Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping

Your ensemble gets paid to perform. Therefore you are a business. On one side, there are serious consequences if you do not account for everything correctly. On the other, great opportunities open up when you can show good business practices to potential funders.
1. Talk to an accountant
There are government regulations that determine whether someone is an ‘independent contractor’ or an ‘employee’.  If your ensemble is judged as an employer, you must pay the employer’s share of taxes and other fees. This is only a problem if you don’t do it. Over the long run, the financial benefits of ‘doing it right’ outweigh the extra work.
2. Learn to be a bookkeeper
At its very simplest, keep organized track of all income and expenses. Open a checking account and keep ledgers, one for money that comes in from every source, and one for money that goes out. While I started doing this by hand (in the 1970’s before computers), now I do everything using QuickBooks. It’s easy and does much of the work for you, including generating tax reports and end-of-year summaries.