Crowdfunding is the new angel investors, which were the new form of business-minded philanthropy. Not that crowdfunding is as new a concept as you might expect: the Statue of Liberty was actually a major moment in crowdfunding, because both the statue and the pedestal she stands on made use of funds taken primarily from small donations provided both in America and in France. Even her renovation in the 1980s was paid for with donations from the American public.
However, while crowdfunding generally involves donating to a person who may never produce the promised products, several lawsuits over the past few years have shown that courts can find crowdfunded individuals liable if they promise a specific product for a specific donation and then either fail to do their best to deliver or else deliver a defective product.
So to make it clear where the money of a crowdfunded project is going, it can pay for a person in this position to invest a little in online expense reporting. Online expense reporting allows an individual or a project head to balance the books on exactly where the crowd’s investment goes: salaries, equipment, office space, prototyping, marketing, and so on.
Keeping the reports online doesn’t just make it easy to access the numbers from anywhere and adjust them when needed, it also makes it easy to present to an irate investor who’s wondering where the products are or why they didn’t turn out exactly as expected.
Online expense reporting can also help a crowdfunded individual because running a small business or being self-employed means having to deal with a different tax experience than someone with a steady job. Regular employees in both the United States and Canada have their income taxes withheld, which usually means getting a tax refund once you submit your deductions. Self-employed citizens, on the other hand, have to pay taxes when the time comes, which makes it that much more important to keep track of every deductible payment, loss, and expense.
When you’re the beneficiary of crowdfunding or some other online donation drive or investment method, you should keep track of your cash flow with online expense reporting. You owe it to your investors or donors to let them know what’s going on, you owe it to yourself to stay out of trouble, and you owe it to your government to pay exactly what you owe in taxes and not a cent more or less.