Hey! I'm Jo and I swiped a handsome accountant into my life in January 2016 - I was just starting my career in Musical Theatre (including some stints in promo) and James was 5 years into an office job working every waking hour - opposites must attract!
On one of our more exciting dates, we got talking about the fact that a career as a performer means being self-employed - you're running a business! Thinking I was nailing the finance bit of my career (and determind not to pay ££££ for an accountant), I proudly presented my colour coded 'money tracker' to James from the back of my filofax. I'm sure you can imagine that, following a quick look from a tax and finance whizz, my pretty operation wasn't exactly 'performing' for me in everything I needed it to. I think its fair to say that the accountant in James died a little inside that day...
I came to realise that the 'talks' I had had in college, clearly went straight over my head - probably because I wanted to be in a class and found the 'tax and finance' subject boring. I spoke to friends and colleages who felt the same and no matter how well trained we were in performing, between us we felt pretty unprepared for running our own businesses.
In his accounting wisdom, James made me what I can only describe as a 'magic spreadsheet'. I simply put my income in the red squares and expenses in the blue for a year and when the time came for my tax return to be done, it spat out the numbers I needed to enter on HMRC. Easy peesy! AND....I got a lovely tax rebate ie. HMRC gave me money back - yay! We wanted this to be available to my friends and eventually to all performers, so we spent the next year developing an even easier to use online app to do the same and more. Like making invoices or preparing your tax return info with the press of a button. Genius right!? You can use that here too..
Wait there is more! An app for recording finance shinanigans is all well and good but we want everyone to be tax and finance know-it-alls regardless of if you want to use our app or not! So we created our website SansDrama to share quick and informative tutorials on lots of different self-employed know-hows. From registering for your UTR (that's a Unique Taxpayer Reference) to all the possible expenses you can offset.
We hope the tutorials, along with regular updates will answer most of the everyday questions about the admin side of being a self-employed performer but we'd also love to hear from you! Not only for feedback on the site but for any questions you may have that we haven't answered. We've got a contact page here - please get in touch!
Doing the business side of being a self-employed does not need to be a song and dance. Lets keep that where it belongs.
Love, Jo (and James).