We now have the Holy Grail of accurate, automatic reporting of profit and loss percentages on every project.

Paul Lanterman, Creative Technical Specialist

OMS Photo Logo

For a busy commercial photography studio, keeping track of all the people, props, equipment, expenses, and deadlines for every job is a daunting task. While OMS Photo tracked its financials in QuickBooks Online, the company struggled at tracking day-to-day expenses and matching them to specific jobs. The answer was QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps, which enabled OMS Photo to create fast, flexible reports on job profitability that update automatically.


Challenge

  • Disparate systems for accounting (QuickBooks Online) and job management (QuickBase)
  • No way to track real-time expenses for a given job
  • No automated data collection of job-related activities
  • Too much time spent calculating with spreadsheets

Solution

  • QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps to connect QuickBase and QuickBooks Online
  • Real-time expense tracking by project
  • Automated notifications to trigger invoices
  • QuickBase reports for tracking individual job profitability

Benefits

  • Accurate view of job costs and profitability
  • Better management of cash flow
  • Automated updates keep all information current across multiple customized reports
  • Instant insights that drive better decision-making

Commercial photographs are like icebergs — the visible part is only a fraction of the whole. For OMS Photo, a busy commercial photography studio based in Cincinnati, OH, tracking all the lighting, lenses, props, staff, models, stylists, deadlines, expenses, and extras required for each shoot is a herculean effort that required a suite of apps built on QuickBase.

But while OMS Photo knew how to plan and track the elements of a photo shoot, the company still didn’t have the ability to quickly compare expenses to budgets for a clear picture of profitability. As a result, OMS Photo had no meaningful way to control costs on any particular job.

“Getting accurate information was a real headache,” says Paul Lanterman, Creative Technical Specialist, OMS Photo. “QuickBase was extremely adaptable to our needs, but it was only as good as the information people entered. There was no way to cross-reference with the actual numbers from the bank, unless someone parsed out the credit card statements and account entries manually.”

OMS Photo found a solution with QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps — a built-in feature of QuickBase that enables users to import data from other cloud apps. Because OMS Photo manages its finances in QuickBooks Online, Lanterman could build automated connections between the two systems to drive fast, accurate reporting in QuickBase.

“QuickBase Sync has changed the way we see our business,” he says.

About QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps

QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps is a QuickBase integration feature that enables you to connect to other cloud apps and services with just a few clicks. Read more

How it Works

Each time OMS Photo is booked for a job, the team creates a new project with a unique job number in QuickBase. That number is then entered into the corresponding financial record in QuickBooks Online. Each subsequent QBO transaction includes the job number as a tag.

From there, QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps does all the work, automatically pulling data from QuickBooks Online into QuickBase at regular intervals, so the OMS Photo team can see all the relevant estimates, invoices, and payments for each job alongside expenses, job status and other project information.

“We now have the ‘Holy Grail’ of accurate, automatic reporting of profit and loss percentages on every project,” says Lanterman. “We can tie every transaction to a related job, and that lets us do some great things.”

Because QuickBase offers versatile reporting options, Lanterman can create and automate highly-customized reports to serve many different needs. For example, he created an executive dashboard that shows each project highlighted to indicate the profit percentage.

An executive dashboard showcases exact profitability on every project for OMS photo.

The Benefits of Automated Syncing

Now that OMS Photo has a clear picture of its business, Lanterman has seen several results. First, OMS Photo can better manage job profitability when it can see how closely its expenses match the budget on a job. Second, historical information on job profitability helps OMS Photo create better quotes. Third, automated payment notifications from QuickBooks Online helps OMS Photo pay vendors quickly and keep its cash flow moving.

Ultimately, QuickBase Sync for Cloud Apps allows the team at OMS Photo to spend less time fiddling with spreadsheets and emails, and more time doing what they do best.

“We’re photographers, not accountants. Having accurate information at hand is a huge deal for us.”


Read more case studies about QuickBase Sync or Project Management

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