Computer Arts magazine has published the first part of a superb five-part feature on starting up a design studio; it really is a great read for anyone in the creative industry. Part one takes a close look at finances and money management, and who else should pop up but our very own head honcho Darren Fell!

The feature talks about the importance of a business plan, and all the things you need to have in place before you establish your studio. Inevitably it leads onto the issue of finance management and accountancy concerns. One shrewd studio boss had the following to say: “While it’s vital that you understand the financial side of the business, it’s also vital that you don’t spend too long doing all the day-to-day stuff.”

Of course, these things should be left to an accountant – but what makes a good accountant? Cue Darren: “The accountant should give you lots of advice on running your accounts properly, tell you how to pay yourself tax efficiently and do your annual accounts and VAT returns (if you decide to go Ltd and VAT registered). In short, none of this should take too much effort…”

He adds: “If the accountant is in the modern age, he/she will recommend, or will already have, some excellent online software that should make the book-keeping element a breeze. Don’t accept old-fashioned software that speaks only in accountancy speak.”

Computer Arts is the world’s best-selling magazine for digital artists and designers. You can find out more about them here.