Photography studios, like all other businesses, need to keep track of overhead and income financial data. David Kilpatrick, a British photographer, wrote an article for the British Journal of Photography about what management software is the best to use for businesses in his industry.
He said there are essentially just two accounting platforms to choose from: spreadsheets and database software. Based on his experiences, he explained that the better option is rather obvious.
Kilpatrick said that it's easy to accidentally delete data in spreadsheets, which can completely throw off the entire log. One of the most typical mistakes made in spreadsheets is incorrect use of the sort function, he said. The columns are not linked to each other, so if, for instance, you wanted to arrange the first column a certain way, only that column would adjust to the control and the other columns would remain in their original order. These kinds of mistakes can muddle the entire spreadsheet.
Custom databases are built with established rules so that user-created mistakes aren't nearly as common as they are in programs like Excel. What Kilpatrick likes most about databases is their ability to link to each other.
"You can, for example, have a client list held on a smartphone that you update when traveling. Your office computer then uses the updated information," Kilpatrick wrote. "In the past, systems like this mostly worked over office networks; now they work in the cloud… Your worries about a studio PC being stolen or a fire destroying records are gone, because multiple duplicate copies exist thousands of miles away, securely protected from hacking."
Specifically, Kilpatrick recommended FileMaker as the ideal account management program, primarily because of the vast network of FileMaker developers. If you think your business could benefit from database software like Kilpatrick has, talk to a FileMaker consultant who can show you how custom application development can help your specific needs.