Looking for accounting software for your photography business? We’ve evaluated some of the best options to help you decide so you can spend more time behind the camera.
Not only do you need to take quality snapshots for your clients, but you also need to have a clear picture of your financial situation at any given time. Bookkeeping is an essential aspect of any successful business. Photographers need an efficient system to track invoices, payments, mileage, and expenses.
Even if you already have photo studio management software, you may need to supplement with accounting software, or you may want an all-in-one option that supports both project management and accounting. There’s a plethora of photography software on the market. We’ve evaluated some of these to help you decide which one best suits your photography business.
Here’s a snapshot of the best accounting software for photographers. We’ll cover each photography software in more detail later. In the meantime, here’s a quick summary:
Best accounting software for photographers:
- QuickBooks Online: Best overall accounting software for photographers. QuickBooks does everything a photographer needs, such as invoicing, manages vendor expenses, tracks travel and mileage, and creates business reports & snapshots.
- FreshBooks: Best invoicing accounting software for photographers. FreshBooks automatically generates invoices for repeat customers, calculates late payment fees, sends out reminders for overdue payments, and offers secure online payments.
- ShootQ: Best customizable accounting software for photographers. ShootQ lets you customize your own workflow, client documents, and financial reports. You can’t go wrong with software designed by photographers for photographers.
- Studio Ninja: Best accounting software for photographers for ease of use. Studio Ninja manages leads, shoots, invoices, quotes, contracts, and workflows, all with an intuitive, clean, and easy interface.
- Sprout Studio: Best accounting software for photographers for overall functionality. This software combines studio management features, accounting features, online galleries, album proofing, and the new sales gallery.
- Wave: Best free accounting software for photographers. Wave is free, and the free version offers everything any photographer would need.
When considering our list of the best bookkeeping software, we looked for software based on specific criteria. More about the methodology can be read in detail later in the review.
- Functionality. This criterion determines how well the software features meet the needs of a photography business. We’ve specified some of the features such as invoicing and customization and then rated overall features.
- Value. Not all software is priced reasonably. We’ve reviewed prices based on what the software has to offer. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but not in this case. Free is better.
- Ease of use. Automation and streamlining make repetitive and tedious tasks quicker, easier, and less frustrating to accomplish. We’ve reviewed software based on how intuitive it is and how easy it is to navigate.
Best accounting software for photographers
Best overall accounting software for photographers.
QuickBooks Online is a popular bookkeeping option for businesses of all types and sizes with up to 50 or so employees, startups, sole proprietors, online sellers, inventory-based companies, growing businesses, and service-based entities.
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software with mobile apps for both Android and iOS. QuickBooks Online is a flexible, scalable option that meets photographers’ various needs with its invoice features, management of vendor expenses, travel and mileage, business reports, and financial snapshots.
- Invoices. For client invoicing, you can create line items for products, session fees, and credits for referrals
- Estimates. Estimates or proposals can be converted into quotes and emailed directly from QuickBooks Online, simplifying the process to receive payment
- Bills and receipts. Organizing receipts and paying bills is another efficient feature of QuickBooks Online that speeds up the payment process
- Banking. You can connect QuickBooks to bank accounts, PayPal, credit cards, and Square. Transactions will automatically import
- Tracking. The software makes tracking sales tax and mileage super easy
- Mobile. You can use your phone or tablet to manage accounts, enter transactions, and send invoices
- Business analysis. QuickBooks offers data-driven insights such as spending habits and potential cost-saving suggestions for your photography business
- Expenses. With the mobile app, you can take a picture of your receipt and attach it to your business expenses. The program also organizes all vendor expenses and pays them with the click of a button
Small businesses requiring access for multiple users will need to buy one of the more advanced plans. QuickBooks Online is an all-in-one flexible and scalable platform with many add-on options and integrations that allow it to do more than your average bookkeeping software.
The most common report data is visible on the dashboard at all times. Reports are easy to run with a simple click and are customizable. Photographers will find the financial reports they need, such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow, in QuickBooks Online’s Simple Start plan.
