Making tax time stress free

Creative by Numbers offers boutique tax and coaching services to arts industry creatives.
Making tax time stress free

Creative by Numbers founder Caroline Brosnan. Image by Ciara Harrington. 

Caroline Brosnan launched her business Creative by Numbers in 2016 to offer boutique services to creatives.  A fully qualified chartered accountant and tax agent, with extensive experience in the arts and the not-for-profit sectors, Brosnan brings a more personal approach to finance and taxation.

‘I’ve always been passionate about music and art but I’ve also always felt an affinity with numbers. They do say music and maths go hand in hand!’ says Brosnan who worked at the Sydney Festival for many years and at one of accounting’s ‘big four’ firms.


‘I know from personal experience that creative people can be brilliant at what they do but not so good with the finance and admin. That’s where we’re here to help. We look after the finances so our clients can focus on the stuff that really matters to them.’

Brosnan’s professional experience working in the creative industries, and her personal passion for music and theatre, means she speaks the same language as her clients.

‘I’m not going to watch you glaze over as I talk about depreciation and GST and BAS and ABN. It’s my job to know all that and take care of it for you. I’ll tell you what you need to do and make it easy for you, at tax time and beyond,’ she says.

Whilst June 30th is looming and tax time is on everyone’s mind, it’s also a great opportunity to get your ducks in a row – or numbers in a line – ready for the start of the new financial year.

‘We offer a coaching service for creatives that is a pretty unique service. This is a one-on-one coaching session where you can ask all those little questions about your finances and tax. And we’ll help you get set up so there is less to worry about going forward because you know you’re doing the right thing, and doing things right!’

The coaching service can cover topics such as how to manage your business finances, how to set up your accounting software, what tax deductions are available to you, and all aspects of compliance such as how to complete and lodge a BAS return. Starting at just $60, this is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.

It is an unavoidable reality that many people working in the creative industries do so for love more than money some of the time, especially if they’re freelancing or just starting out as an arts practitioner. The team at Creative by Numbers understand this and tailor their services, and their fees, so that they’re accessible to everyone.

‘It’s our mission to provide great, affordable, accounting and tax return services to arts practitioners, especially those who are freelancers and sole traders. We’re here to provide that extra guidance and helping hand they need to get on top of their tax returns and make the best of their  financial situation. And don’t be shy if you’re not yet making much money – no one is too small to work with us,’ says Brosnan.

Although based in Sydney, Creative by Numbers works with all its clients online, on Skype, and over the phone for complete flexibility and maximum affordability.

‘This business model means we keep our overheads low so we can keep our fees down too. It also means we can work with our clients no matter where their work or their passions may take them.’

Creative by Numbers has an online portal for clients that guides them through the key taxation questions, step by step, so they can understand and calculate their deductions more accurately. This includes items such as telephone and internet usage and the kilometres driven in your car. These are particularly relevant to people working from home or just starting out.

‘Once they’ve completed the questionnaire, they have the opportunity for personalised follow-up. This enables them to really make the most of our services,’ says Brosnan.

Go to  to find out more about their dedicated services for the arts or email your enquiry to

Diana Carroll

Wednesday 26 June, 2019

About the author

Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the SMH, the Oz, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.