Creative Business

Taking Creative Business Very Seriously Since The Year 2000

Choosing a creative business specialist over a jack-of-all-trades can make a real difference. As accountants working every day with the creative industries, we understand the unique challenges that your business faces and can focus assistance where you need it most.

Our substantial experience with businesses like yours means you can expect pro-active advice. We can identify your risks before they become problems. We know the solutions and explain them in a way that’s easy to understand so you can make well-informed financial choices.

You need an accountant who understands your business

Our types of clients operate in constantly changing markets and are creating their own markets. They have to think quickly, collaborate effectively and come up with highly unique services and products. They may be raising and investing large amounts of start-up capital or applying for grants and need to keep a close eye on their budgets and cash flow. 

An accountant who’s up to date with the relevant tax legislation 

We find ways to keep more of your hard-earned profits and avoid tax audits. With over 20,000 pages of tax legislation in Australia that changes every year, how could you expect a generalist accountant to know all of the tax law that can help a business in the creative industries? Our Continual Professional Development (CPD) is focused on the specific tax law changes and Tax Office activities that affect businesses in your industry. 

And you’ll get the most value from their expertise if your accounting system is in great shape

When it comes to accounting, so many creative businesses by-pass professional tax advice and use outdated software that doesn’t align with their business needs. If your accounting and tax is difficult to manage it can inhibit your business growth. We are here to help you manage it all throughout the year. Our highly efficient systems and processes were developed specifically for businesses like yours. 

See here for all manner of Business Solutions

Establishing your business | Deciding on the right structure | Best practices for business management | Reporting and forecasting | Support with bookkeeping and internal finances | Tax planning and returns | Corporate compliance and ASIC | Strategy and advice |Start-ups and scale-ups | e-Commerce | Payroll and HR | Legal and financial advice referrals

Customer Testimonials

We are fantastic to work with.
But don’t just take our word for it, take theirs!

Monica Davidson

We have worked with Electra Frost Accounting for over ten years and are very happy with the service. Electra and her team have been an integral part of the journey of our business, including the growth we’ve experienced in the last few years. They have ensured that our financials are always in good shape when it comes to reporting time, of course, but I’ve also appreciated their time and patience when it comes to teaching us new systems and alerting us to better ways of managing our financial situation. We highly recommend Electra to our creative business clients, as we work exclusively with creative clientele, and will continue to do so.

Monica Davidson, Creative+Business

Tracey Dods

Electra has been my accountant since the early 2000’s. That speaks volumes for the service she and her team provide, and for the longevity of her career in this niche market of arts tax law and accounting. Electra has long been familiar with my arts business and this has enabled her to do the very best by me over the years, her intricate knowledge of the Australian tax law has given me great comfort in knowing I will always get the fattest tax return available, with the minimum of pain and suffering. I’ve recommended Electra to many, many of my friends and they too have praised her speed and efficiency with their various businesses.

Tracey Dods, Artist and Wildlife Rescue Non-profit

Dr Clare Milledge

Over the years my employment and my artistic practice have changed and developed and become infinitely more complex. Electra has been there to cast a light into areas unknown to me and I have always been impressed with her intricate knowledge and her deep engagement within her chosen field.
Whether it’s mortgage repayments and negative gearing, calculating HELP debt repayments or expense claims for international per diems, Electra knows exactly what to do.
Additionally, she is highly ethical and strategic when it comes to assisting her clients, she thinks long-term.
I have recommended many creative people working previously with standard accountants to Electra and those that have employed her services have been deeply thankful. Occasionally people have asked me about the costs associated with having a specialist accountant deal with my tax, but they are always negligible in perspective of what I have gained, both financially and professionally.
I now conduct all my tax dealings online via email and Skype with Electra and I couldn’t be happier. There’s no accountant I would ever more highly recommend to an artist.

Dr Clare Milledge, Artist and Academic

Ryan Van Gennip

I have been working with Electra and her fabulous team for over a decade now. They have always gone above and beyond to try and get the best results for both my personal and business tax returns. I highly recommend their services to any musician or music industry organisation looking to get the most out of their business.

Ryan Van Gennip, Rhythm Section Management


What is a creative business?

As accountants who’ve focused on creative businesses since 2000, we’ve watched the lines blurring in traditional industries and have seen many “creative businesses“ evolving over time. We typically think of arts-based businesses in industries which include visual arts, photography, film and video, marketing, architecture, design, multimedia, music and publishing, as well as some cultural organisations such as museums and galleries. Back in 2005, in Tax Ruling TR 2005/1, the ATO recognised arts businesses as having typically different characteristics to other businesses: “… people who engage in professional arts businesses are often motivated by creative purposes and the desire to influence public opinion. Art is not always produced with a pre-existing market in mind; rather, an innovative artist may have to create a new market for their work. For this reason, a large part of being in business as a professional artist may involve activities directed towards reputation building and audience/market creation . Arts business and creative business are interchangeable. But due to new technologies the definition of a creative business is really changing. Creativity is often at the core of purpose-driven businesses that are innovating and adapting to drive cultural and social impact. Not only does the creative sector contribute $90 billion annually to the national economy, the harnessing of creativity to develop intellectual property has become most valuable business resource in many sectors.

Why should I use an accountant who specialises in creative businesses?

Your business is at an immediate advantage when your accountant is already familiar with your type of business and can foresee the challenges (and solutions) you face. Arts and creative businesses typically receive income which can be reported and taxed differently to general business income. For example, grants paid before the end of financial year can be aligned with later project to avoid adverse tax outcomes and skewed financial positions.
There are other accounting and tax law complexities around advances, intellectual property, crowdfunding campaigns, sales under consignment, R&D, the digital economy, international activities, related entity dealings and business structuring strategies.
These examples are typical for our clients and sometimes misunderstood by general accountants who are more used to traditional businesses. At Electra Frost Accounting, we’re now seeing the proliferation of creative entrepreneurs who are either commercialising their arts practices or setting themselves apart by coming up with unique solutions to modern problems and building successful business around these activities. Fortunately, we cut our teeth on arts-based business 20 years ago and deeply understand the driving minds behind these businesses!
Plus, we really know how to configure cloud accounting systems and reports that make running a creative business so much easier to manage.

Is the stereotype true that artists are terrible at numbers?

Not true. Who says you have to be terrible at maths and money to be creative?
In fact, we’ve found that creative and artistic people, once provided with the right tools and instructions for running their businesses, are the most detail oriented and committed to keeping their accounts in order. Our arts clients are well educated and have no trouble understanding tax and accounting concepts that we explain with visual guidance. Give an artist a budget template and a little software training, and they’re unstoppable! Plus, our arts clients tell us they’re determined to make a living from their businesses, so they don’t have to “get a real job”. That’s a strong motivation to learn! You can learn the essentials without becoming an accountant. We will teach you as much as we can to empower you to manage your money and taxes, and you can leave the hard accounting work to us.

How is the future economic outlook for creative businesses?*

Here is the answer