Photographers will also find reports such as sales, receivables, and payables with QuickBooks Online Essentials. QuickBooks Online Plus will run inventory reports, total sales, and profitability reports, while QuickBooks Online Advanced features a comprehensive set of reports with business analytics and insights.
Many of the reports are available in the mobile app, as well. Plus, users can save their frequently run reports and report customizations to a shortcuts area in the reporting tool for re-use whenever necessary.
Ease of use:
QuickBooks Online features a user-friendly, modern interface. The setup process is quick and painless. A free trial provides users with the opportunity to try the software before buying it. It is widely popular, so the user community is vast and can help anyone trying to learn how to use the software. It also provides excellent training opportunities.
QuickBooks Online offers many options in different tier levels. The number of features increases with each tier, along with the price. QuickBooks also provides a free 30-day trial.
- Apps are well executed
- Excellent user interface and easy to navigate
- Multiple users with permissions on most plans
- Customizable billing options
- Scalable and flexible
- It can get costly, but additional options are worth it
- Only single entity support is available
BEST ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: QuickBooks is our #1 pick. All of QuickBooks’ plans are ideal for tracking income and expenses, sending invoices, and receiving payments. As your photography business grows, you can track inventory, time, and travel and mileage. The program is easy to use, can be integrated with many platforms, and has all the features a photographer will ever need.
Best invoicing accounting software for photographers.
Best for: Those who are self-employed, sole proprietors, startups, and small businesses.
Functionality: FreshBooks is a cloud-based double-entry accounting system and is accessible anywhere via browser and internet access. FreshBooks has invoicing features that appeal to photographers, such as automatically generating invoices for repeat customers and converting proposals and estimates into invoices.
Some of its features include the following:
- Invoicing and payment collection. Both of these can be executed through FreshBooks or also through an integration with Stripe
- Proposals and estimates. Both of these can be converted easily to invoices
- Invoicing and expenses. Choose a template, add details and logo. FreshBooks does the rest by calculating the tax and sending it via email to your customer. It automatically generates invoices for return customers
- Advanced plans. The advanced plans feature automatic payment and late-fee notifications
- Banking. Integration and multi-currency support are possible through FreshBooks, which also streamlines expense tracking, allowing the attachment of receipt photos
- Expenses. The software automatically categorizes expenses. Expenses can be marked as billable to customers and then automatically added to their invoices
- Management and tracking. FreshBooks also supports team and project management, multi-project management, mileage tracking, and project time tracking to keep track of time during shoots
- Dashboard. The dashboard gives photographers a quick snapshot of income and expenses
- Templates. FreshBooks makes your photography business look professional with customizable templates for proposals, estimates, and invoices
Double-entry accounting has paved the way for more reports, notably a General Ledger and a Profit and Loss report. There is quick access to profit and loss through the dashboard, sales tax summary, accounts aging, expense, payments collected, invoice details, and additional advanced accounting reports.
Detailed reports are filtered by date, team member, or client to aid the photographer in analyzing financial information. Not only is there a wide selection of reports, but the screen lets you display your top five reports at the top of the screen for quicker access.
Ease of use:
FreshBooks features a clean, simple interface. Those with little or no accounting experience can easily navigate the software. The customer service here is known for being friendly and helpful. It also provides comprehensive training materials.
FreshBooks provides a range of monthly pricing options, depending upon the plan selected. As far as cost goes, FreshBooks is in the middle of the pack—not the most expensive, but definitely not the cheapest either. Price increases as the number of billable clients and users are added. Custom pricing is necessary if you exceed 500 clients, but it does include an account manager, lower rates for credit card transactions, and custom training. FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial.
- Good automation functionality
- Expense records are detailed
- Lots of application integrations
- User-friendly client portal
- Referral program
- Lacks native accounts payable and payroll
- Most plans are single user
- No user permissions
Best customizable accounting software for photographers.
Web-based CRM software for photographers and other creatives looking to manage workflow, new leads, sales, and appointments through integration with QuickBooks.
