A look into StudioPay, our new integrated client payments solution created for interior designers

Bookkeepers at an interior design firm play a crucial role in ensuring the financial health and stability of the business. While the industry is creatively rewarding, it is not without its unique challenges for those overseeing the books. From properly handling expenses to managing complex project budgets with many moving parts, their responsibilities often face distinct obstacles that demand specialized solutions.

While there are generic systems that are explicitly made to handle accounting and bookkeeping, not all are created equally for the interior design industry. With the release of StudioPay, our new integrated client payments solution created for interior designers, we wanted to uncover how bookkeeping doesn’t have to be difficult when working with Studio Designer.

Project management and accounting all-in-one place, in real-time

Many interior design firms make the mistake of believing that generic accounting software can fulfill the needs of their business. However, when you choose “generic” software such as Quickbooks, you fail to consider the needs of a highly specific industry such as interior design. Even the most routine task, such as applying deposits and retainers, suddenly becomes much more complicated. Insights and reporting on profitability are not readily available because most systems are not set up to properly record those types of metrics. Therefore, firms that go the generic route must also invest in a separate program to manage projects, time tracking, and other tasks since their accounting software cannot handle those jobs in one system.

For firm owners and bookkeepers to overcome these challenges, they must be willing to adapt and integrate new tools to enhance their financial capabilities. Studio Designer’s customized project management and accounting system streamlines accounting and project workflow functions. This means you only need one system- rather than two or three – to do everything you need. An integrated solution makes moving from proposals to invoices to ledgers much smoother. Bookkeepers and designers can access all of the project-specific and overarching business financial information from within one program, meaning less time spent switching between systems, worrying about the integrity and timeliness of the data, and when it was last synced.

Track and collect payments quicker and smarter with StudioPay

Sending invoices and receiving payments is the lifeblood of any business, and this critical business-as-usual task can become tedious and manual without the right system in place. Unpaid invoices can fall through the cracks, and failing to stay on top of this can halt business operations as cash flow becomes uncoordinated.

By utilizing StudioPay, Studio Designer makes collecting payments a breeze. For example, a client is sent an invoice and makes a payment online. That payment is then recorded in real-time on the Accounting side in Studio Designer and displayed on the Payment Posting page. From the Payment Posting page, a bookkeeper can now easily view the exact amount paid by the client and which proposal or invoice the payment is tied to an all-in-one screen view. With a click of a button, they can easily apply funds to payments and keep projects moving.

Having payment information presented like this, tied directly to a project in one place, helps reduce the steps of tracking down invoices and proposal numbers to ensure the accuracy of payments being applied. At any time, bookkeepers can easily see the status of any project invoice, making it simple to stay on top of payments. This can empower them to make informed decisions when posting payments, which is crucial for accurate bookkeeping and improving the business’s bottom line and cash flow.

Save time and money with gross settlement

In the world of payment processing, settlements are essential in ensuring smooth and efficient exchanges. Most payment processing systems like Stripe, Payroc, and PayPal process through net settlement. This means bookkeepers have to take extra steps to manually calculate the net difference between credits and debits to ensure they are paying the correct amount for every project completed. Not only is this time-consuming, but it often results in money being lost as the manual mathematical factor involved can be riddled with errors.

StudioPay uses gross settlement, which means each transaction is treated as a separate entity, and the processing times take about 3-6 business days for both the fees and the amount received from the customer to clear. Gross settlement takes the guesswork out of what is owed, allowing bookkeepers to confidently receive and apply funds. This level of accuracy and immediacy contributes to a positive cash flow. And in the event of payment related dispute, gross settlement simplifies the resolution process. With each transaction treated separately, identifying and resolving discrepancies becomes more straightforward, leading to resolutions and preventing unnecessary delays in project deadlines.

Creative vs. analytical mindset reporting

One challenge an accounting professional can face in an interior design firm is bridging the gap between creative and analytical mindsets. Interior designers are driven by innovation, aesthetics, and artistic expression, while bookkeepers focus more on facts, figures, and compliance. Finding common ground and effective communication between these two distinct professional realms is essential to ensure financial decisions align with the firm’s creative vision and long-term objectives.

This is where customized reporting and deeper insights on profitability within your accounting system come into play. Studio Designers’ unlimited custom reporting can run reports that are design focused, including financial statements, profit, and loss, incomes statement, analysis by project, expense analysis, and more. For example, a firm owner may think the way their business charges clients makes the most financial sense, but as the bookkeeper, your ledger might tell a different story. With relevant data related to accounting and projects in one place, you’ll have a visualized workflow that breaks down accounting into the tiniest details, so you can analyze every aspect when asked for financial advice.

Switching to an all-in-one project management and accounting software is the first step to streamlining your back-end processes. Investing in a system like Studio Designer, where project management integrates with accounting, means that all your firm’s financial information (such as costs, margins, budgets, and accounts payable and receivable) automatically feeds into the bookkeeping function. Without the limitations of generic software, bookkeepers can perform everyday tasks efficiently and aid in the long-term success of an interior design business.

To learn more about StudioPay download this free guide today!

Studio Designer is the leading digital platform for interior designers managing and growing their design businesses, featuring fully integrated project management, time billing, product sourcing, and accounting solutions.

Want to learn how Studio Designer can work for your design firm? Schedule a call with our team: https://www.studiodesigner.com/get-a-demo/

We can’t wait to connect.