Tax and Accounting Software for Translators?
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jun 13

It's nearly tax-time and I'd like to see if anyone can recommend the right tax-software for translators?

With dozens of clients - some who get charged GST and others who don't, several currencies, some invoices that get paid straight away, others that wait months, some jobs that I need to pay to sub-contractors and team mates, other jobs that are all profit - I've been generally happy with the complicated excel spreadsheet that I've used for years but I realise there might be a better way.

Open to good suggestions to begin using from July 2018!


wzeqeskvzejonoq7hqpz.jpg


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:27
Spanish to French
+ ...
If I'm not mistaken... Jun 13

Dylan, if I'm not mistaken, you have a family.
I dont mean to be bossy but why don't you outsource all this work (that has nothing to do with translation) to somebody whose business is just what you intend to do and spend this well-earned free time with your wife and children?icon_wink.gif
Just asking.


Dan Lucas
 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 13

Thanks but I think most freelancers do their own taxes and accounting, right?

I do have an accountant but need to be organised too. Are you telling me that no one uses software to do their taxes and accounting? I really doubt it.


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:27
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Baccs Jun 13

I can recommend Baccs (https://www.ibaccs.com/), specifically designed for translators. You need to spend a few hours to get accustomed to it and set it up, but then its all plain sailing!

Olly


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
BaccS Jun 13

I do all my billing, etc., in BaccS (the desktop version), and then send my tax accountant a bunch of stuff in a zip file once a year. This "stuff" = data on invoices/payments/expenses, exported from BaccS, + PDF copies of invoices for business expenses, bank/PayPal statements, etc.

Michael

info: http://ibaccs.com/


 

Juan Perello  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:27
Member (2005)
Japanese to Spanish
+ ...
TO3000 Jun 13

You can also try TO3000, which is also geared toward translators. I tried BaacS, but didn't like it as I was already very much used to TO3000. You can try both and decide, though BaacS is free for Proz paying members (at least it was, not sure if that is still up).

 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the helpful suggestions Jun 13

Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I’ll give these a try!

 

QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
Bookkeeping/accounting software Jun 14

I'd recommend you purchase something mainstream, ie. Reckon, Quickbooks, MYOB or Xero. Local versions are specifically designed to be ATO compliant. Set it up properly once, use it religiously to record all your money coming in and going out, and you will save a lot of time on quarterly BAS lodgement and EOFY tax return.

I have been using Reckon for the past 10 years or so and it's very intuitive. BAS lodgement takes 5 minutes, my accountant loves it because data is compatible with his system. You don't want to pay your accountant to do bookkeeping for you.

In the past, I also looked into these not-so-mainstream accounting packages:

1. GNUCash - free, open source, lots of functions but needs deep customisation. I wouldn't waste time on it.
2. Cashflow Manager - Aust company, double entry, feels like a giant Excel sheet.
3. NCH Express accounting - cheap, $69 buy you the lot but not very intuitive to use. Check Youtube.

Your requirements may be different. Talk to your accountant.


Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

ahartje
Portugal
Local time: 02:27
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
First TO3000, now iBaccs Jun 14

After some years with TO3000 and its sudden crash (I never knew why and I never got useful help by its developers) I switched to iBaccs and Eugene, importing all data from my last DB version.
The program is great, but the best of all is Eugene, always helpful and willing to support you and adapt the
features to your needs!


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Australian-specific Jun 14

QUOI wrote:

I'd recommend you purchase something mainstream, ie. Reckon, Quickbooks, MYOB or Xero. Local versions are specifically designed to be ATO compliant. Set it up properly once, use it religiously to record all your money coming in and going out, and you will save a lot of time on quarterly BAS lodgement and EOFY tax return.



I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I'm already late with my 3rd quarter BAS and the 4th quarter one is due soon, I've got over 100 invoices waiting to be sent and subs waiting to be paid! Reckon seems to be able to streamline all of this. An Australian-specific program might certainly be the best here. Thanks for your advice QUOI, signing up for the trial now.


 

QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
Money matters Jun 20

In an ideal world, your project management and accounting software should be linked so you will have an even more automated process to save time on data input.