How can you go wrong with photo studio accounting software designed by photographers for photographers? You can’t. You can customize just about everything to tailor this cloud-based business management software to your photography business. Customizations include contracts, workflows, and reports. There are customizable themes for client-facing pages, templates, and job types. Be sure to check back with ShootQ for updates because they have some key features coming soon.
Here are some of its features:
- Contracts. Contracts are customizable. You can even review and sign online
- Online booking. Book online and collect payments online
- Communications. This feature includes template emails, questionnaires, and customer notes
- Workflows. You can build custom workflows and track tasks by the employee
- Invoicing. Send invoices and automatic late notices
- Lead tracking. You can organize and track new leads
- Proposal builder. Create and send proposals
- Reporting. Create customizable sales and profitability reports
- Multi-currency. You can choose your currency, and it handles the GST taxes
- Customizable themes. Customize client-facing pages and templates based on the job type
- Mobile. Access information from anywhere. Available on Apple and Android is coming soon
- Scheduling. Integrate with your calendar and keep track of appointments
- QuickBooks integration. Track sales in QuickBooks. Double-entry coming soon
- Workshop module. You can host workshops.
There’s a reporting dashboard that reports on every detail of your business, including bookkeeping, invoices, and business analytics. The all-in-one dashboard lets you know which tasks need to be completed for your upcoming shoot and who they are assigned to. You can also view your weekly schedule, key sales, and performance metrics.
Ease of use:
The software program is easy to set up, customize, and navigate. The look and design of the software are very appealing. It’s easy to train other employees on the software, which is always good. Support is extremely helpful and includes videos and tutorials. The interface is bright, clean, and intuitive.
They have four plans. The Emerging Plan is for one user and one brand designed for new studios just starting out and is completely free.
The StartUp plan is for three users and one brand. It is designed for those who have been in business for a year or more. This plan runs $24/month (GBP £17.86) annually or $29 (GBP £21.59) for a monthly plan.
The Studio Plan is for six users and two brands and is designed for the studio with multiple employees or brands. This plan runs $40/month (GBP £29.78) annually or $60 (GBP £44.67) for a monthly plan.
The Hub Plan is for unlimited users and unlimited brands and is designed for larger studios with multiple employees and brands. This plan runs $67/month (GBP £49.88) annually or $80 (GBP £59.56) for a monthly plan.
All paid plans offer a free 30-day trial. Add ons include online booking and workshop module for $7.50/month (GBP £5.58) annually or $10 (GBP £7.44) for a monthly fee.
- The software offers a robust amount of features
- Very easy to use
- Keeps photographers organized by keeping track of everything
- The daily task feature prevents clients from falling between the tracks
- It brings all of the tools together for running a photography business into one software
- Other comparable platforms are much more fluid
- The mobile app is not very efficient
- The monthly plans are a little pricey
Best accounting software for photographers for ease of use.
The software is designed for photographers but is also efficient for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
This is another software developed by photographers for photographers. Studio Ninja is an end-to-end client management software. It manages leads, shoots, invoices, quotes, contracts, and workflows, all with an intuitive, clean, and easy interface.
Here are some other features that are easy to navigate:
- Leads management. Not only can you convert leads into sales, but you can also manage and track them
- Jobs tracking. Stay up to date with time frames, deadlines, and invoices by monitoring the status and progress of tasks and jobs
- Workflow automation. You can customize every part of your workflow, which will act as a checklist and automatically send clients emails, contracts, and questionnaires
- Quotes and contracts. Through client portals, customers can accept quotes, sign contracts, receive reminders when payments are due, and pay invoices online
- Payments and analytics. The software integrates with PayPal and Stripe for online payments
- Integrations. Integrates with Gmail, Google Calendar, Xero, QuickBooks, Shootproof, Fundy, PayPal, and Stripe so you can sync invoices, emails, payments, events, and galleries
- Mobile. Click on the App Store or Google Play Store so you can run your business from anywhere, anytime
Studio Ninja’s simple reporting features allow you to view your recent leads, how many jobs you have accepted, how much money is coming in and compare your income against previous years. These are all displayed either in reports, graphs, or dashboards.
