Exporting invoices to Quickbooks

Keeping on top of your finances is really important when you are running a business and, while we have some great tools in Light Blue to help with this, some business need even more accounting tools. Many of our customers use QuickBooks to do their accounts and had asked for an easier way to get their information out of Light Blue and into QuickBooks, so they don’t have to enter information twice.

With our QuickBooks export feature, you can export all your invoices from Light Blue to import straight into QuickBooks. This means you have all the benefits of using Light Blue’s online services such as online booking forms and contract signing plus invoicing and you don’t have to create a duplicate invoice manually in QuickBooks. Here is a handy video to see how it works:

We love hearing how this has made your lives easier!

Rose and Garry Stacey from Timeless Images run their portrait studio from Bridgwater, Somerset.

“Light Blue has really helped with the day to day running of the business but with Making Tax Digital coming in, we knew we had to sort out our accounting package. QuickBooks was our choice as there is an import invoices function. So we can within 20 minutes have the month’s invoices imported into QuickBooks ready for the accounts to be reconciled. Thanks to the boys at Light Blue this is quick, easy, straight forward monthly process keeping us in line with government requirements.”

Based in Kent, Manjit Sohal runs Sohal Light Photography offering business headshots and Lifestyle Portraits.

“I had set up QuickBooks before I signed up for Light Blue, I then was faced with how to manage the two. Initially, I was exporting the data to a CSV file and then re-formatting it for QuickBooks and then importing the data to QuickBooks. This took about an hour. Now with the new feature, I’m able to export the data in the correct format for QuickBooks and then import it directly into QuickBooks. This process now takes me about 15 minutes to complete, I’m sure that it will get quicker as I become more practised at it. Now I can easily keep both programs up to date.”

Useful things to have in your camera bag, other than cameras and lenses!

Camera? Check. Phone? Check. Bin bags? Err …

Preparing for a shoot always includes carefully packing your camera bag. But what exactly should you try to squeeze in to all those handy pockets?

And why might those bin bags come in handy?

Here we delve deep into the camera bag essentials that might just become your shoot superheroes.

The bulk of your bag must always of course contain all your kit.

Alongside your beloved cameras, you have lenses, spare memory cards and batteries, a microfibre cloth and flash guns. 

What else?

Depending on your type of photography and what situations you might find yourself in, you probably already have some proven favourites.

Maybe as a specialist wedding photographer you never go anywhere without a stash of tissues and a spare packet of confetti.

Or if you spend your days capturing a newborn’s magical first days, you never dream of leaving the house without at least one packet of baby wipes.

Whatever your niche, here are the camera bag essentials (apart from tissues and wipes) we heartily recommend:

Torch

Indispensable in low light and on night shoots, a torch is your wingman for all things light-related. If you’re using an off-camera flash, you can use it to help you focus and then switch it off for the actual shot. And of course, they always come in handy during a power cut.

Safety Pins

Random? Maybe. Useful? Definitely. Safety pins are your saviour for holding something in place, tidying loose fabric or mitigating a major wardrobe malfunction.

Penknife

Your all-in-one friend, a penknife can be called upon in many an emergency. Alongside the blade, it can compactly hide a pair of scissors, tweezers, carabiner and even a corkscrew if you fancy making a post-shoot toast with your client.   

They’re especially helpful on fashion shoots for snipping off labels and loose threads to make every garment look impeccable.

First Aid Kit

We’re not suggesting the whole works here, but it’s wise to carry a selection of painkillers, plasters and antiseptic cream to soothe minor ailments.

And don’t underestimate how hay fever can creep up on you and possibly wreck a shoot. A packet of antihistamine tablets might make the difference between getting beautiful images and having to reschedule.

Business Cards

Your clients already know who you are but what about the people who walk past your shoot and show an interest? You could just be in a park or school hall but if you’re in the foyer of a multi-national corporation, you’ll want to be ready for every opportunity. 

Shoot Schedule

Even when you can access your schedule on your phone, having a physical copy to stick up on a wall, stuff in your pocket or pass to an assistant and refer to quickly is super-helpful.

With Light Blue, you can easily print off a summary of all the crucial details for the day so you never miss a shot.