I use Excel to keep track of my projects. It's amazing what you can do with a few formula.

With Reckon, ask your accountant to set up a chart of accounts that suits your business needs and assign tax code to each account. This is the key and it makes everything easy.

As for invoicing procedures, it really depends on your clients. Some, particularly translation agencies, may only accept a combined invoice (with multiple PO numbers) at the end of each month, others want an invoice for each PO. Speaking for myself, I do two invoicing and payment runs on 15th and 30th respectively each month. This way you won't forget and will keep everyone happy particularly yourself. After all, there is no point of working if you don't get paid.

Although Reckon has functions to deal with multiple currencies, this function is only present in the more expensive version. Since I only deal with 3 currencies besides AUD for a fistful of jobs, I once again rely on Excel. When I receive a payment in USD, I work out its AUD equivalent based on the exchange rate on the day of receipt and create an AUD receipt in Reckon. This is to keep ATO happy and my book balanced. Remember, you don't charge or remit GST for export sale.

Hope this helps.

Dylan Jan Hartmann wrote:
I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I'm already late with my 3rd quarter BAS and the 4th quarter one is due soon, I've got over 100 invoices waiting to be sent and subs waiting to be paid! Reckon seems to be able to streamline all of this. An Australian-specific program might certainly be the best here. Thanks for your advice QUOI, signing up for the trial now.


[Edited at 2018-06-20 08:30 GMT]


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
A Process Jun 21

QUOI wrote:

I use Excel to keep track of my projects. It's amazing what you can do with a few formula.

As for invoicing procedures, it really depends on your clients. Some, particularly translation agencies, may only accept a combined invoice (with multiple PO numbers) at the end of each month, others want an invoice for each PO. Speaking for myself, I do two invoicing and payment runs on 15th and 30th respectively each month. This way you won't forget and will keep everyone happy particularly yourself. After all, there is no point of working if you don't get paid.


Thanks Quoi,

Please confirm that I have the right idea for a process (feel free to add or explain):

1. Receive job via email
2. Add to your excel project management sheet
3. Complete job and send to client
4. Issue an invoice using Reckon (it appears that this is the only way to enter data into the accounting program)
5. Mark job as complete on your excel project management sheet
5. Receive payment
6. Mark as paid on Reckon






[Edited at 2018-06-21 02:32 GMT]


 

QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
Utilise estimate/quote to invoice conversion Jun 21

You are on the right track. You may also create an Estimate/Quote whenever you receive a new job. Once you have done the job, convert the relevant estimate/quote to invoice and send it away. The estimate/quote will then disappear from your estimate/quote section. This gives you a clear picture as to what projects, how many of them are still in progress, and most importantly, your income projection. Try integrating the accounting software as much as possible into your work flow.

I keep a separate Excel file for logging all my jobs and reconcile with Reckon from time to time.

You may enter expenses directly into Reckon.

Hope this is useful.

Dylan Jan Hartmann wrote:
Please confirm that I have the right idea for a process (feel free to add or explain):
1. Receive job via email
2. Add to your excel project management sheet
3. Complete job and send to client
4. Issue an invoice using Reckon (it appears that this is the only way to enter data into the accounting program)
5. Mark job as complete on your excel project management sheet
5. Receive payment
6. Mark as paid on Reckon


Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Project management with Reckon? Jul 2

QUOI wrote:

Try integrating the accounting software as much as possible into your work flow.

I keep a separate Excel file for logging all my jobs and reconcile with Reckon from time to time.


I've started trying to use the 'Project' option on Reckon, have you tried this?

Business>Projects


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Moving to Quickbooks Jul 10

After 10 days of using Reckon One, I've come to the stark realisation that it'll be one hell of a nightmare trying to reconcile payment for jobs when Reckon One doesn't support multi-currency.

I've had 35 jobs in the first 10 days of July and only 2 were in AUD. To then have to 'update' invoice amounts when the payment arrives in a couple of months will be a nightmare!

Warning for others: make sure the software supports multi-currency if you work for a range of international clients!

@QUOI - I realise you weren't suggesting 'Reckon One' but it was the only option available for a Mac-user (and seemed the right choice).

Glad it had a free 30 day trial!


 


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