As your editing business grows, your record-keeping should evolve.
What I mean by that is that your bookkeeping should become more organized, clearer, and (gasp!) more technological (read: MS Excel).
In the months leading up to the official launch of my editing business, I carried around a notebook and kept records in it of my earnings and expenses. I wrote down (by hand) every project I finished, for whom, and the amount, placing a check mark next to the amount when it actually went into my bank account. I also used the pages on the opposite site to document my expenses. Primitive, eh?
A month or two into my business, I began creating Excel spreadsheets to keep records instead of hand-writing everything into a notebook. Back in 2014 I had taken a short course in Excel at the local community college, and what I learned slowly came back to me. I now organize the year into quarters and manage my earnings and expenses, letting the program do the math for me. At the end of the year, Excel tells me whether I posted a profit or a loss. (I am happy to say that I have posted profits for the last two years in a row–and the only year in which I had a loss was the year I launched my business.)
So what else is Excel useful for? I use it to keep a record of my clients, when was the last time I edited for them, when was the last time I contacted them, and their email addresses. I also use it to keep the contact info of every person to whom I have sent a cold or warm email.
If you are an editor, what do you use to keep your records?