Design Your Finances: A Guide to Effortless Tax Recordkeeping for Interior Designers

In the world of interior design, creativity knows no bounds. Yet, amid the tapestries of textiles and symphonies of colors, there exists a less glamorous but equally vital facet of the profession: financial management. *cue suspenseful music*. Understanding the importance of maintaining accurate and well-organized records is not just a financial necessity; it’s a cornerstone of a thriving design business. Let’s take the fear out of mastering this challenging side of your design business!

In this blog post, we embark on a journey to illuminate the path toward financial clarity for interior designers. We’ll explore the art of organizing and streamlining your financial documentation, offering invaluable insights, practical tips, and best practices that will not only simplify tax season but also help you gain a clearer perspective on the financial health of your design endeavors.

Make Sure to Account for Every Billable Hour

For designers who bill by the hour, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your time. Even if you use a flat rate or don’t plan to charge clients for your hours, tracking your working hours is essential to ensure your flat rate adequately covers the time invested in projects.

At the end of each month, allocate time to create invoices based on the tracked hours and expenses. Timely invoicing helps maintain healthy cash flow for your business. Remember that tax obligations may vary by state, requiring either monthly or quarterly payments. Keep in mind that open invoices will still be subject to taxes, regardless of whether you’ve received payment. It’s crucial to exercise caution with invoices, as they appear on your financial statements. Once submitted, avoid making changes to invoices, especially if you’ve already filed sales tax for that period. 

Genevieve Trousdale

Keep Personal and Business Accounts Separate

Avoiding the commingling of personal and business finances is an absolute must for interior designers.  Whether it’s using your debit or credit cards, the practice of keeping your personal and business expenses separate is not to be taken lightly. This segregation is your safeguard against inadvertently covering a customer’s expenses, overlooking potential tax deductions, or missing out on owed reimbursements.

Maintaining distinct accounts is more than just a good practice; it’s the pillar of maintaining clean and organized bookkeeping, free from the clutter of daily personal transactions. By adhering to this principle, you not only enhance your financial accuracy but also streamline your business operations for greater success.

Pay Attention to Purchase Orders


When you’re fully immersed in the whirlwind of an interior design project, meticulous bookkeeping may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, there’s a crucial tool that should always have a place in your project management toolkit: purchase orders. Purchase orders serve as a safety net, catching errors early, accurately allocating expenses, and expediting the invoicing process. They are instrumental in maintaining financial transparency and project efficiency.

Neglecting purchase orders can lead to project delays and financial discrepancies for clients. To ensure efficient bookkeeping, establish clear communication with vendors, create purchase orders promptly (Using the Circaphiles Purchase Order Specification Templates), process payments, and track order statuses diligently. By doing so, you’ll not only streamline your financial management but also maintain project integrity and client satisfaction.

Talk With Your Accountant to Review Your Financials

As an interior designer, the beginning of the year is not just about embracing new creative projects; it’s also the perfect time to take a proactive approach to your financial planning and ensure your records are in order. 

Pro-tip! Review your books with your accountant in January, so they can advise you on potential write-offs and tax-saving strategies.  

By being proactive, you can get ahead of the tax rush that typically engulfs many businesses later in the year. With your finances in order, you’ll have peace of mind, and can get back to what you do best!