Expense tracking makes bookkeeping & tax time easy for your art business.

As an artist and small business owner, you have many roles. You not only have to be the sole creator and visionary of your business, a marketing pro, a manager, your own customer service team, but also have to play the most exciting role of all … an accountant

Ok, bookkeeping probably isn’t the most exciting part of being a creative entrepreneur, but it is essential to keeping your business afloat. That’s why we just added an expense tracking tool to your suite of art management tools on Artwork Archive.

Nothing helps more than keeping all of your financial records organized. Know where all of your sources of income are generated, where your money is going, and what you can write off with Expense Tracking.

Once they are recorded in Artwork Archive, you can easily export them to Quickbooks or any other accounting software.

When you buy new paint? You can now enter that as an expense in Artwork Archive.

When you print business cards? Record that as an advertising expense.

Paid an invoice for a portrait model? That expense can now be tied directly to your contact card.

Get an accurate picture of your art business by staying on top of your income and expenses with Artwork Archive. Tie your expense records to a client within the database, gain insight into how much you are spending in certain categories, and get one-click expense reports with the expense tracking tool.

As always, we encourage you to consult with a tax professional for help with your taxes and this should simply act as a guide to get you started tracking the expenses for your art business.

With tax season right around the corner, here are the main categories that you can keep track of expenses in Artwork Archive.

Advertising: Anything you spend money on promoting your work. Advertising expenses include print ads, business cards, fliers, sponsorships, Facebook and digital ads, as well as your website hosting and creation costs.

Business Insurance: Just what it sounds like. If you pay for business insurance, keep track of your payments and write them off come tax time. 

Commission & Fees: Paying a gallery to bring in clients and giving them a percentage of sales? Expense that. Also track any fees related to call-for-entry, applications, legal advice, outsourced bookkeeping, business consulting as well as model or contractor fees.

Payment processing fees are also included in this section. If you take payment online through a platform like Paypal, Square, Stripe or Intuit you can expense the processing fees.

Office supplies: Any supplies for your home office. Paper, pens, staplers, paper clips, folders, art for the walls, a mouse for your computer, you get the point.  Online services such as your web hosting, Artwork Archive subscription, and anything else necessary to keep your online presence and career running can also be recorded. 

Legal & professional service: Our recommendation? Get a professional to help you with your tax preparation—you can write off their fee!

Supplies: Brushes, clay, canvases, easels, glaze, tools … anything you use to make your artwork should be recorded as an expense.  Large Equipment counts as a depreciable asset and is anything that you will use for your art business or studio for more than one year. Think computers, kilns, cameras and any larger expenses that are used over multiple years. You can write this off all in one or over many years.

These are substantial expenses. For these larger items, you can report the asset’s depreciation as a deductible expense or you can claim a larger deduction in the first year.

Meals & Entertainment: Keep your receipts, snap a picture and upload them into Artwork Archive and make note of the purpose of the meal. If you have coffee with a client, take a collaborator out for lunch, or have a dinner with a business partner—these can all be expensed at 50% as long as the purpose of the meal or event is to talk business.

Professional Development: Professional memberships or any type of dues you pay to art organization can and should be expensed. Online courses, conferences, workshops, or residency fees—anything that can be used to enhance your career can all be expensed!

Rent & Lease: Pretty straightforward. If you lease office space, studio space or even a storage space, that monthly fee can be expensed along with any utilities you have to pay along with it. If you use your home office, these expenses will be calculated at the time of filing your taxes.

Repairs & Maintenance: Need a major repair to your equipment? Keep track of the repair costs and fees.

Taxes & Licenses: Business licenses are often required by the state. You can expense that.

Travel Costs: Going out of town to install a show? Traveling to a conference? Using a ride-sharing app to get to a gallery? Track and expense that. You can also expense $.58 per mile anytime you drive to a meeting, pick up supplies, go to an art fair etc. 

The other good news? Insights just got a lot smarter.

You can now get a quick overview of your production, sales, and expenses over time in Insights to gain a better understanding of your business. Get a snapshot of your net sales and where you are investing your money in your career.

Plus, in the click of a button get an expense report for any category of your business or any time frame. Know where your business stands at any point, so you are never caught off guard. Budget surprises aren't the good kind of surprises.

Ready to get started? Expense tracking is included on Professional and Master plans on Artwork Archive. 

Check out this tutorial on setting up your expenses in Artwork Archive.