Pen and Paper

We love time-saving tech as much as, OK probably more than, the next person, but we’re not ready to abandon pen and paper just yet. In these mobile-dependent days, you could be the only person in the room to have a simple notebook where you can scribble down notes and ideas. 

Snacks and Water

Your talented photographic brain needs fuelling so don’t forget to pack plenty of water and some snacks to nibble on. Nobody likes a hangry photographer …

Bin Bags

Thought we’d forgotten about the bin bags? Apart from using them to actually put your shoot rubbish in, they double up as makeshift ponchos for when the heavens unexpectedly decide to open.

They’ll also come in handy as a barrier between client and soggy bench or log, keeping them dry and reasonably comfortable when they sit down. Just keep the tell-tale signs out of shot – clear/transparent bags make that a lot easier! 

Being prepared doesn’t have to mean carrying a bag that looks like you’re off on a three-week hike.

But it could mean that your clients are dazzled by your helpful, organised approach to the shoot and inspire them to leave you a five-star review. 

Light Blue 8.1.1

We’ve released Light Blue 8.1.1, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 8. This is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs that were reported after the launch of Light Blue 8.1.

  • You can now create Purchase records from Sale records, using the cost information that you’ve entered into your price lists. In a price list, you can now specify the supplier, net cost, and VAT / sales tax cost of the products that you offer. From a Sale record, you can use the options menu in the Items section or right-click on an item to create Purchase records for the items in the Sale.
  • You can now create one-time setup codes from the “Manage My Devices” section of your account. This allows you to add a device to your Light Blue account without giving your account password to the owner of that device.
  • You can now set up automatic SMS credit top-ups yourself by logging into your account on our website.
  • Non-breaking spaces copied and pasted from other apps are now automatically replaced when you edit a text message template. These characters could make a message use the Unicode character set despite looking like they only contain characters from the standard GSM character set.
  • Workflow messages linked to a session or an appointment can now use contact and shoot mail-merge tags.
  • Added a warning message when you try to go to records that you don’t have access to from the Home screen.
  • The “Restore From Backup” and “Reset Your Light Blue Account” commands are now only available to staff who have full access privileges.
  • Clarified the “you can only submit this contract once everyone has signed it” message that appears on unsigned contracts.
  • Fixed a problem where non-https images included in emails couldn’t be previewed on macOS.
  • Fixed a problem where restoring a Contact record from the trash wouldn’t restore it to the group that it was part of.
  • Fixed a rare problem where an email could be sent via our servers rather than your selected email account.
  • Fixed a problem where the date of a scheduled text message in the Outbox could be displayed incorrectly.
  • Fixed a problem where the purchase net and tax amount calculator wouldn’t work with European decimal separators.
  • Fixed a problem where creating a credit note could create one with the wrong cents value if you’re using European decimal separators.
  • Fixed a problem where re-entering your account password in the “continue trial” or “your trial has expired” pages of the setup wizard wouldn’t successfully authenticate your account.
  • Fixed a problem with upgrading from Light Blue 4 to Light Blue 8.
  • Fixed a problem that could cause the “your trial has expired” setup screen to appear when you’re not actually using a trial account.
  • Fixed a race condition that could cause “The email hasn’t been synced to our servers yet” errors when trying to send emails in quick succession.

Updated Gmail security

Google are updating their security rules for apps that send emails via Gmail (and G Suite) and we’ve been keeping up to date with their changes to make sure that you’ll be able to continue to send emails from Light Blue via your Gmail account.

The new security rules mean that you might need to add your Gmail account to Light Blue again. You can easily tell if you need to do this:

  1. Log into your Light Blue account and go to the email settings page.
  2. If you use more than one email account with Light Blue, select your Gmail account from the list.
  3. If your Gmail account is affected by Google security change, a red warning will appear underneath the popup menu that you choose your email account from.

We’ve recorded a short video that shows you what you need to do to remove your Gmail account from Light Blue and add it again. This will walk you through the steps that you need to take:

Google’s deadline for switching over to the new way of sending emails via Gmail is 21 June.

As always, if you need any help with any aspect of using Light Blue, get in touch with us via email and we’ll be delighted to help.