Let those who speak your language take care of your wallet

Need accounting advice from someone who understands the creative industries? Look no further.

Budgeting and taxes may not be your jam, but when it comes to a sustainable career and business it’s absolutely vital. A third-party expert can help map out your expenses and even provide advice on future growth, so what sets The Pen Accounting apart?

‘We service the creative industries and it’s been a passion of mine having worked in this space my entire career,’ said Principal Accountant and founder Kirsty Donachie.

She explained: ‘Back when I established the business in 2017, not many people were offering end-to-end accounting and taxation services purely servicing creative industries. And what we offer is not just taxation, but also business consulting and CFO services. 

‘There was a gap in the market and many small businesses couldn’t afford to pay for accounting services or to have taxation advice. We found that we were able to offer those services to smaller businesses on an hourly rate or a more casual basis.’

Having external help with a broad and objective eye, not to mention specialist knowledge of both accounting and creative industries, is a major strength that positions The Pen Accounting more like a financial business partner.

Donachie offered: ‘It’s important to understand what the ATO is looking for this tax season, so you want to get your expenses right and understand what is an allowable deduction. You don’t want to be in a position where the ATO comes knocking on your door and you don’t have the correct substantiation available or you’ve over-claimed something you shouldn’t have.’

How accountants can aid career and business growth

At the centre of The Pen Accounting’s ethos is ‘Dream, Creative, Grow’ and Donachie explained: ‘Creatives have a passion and a dream and we recognise that our clients are creators who bring that into reality. Where we come in is to help them grow their passion into a sustainable business. It allows them to focus on being the dreamer, and doing what they do best, creating.’

For individuals that are just starting out or are freelancing, it’s ‘really important to understand whether you’re in business or you’ve got a hobby in the eyes of the ATO and an accountant is where you can get that advice’, she added. 

‘When we work with clients we do have a look at the whole picture [such as] what are their obligations with the ATO, do they need to register for GST and how can they actually retain money or set it aside.’ 

More importantly, an accountant can also ‘look at ways they can cut costs or save on expenses as well as increasing their revenue and bottom line,’ Donachie continued. 

This is where The Pen Accounting will be able to draw upon their experience and knowledge of the creative industries and help assess a client’s target market and missed opportunities. 

They can provide advice from implementing processors, budgeting and cashflow to how to tap into existing clients to offer them more services for a greater return. 

With costs of living on the rise, having a comprehensive review of your budget can be the difference between a struggling and thriving career. 

‘I definitely believe that everyone should have a budget, whether it’s a business budget or a personal budget. It gives you an idea as to where you are today and where you want to go tomorrow.

‘You really want to be working with somebody that understands your industry and who can also speak your language. Being a specialised accountant means we can relate to our clients and we’re on their level,’ Donachie concluded. 

For more information visit The Pen Accounting website.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.