Spotify subscription (because he thought that might be pushing it, but frankly I think I could have made a strong case!)

Hope that helps,
Kris x

kris atomic replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] Why I don’t care about SEO ♥ The joy of accounting (boooo!) ♥ Why being ‘all booked up’ is ruining your business ♥ Did we exist […]

Hi Kris,

Thank you so much for this post! So useful. I own a wedding hire company, I’ve been going for about 10-11 months and it’s now getting to the point where I’m earning more than I thought I would and working more than I thought I would. SO I have been panicking about these very issues. I’ve kept all of my receipts in a vintage suitcase and only just started to attempt some spreadsheets. Oh and I still haven’t opened a separate account although I’m booked into do it next week!

You made me really think that it’s time to stop thinking about it, and just get on and do it!

Looks like I’ve got a couple of long days off doing paperwork next week (yay for half term (I’m a Graphic Communication teacher during the day)!

Amanda Champness-Kent replied almost 10 years ago.

Oops, just realised you did answer some of the questions that I had in your post… Sorry!

Rose replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] you’re a freelancer who hates accounting, this advice from Kris Atomic is seriously […]

May Round Up | Katie M Anderson replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] we felt about managing our finances and then I stumbled upon Kris Atomic's informative post on The Joy of Accounting and promised to overhaul my current system…or lack […]

Link Love | 06.06.2013 | GYPSI replied almost 10 years ago.

Fantastic post!

For my business working of a simple spreadsheet still works for me but as I get busier I am going to have to adapt a more sophisticated system. Thanks so much for this post, full of great ideas for me to consider in the future.

I love how well you express the delight in having clear systems and being organised in a way that supports your creative endeavours.

alex replied almost 10 years ago.

I’m in that limbo category between having a day-job (which I also love!) and doing some freelance photography and writing. But in the next year or so I am wanting to be able to support myself through my freelancing entirely! I have a separate business account setup in Canada which is used for all my business expenses but I definitely did the receipt box dump and run on my “accountant” aka my awesome and helpful dad. But this year I am doing it all myself AND with the added headache of living abroad (in London) AND filing taxes in Canada. Luckily, I have been focusing mostly on the day-job and some personal projects so it should be hopefully sort of straight forward, but this was a great post! Thank god I am not the only one who finds this a bit frightening. I also never want to pay someone to do something that I can do myself. It always just seems so daunting but I like the step-by-step system you’ve laid out here. I am definitely going to give it a try and look into some of that software too!

Thanks for sharing, Kristina!

Elyse replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] Accounting for People Who Hate Accounting  (haha, YES and this is my JOB) […]

I love lists, Friday! – Shutterbean replied almost 10 years ago.

Brilliant step by step, love it, thank you :)

Alice - bluQube Online Accounting replied almost 10 years ago.

Kristina you have inspired me! Will be getting my A into G with my accounts pronto

Michelle replied almost 10 years ago.

[…] The Joy of Accounting […]

Absolutely love the post! extremely helpful for applying for tax returns as well!! thanks!

Kim replied almost 10 years ago.

What’s your FreeAgent referral code so we can both get 10% off? The refferal link won’t work because I already did the 10 day free trial and it expired. Thanks! I love this blog post!

Sabra May replied over 9 years ago.

Hi Sabra, sorry, I forgot to reply! The code is 42kqe1wm if you still need it :)

Kris x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

We’ve been officially trading since Jan 2013. Started with a spreadsheet of all our clients, quote amount, date, invoiced date, deposit amount, total received etc etc.

It’s getting mammouth and we were thinking of whether to get an accountant or go it alone. We went to see an accountant at the start but she wanted £500 to set us up as a partnership and was going to provide a basic spreadsheet for us to fill in – heck no! We will do it ourselves we said.
However upon reading your post we were seriously look into FreeAgent and follow the referral link if we do.
Bookmarked and my business partner will surely read this when she gets in the office!
Thank you Kris.

Emilie Lashmar replied over 9 years ago.

Hi Emilie,

I’m so glad it helped! I think FreeAgent would work well for you, you can set up all your clients and their details in the system and then use it send out Estimates and stuff too. I love sending an estimate and then converting to an invoice with one click, mmmmmm time saving.

Kris x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

You’re a genius Kris! Great post x

Christine replied over 9 years ago.

this is such a great post! will definitely be using your tips from now on. your description of how you were previously is me right now :/ only in my 2nd year of doing it so i can changeeeee haha.

jaymie replied over 9 years ago.

After reading this last year I’m FINALLY getting all my shit over to Freeagent after toying with several different ways, and barely a month in and I know it’s just the perfect fit! I was wondering if you had any tips for dealing with refunds you issue for (for example) returned website/print orders from your shop? that’s the only bit that’s got me flummouxed right now.

Thanks! x

Sophie replied about 9 years ago.

[…] The Joy of Accounting, a great post on accounting for a small business, from Kris Atomic. […]

Link Tank #16 replied over 8 years ago.

Thanks for this resource. I will definitely check FreeAgent.

This is very, very helpful Chris, thank you.

I’m coming out of the accounts denial phase :)

Jennifer Farley replied over 8 years ago.

[…] Atomic, K. (2013). Retrieved from LOGO-THE JOY OF ACCOUNTING: […]

Why Choosing Accounting | Matissite replied over 7 years ago.

Soooo helpful !
I’ve written an email to you :)

Matteo inchingolo replied over 7 years ago.

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Hi, I'm Kris. This is an archive of my blog as it was from 2007 to 2014. It's no longer updated but feel free to browse through the past.


You can find my recent work at, or drop me an email and say hello. 

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