~ I was kindly gifted two complimentary months with Gorilla Accounting in exchange for my honest review ~
When I became self employed two years ago it really was like taking a blind leap of faith into a dark room. I remember the first time I was offered a fee for a blog post and being so excited that someone thought I was worth working with. As the paid opportunities became more frequent it dawned on me that I needed to register as self employed and as much as that was really exciting as a stay at home mum who missed having my own income, it was also quite scary. I had no idea what I was doing and in an industry as new as blogging, no one else really knew either. I think most of us are making it up as we go along, finding advice and guidance where we can, but basically paving our own way in this new world. I’m actually really happy working like this, with limited rules and no one to answer to. Charging rates that work for me, working with brands that I love and building my own online community of like minded people. However, like anything in life, there are a few areas of self employment where I really do have to do things by the book. Things like following the ASA guidelines on how to correctly declare my ads and sponsored posts and when it comes to my finances – they have to be in order.
For the first year and a half of self employment I really have been the definition of ‘muddling through’, look it up in the dictionary and you’ll find me with a glass of wine in one hand, baby on my hip, staring blankly at an Excel spreadsheet. However, recently I realise that although I’ve been ‘getting by’ doing it all myself, I’d really rather hand over the responsibility of my accounts to someone who knows what they are doing. I barely have enough time to do everything as it is, so to hand over a big job like this has been a huge relief. My passion lies in writing, and taking photographs and building a community, not in spreadsheets and coding. Dan and I are also hoping to get a mortgage some time next year so getting my accounts in perfect order is a good first step for us to achieve that goal.
This is where Gorilla Accounting come in. They actually specialise in contractors and freelancers and have an entire section on their website dedicated to social media influencers. And whatever you want to call yourself – blogger or influencer – essentially they go hand in hand so to find an accountancy firm that is specifically looking to help influencers was really exciting for me. I had been struggling to choose an accountancy firm to go with and this made that decision so much easier for me. As I said before, the world of blogging and social media so often feels like uncharted territory so any guidance I can find becomes invaluable to me. It’s a career that you tend to fall into because of a passion for writing and taking photos, which then comes with a whole lot of baggage and things that need to be done behind the scenes that couldn’t be further from where your passion actually lies. The financial and administrative side to my job really doesn’t come naturally to me, and there is also a lot of conflicting advice online as to what you should or should not be declaring as income and what exactly can you put down as an ‘expense’. I’m always cautious of being taken advantage of when I’m aware that my knowledge on a subject is limited so it was a great comfort to me that Gorilla Accounting are the number one rated accountancy firm on Trust Pilot.
The Process & Getting Set Up
From my first phone call with Gorilla Accounting I felt reassured that they knew what they were talking about. They were happy to answer questions that had been burning in my brain since I first starting doing my own accounts, things that Google has never really left me feeling particularly satisfied with. They were answered in a simple but non patronising way that left me feeling much more confident with a side of my business that I’ve never really understood. The initial phone call was to get to know each other better, so that they could better understand my business and my business’ needs, and so that I could determine whether I felt like we would be a good fit. I was then allocated my own personal accountant who I can contact at any time with any queries I may have. I also have access to an online bookkeeping system which I can use to input my income and expenses that keeps everything in one place for when tax return time comes around.
Because I had been waiting to find an accountant before completing my tax return for 2018, that has been the first order of business since getting set up with Gorilla Accounting and it has been simple and plain sailing so far. Although I’m quite clueless when it comes to my finances I do make sure to keep a good record of everything so I sent that over to my accountant and also filled in a simple questionnaire.
Going forward it’ll simply be a case of keeping my records up to date on the online bookkeeping system which will then be ready and waiting at the end of the tax year. For a monthly fee of £89 +VAT I have access to my own personal accountant, the online bookkeeping system and my tax return completed each year. Everything is handled for me, so it really is one (massive) thing less to think about!
My Thoughts So Far
So far I am really impressed with Gorilla Accounting. Everyone who I have spoken to from the firm have been friendly and warm, no question has been too simple or too daft and I have been made to feel like a valued customer despite almost certainly being one of their smallest businesses. I used to worry about my spreadsheets and always had many unanswered questions when it came to how I should be declaring and organising my finances, so to have someone on hand to ask whenever I need it has been invaluable for me.
I’m looking forward to going forward with Gorilla Accounting by my side. Knowing that I can send any questions their way and receive unbiased and expert knowledge is a huge comfort. As I said before blogging still such a new world and one with a lot of grey areas as to what we should or should not be doing. Fellow bloggers can be hesitant to offer advice in case they themselves haven’t got it right and money is always a hush topic in a world where set our own rates. I feel confident and happier to continue making this whole thing a career for myself with Gorilla Accounting only an email or a phone call away.