I didn’t really believe that it was possible to make an online class about bookkeeping fun and entertaining, but Lauren Venell managed to do just that with her Creative Live class Bookkeeping for Crafters! I highly recommend this class for anyone that runs any sort of small business and doesn’t have experience with accounting – the “for Crafters” in the name of the class is a bit misleading since the information covered was 95% applicable to anyone with a small business. The information contained was exactly what I needed as I get serious about the bookkeeping part of running my own business, but the information would also be helpful for anyone that sells goods as a hobby as well. Not only did the class have great information, tt was also entertaining because Lauren is a fun and smart woman who sprinkled the class with hilarious anecdotes about the mistakes she has made along the way as she has grown her own businesses.
Creative Live has an interesting business model. The classes are free to watch as they are broadcast, which is what I did. You get a reduced rate on the class if you pay for it while the class is running (which gives you permanent access to the videos and a bunch of bonus materials) and then you can buy the class any time at its permanent price. Although I watched the class live, I’m debating buying the class as well so that I can re-watch it when I can’t remember something and can’t read the notes I took and because Lauren developed a bunch of financial worksheets and spreadsheets to help simplify bookkeeping that are bonus materials you get when you buy the class. There’s a live studio audience for each class so if you live in San Francisco or Seattle, that’s another option to keep in mind for future classes.
There was a great breadth of information contained in the class – from a breakdown of the exact spreadsheets you should be keeping to how you should price your products. She showed every spreadsheet partially populated so you could see what it should look like as you keep your own records and she input several examples live so you could see how to take a receipt or an invoice and put it into its proper place in your own records. And she explained the information so well that I don’t feel like I need to use the spreadsheets exactly as is – in fact, it was the exact background information I was missing when I tried to set up accounting software like Quickbooks and got overwhelmed and confused. I feel like I could use her spreadsheets or jump into any accounting software with what I learned. And she did it all while being engaging and fun. I know I mentioned that part, but it’s really what made this class a winner for me. I know I could have picked up a “How-to Accounting for Small Business” tome from the library and drudged my way through it to get the same information, but this class wasn’t drudgery, which makes it a total win in my book!