Ease of use:
The cloud-based platform allows you to access anything from anywhere. Studio Ninja is highly user-friendly with its intuitive, clean, and easy interface. It takes less than 30 minutes to set up and has a beautiful responsive design.
There are four pricing plans, all with free 30-day trials. The Pro Annual Plan for one company and three contact forms runs $20.75 (GBP £15.45) a month, with the Pro Monthly Plan at $24.90 (GBP £18.54) a month. The Master Annual Plan with three companies and unlimited contact forms runs $30.40 (GBP £22.63) a month, while the Master Monthly Plan runs $36.50 (GBP £27.18) a month.
- Great for those not computer savvy
- Combines all customer-related needs into one place
- They will help you migrate for free
- Easy to set up, intuitive, and clean
- Functions are laid out in a simple manner
- It does not support different currencies
- It doesn’t have as many features as other CRMs
- Customer service is only available during business hours
Best accounting software for photographers for overall functionality.
Photographers who are looking to grow their business with a wide array of features.
Again, this is another software built by photographers for photographers. This software combines studio management features with accounting features. It takes it one step further with online galleries, album proofing, and the new sales gallery.
Here’s a look at the features:
- Galleries. Create beautiful client photo galleries that are intuitive and straightforward for your clients. Share, deliver, proof, and sell online in one place
- Leads. Keep track of leads, send emails, proposals, quotes, questionnaires, orders, and track tasks, expenses, and mileage
- Bookings. Clients can self-book photo sessions with you by sending a booking proposal
- Contracts. Client reviews booking proposal, signs contract digitally, pays you, and then you countersign. You’re done
- Invoices. Create orders and unlimited invoices that specify billing, shipping details, taxes, and payment schedule
- Scheduling. Clients can use the built-in scheduler. You can customize availability for meetings, shoot appointments, and sync your Google Calendar
- Design proofs. Clients can swap photos or make them bigger or smaller with the Design Proof feature. This feature is a great way to collect feedback from your client
- Email marketing. Build email lists from the embedded feature in the website, then design email, and send to potential clients
- Virtual IPS. You can provide online shopping by selling prints, products, services, and packages with tailored messages
- Lab integration. Send images your client wants to order from your gallery directly to the lab for printing
Sprout Assistant makes sure nothing falls through the cracks with built-in business reports. You can make better business decisions with the business analytics reports, review a breakdown of jobs, check outstanding invoices, review leads, and determine the growth of your business.
Ease of use:
Even with all of the features, the software is easy to navigate. The interface is clean, intuitive, and has a well-thought-out design. Migration and setup are straightforward, but their customer service will answer all of your questions if you encounter any problems.
Sprout Studio offers four plans, and you can try them out for free for 21 days. The Lite Plan runs $17 (GBP £12.66) a month, the Basic Plan runs $34 (GBP £25.31) a month, the Pro Plan runs $49 (GBP £36.48) a month, and the Studio Plan runs $69 (GBP £51.38) a month. The number of features increases with each plan.
- Customer service does a great job of answering questions and solving problems.
- It’s easy to stay in touch with potential clients and customers
- Excellent reporting tools to keep on top of the business
- Migration is super easy
- You can zip through the setup, and the software is very user-friendly.
- Lead and shoot pages are slow
- Occasional bugs that come with updates
- The calendar system can be a little challenging to use
Best free accounting software for photographers.
Wave is an excellent choice for photographers on a budget. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better price for such an impressive set of features. Wave is free, and the free version offers everything any photographer would need. Some features, such as payroll and payment processing, have an associated cost, but Wave is still a good option for those needing the extra features.
Wave is a double-entry accounting option that provides the features most small businesses need in its free version, including unlimited clients, invoicing, and expense tracking. This accounting software was designed for photographers and can be customized to meet your specific needs.
