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20Network She I Autumn/Winter 2012Alison McLeanAfter finishing a degree and leaving college, it is difficult working on your own and being away from that creative environment. After attending a Welshot Academy Evening, I was inspired to pick up my camera again after a long break and get cracking. The people on the evening were from a wide range of backgrounds and all very enthusiastic and supportive. Eifion in particular has a fantastic way about him that means you don't ever feel stupid or that your idea is no good. It was good to see other women there too in what can be a very male dominated environment. For once, no one was bothered about the size of your equipment, they just were keen to see what you created with it.The University degree concentrated more on the theory side of things and less on the practical. Eifion, Lee and the team have really got this right. Lee's energy is just astounding. She is a real mover and shaker. Within a year, I had work published, commercial jobs and exhibitions. And now with an excellent team behind them, so many things are happening, courses, events, people getting work through Welshot, trips abroad, etc. Whatever your style of photography there is something there to enjoy or by trying something you normally would not do Welshot will help push the boundaries for you, helping you become more creative and original.I am starting a Masters degree soon and know that the support I will get from Welshot will be invaluable.Lynsey HackettIf someone was to have told me the first time Lee walked into the L29 Creative office how much it was going to affect my life and business, I never would have believed them. Apart from being an inspirational business woman and great to work with Lee's passion for photography really did inspire me to pick up a camera once again. Photography was a welcomed new creative direction for me and has benefited my business greatly. With Lee's support and by attending Welshot Academy and workshops I am continuing to develop my skills as a photographer and hope to offer this more as a service to my clients at L29 Creative.Zoe RichardsWithout Welshot Imaging I'd still be a successful business woman, but it's so much more enjoyable being successful with someone there I can turn to when I need a moan, or want to share an achievement. I also get to work on a passion of mine, which is helping others to build their own businesses through the mentoring and support I give to Welshot members. I had a difficult time changing careers, and found that very few people were interested in helping me get started, so I am keen to support others. I feel very privileged to do that alongside Lee for the Welshot members. Lee is also a great networker and has made some fabulous links for my own business that have helped me do things I never thought possible.Lynsey HackettZoe RichardsA WELSHOT IMAGE

www.networkshe.com21Picture the scene: it's nearly time to file your returns. You scrabble round your office, car, and home, gathering up coffee-stained receipts and crumpled invoices. You stuff purchase orders and VAT paperwork into box files and carrier bags, take them home, and spend painstaking hours bringing them to order. Or indeed, you deliver them up sheepishly to your bookkeeper. Sound familiar?You'd be surprised - or perhaps not - to learn that despite the fact that keeping well organised records of financial dealings is a legal requirement, many business owners leave it to the year end before peeling receipts from the back of desk drawers. In reality, bookkeeping should be so much more than a year end activity. Here's why...Working in the dark about your finances puts you at a business disadvantage. Typically, bookkeeping records will include an ongoing record of the following to help you make informed decisions about basic activities such as new purchases.. Receipts: your outgoings. Payments: your incomings. Net Cash Flow: the difference between the total payments and receipts.. Opening Balance: the money carried over from a previous month.. Closing Balance: the difference between the net cash flow figure and the opening balance.CASH in a bag...Ceri Wilson tells us why bookkeeping is more than just a year end activity and identifies the importance of going from carrier bag to organised accounts.PlanningOngoing records allow you to predict the highs and lows in your cash balance and forecast when costs will arise, reducing the likelihood of cash flow hitches where there is money due to you on paper, but no money in your account.ChasingWith a good clear view of your finances and what's due when, you'll be more likely to invoice promptly and less likely to let late payments slide. The more in control of your accounts you are, the more healthy your cashflow is likely to be.BorrowingRecords and forecasts help you plan if, when, and how much to borrow. What's more, your bank will want to see evidence of very accurate records if they're to approve a business loan, so it's wise to have a monthly cash flow forecast ready.Get your books in order todayIf you're keen to turn your carrier bags of crumpled paper into an improved cash flow, here are some of the steps you can take.1) Create a spreadsheet to record your incomings and outgoingsA financial spreadsheet with one tab for your income and another for your outgoings is simple to create and allows you to see your running totals at a glace. 2) .or get some bookkeeping softwareBookkeeping software allows you to complete your daily financial records in a simple electronic program. 3) Have a separate file/ box for business receiptsNeat, archived receipt filing makes completing your tax returns simple and ensures that all records can be easily cross-referenced. You'll also need your paper receipts should you ever be audited.4) .or scan receipts as you get themKeeping an electronic copy of your receipts reduces the risk of misplacing them and some software will even analyse the text on the receipt, allowing direct information input into your bookkeeping software.5) Make a weekly slot in your diary Set aside a regular weekly time slot to update your accounts. Taking this simple step will ensure efficient financial management.Bookkeeping can be a time consuming process, but it's as vital to your business as good management and customer service. If you can't afford the time to do it yourself, a bookkeeper may well be your next logical port of call. Ceri Wilson is Director of Brilliant at Bookkeeping North 07949 646 743