An accounting system for issuing invoices is also very handy. In addition to automatically generated invoices and payment reminders, many will allow you to export .CSV summaries of your incomings, so you can simply copy and paste the appropriate data into your control file. A freelancer bank like Kontist is working to provide the same .CSV export service to their customers, meaning you can also just export your statement. Regardless, you will need to input your data into a control file that summarises everything to standard.
When it comes to receipts, it’s always important to leave clear notations on what the expense is for, how it was paid, when it was paid and any additional information. For example, a lunch expense will require notes on who you met with, and why. Similarly, transport claims such as hire cars or drivers must include the start and end location, alongside the purpose. While it can be helpful to have an electronic receipt tracker, jotting alongside the paper receipt, attached to plain paper, can be just as painless considering everything has to go into a control system.
Most importantly, it is important to file regularly both receipts and incomings to avoid the end-of-month mess. While technology that automates our lives is often appealing, it can create complications for small-time freelancers. A good bank, a good invoicing system and a good monthly control document alongside regular logging can often be the most efficient method. Lastly, set up a master file ‘Finance’ and sub-files for every month. Each month should include: ‘Receipts’, ‘Invoices & Income’, ‘Bank Statements’, ‘Finanzamt Correspondence’, and ‘Control File’. Using the same system every month keeps everything clean and tidy for those times you have to look back.
Setting up your banking for business and life
Keep it simple: ensure the communication of expenses and income by having a dedicated bank account for your business. When selecting an account for your business, be sure to check their policies on Privacy, Data, their protection limit and regulations of the Federal Laws.
This bank account should be easy to access online, have a good reputation for customer support and give you an option for online purchases. Bonus points for banks: automated accounting or sorting, automatic taxation estimates or storage and syncs with an accounting system. Thankfully, after years of horror stories from freelancers and their banking issues - Kontist came into the game, providing these services and more, and making the separation of business and real life for freelancers easy to manage.