Bookkeeping and inventory software

My recent series on finances has brought up the question: “What software do you recommend for keeping track of my art work and having the correct information for tax purposes?”

What you need are two different pieces of software: one for your inventory and mailing list database and another for your financial records.

Based on feedback I receive from artists, I speculate that these are the top three inventory-mailing list databases. They will keep track of your inventory, sales, and contacts.

  1. Flick!
  2. eArtist
  3. Bento (Mac only)

Both Flick! and eArtist are formatted for artist use. Bento is like “FileMaker Light” and requires formatting, but I’m told it’s quite user-friendly. There are other options, but I narrowed down your choices based on what I’m hearing in the field.

7/6/09 Update per Ron’s comment. I should have been more specific in the above paragraph. Bento is not an art management platform, but a general database. Therefore, it requires significant formatting–unlike the others here. Because of this, you can use it for all of your database needs-not just for your art inventory or contacts. Also, because of this, you can personalize it and make it look however you like.

See these related posts:

As I say in I’d Rather Be in the Studio! Most of these options can handle every aspect of your art business except the detailed financial reports that a program like QuickBooks can provide.” (page 17)

So, for financial records, I recommend QuickBooks, although many people are very happy with Quicken. If you have a bookkeeper or accountant, I’d certainly ask them for their advice in this area before you purchase bookkeeping software. You want to be able to share files easily.

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