Take a look at their features:
- Income and expense management. Easy to see where your money is coming from and to pinpoint expenses affecting your bottom line. You can get an overview or snapshot of your finances or zoom in to track business-related costs such as photography equipment or travel
- Automatic payment reminders and bank and credit card feed. The software creates automated payment reminders. It also offers payment options like bank transfers and credit cards
- Invoices. Invoices are customizable, and you can set up recurring invoices
- Estimates. Estimates can be converted easily to invoices
- Sales tax. Sales tax automatically calculates for you
- Wave. Wave can also be set up to send reminders and receipts
- Expenses. Offers billable expense and some time-tracking features
- Support. Provides multi-entity support and multi-currency support
- Wave Money. Provides a business bank account, a debit card, and a mobile app to allow the user to integrate their business account directly into the software seamlessly
Wave is cloud based and accessible via any browser and an internet connection. Wave has two mobile apps, which are Wave Invoicing and Receipts by Wave.
Wave enables accrual and cash basis reporting. Cash flow, profit and loss, trial balance, and sales tax reports are available with Wave. Overall, Wave’s reporting ability is not as robust as some competitors, but it’s still enough for most small-business photographers.
Ease of use:
Setup is simple, and Wave is easy to navigate and use, providing many automated features, including bank and credit card automation beneficial to the photographer. The dashboard provides a clear overview of business health. The Wave user community is active and helpful for those who need extra assistance, and the Help Center is easy to navigate and provides numerous tutorials and guides.
Wave is free, which is a price that’s hard to beat. Extra modules, for example, payroll and payment processing, do incur a cost, but they are cost-effective.
- Very cost-effective
- User friendly
- Excellent workflow automation
- Multi-entity option
- Knowledgeable customer support
- No multi-user support
- Limited scalability
- Mobile apps aren’t comprehensive
Methodology: How we found the best bookkeeping software in 2022
Looking for just the right bookkeeping software can be overwhelming because there are so many to choose from. Not only is there a lot on the market, but they all have different features, advantages, and disadvantages.
To ensure we recommend the best solution based on the various needs of businesses, we evaluated all of our software against the following criteria:
- Functionality: One reason software for photographers is so overwhelming is that sometimes it’s hard to know what features it includes or doesn’t have. Here, we’ve tried to highlight all of the critical features for each so that you can get an idea of which software has what features. We’ve also specified certain features in our evaluation, such as invoicing, customization, and then rated overall features
- Value. Not all software is priced reasonably. Some offer the bare minimum of functionality at above-market rates. Some are higher priced but worth it because of what you get. We’ve reviewed prices based on what the software has to offer. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but in this case, free is better
- Ease of use. We’ve reviewed software based on how intuitive it is and how easy it is to navigate for photographers
Our research doesn’t end here. Evaluating the factors above is just a small part of our comprehensive accounting software methodology. This data-driven approach helps us better understand the services, so we can recommend only those that are a good fit for your needs.
What software is most used by photographers?
QuickBooks Online is the most commonly used software for photographers. It offers a comprehensive package of features and is easy to navigate.
Is there any software for photographers that is free?
ShootQ has an Emerging Plan that is free, and Wave is also free.
What software features should you look for in a photography business?
Some helpful features are inventory tracking, time tracking, multi-user options, integrations, invoice features, management of vendor expenses, travel and mileage, business reports, scheduling, and financial snapshots.
Why should you use software for a photography business?
Photography software automates and streamlines repetitive and tedious tasks. The software makes accomplishing these tasks much easier and quicker, so photographers can spend more time behind the camera.
What should you consider when looking for software for photographers?
Things to consider are the number of people accessing the software, the need for industry-tailored software, your budget, and what features you need to help run your photography business more efficiently.
- Best accounting software for photographers:
- Best accounting software for photographers
- Methodology: How we found the best bookkeeping software in 2022
- What software is most used by photographers?
- Is there any software for photographers that is free?
- What software features should you look for in a photography business?
- Why should you use software for a photography business?
- What should you consider when looking for software for photographers?