How To Do A Subscriptions Audit For Your Business

Do you ever take a look at your credit card bill and wonder what the heck a charge is for? Or have you seen a monthly fee that you keep *meaning* to unsubscribe from.  Well let me tell you, I just Marie Kondo’ed the heck out of my credit card statement and dang does it bring me joy to not be paying for things I don’t need.

 


In doing an audit of my subscriptions, I found that things feel into four categories:


  1. Things I need for my business to function
  2. Things I actively use and get my money’s worth
  3. Things I use but could probably find free versions that are just as effective
  4. Things I didn’t even know I had subscribed to (YIKES!)

First I’ll tell you my process and I’ll share some examples from each category.


  1. I looked through my credit card statements from the past year (I started my business about a year ago) and made a spreadsheet with the name of the company, the monthly or annual total, how much it cost, and when the billing cycle started.
  2. I checked to see if there was anything I missed in my browser bookmarks (sure enough there were a few), or things that Andy (hubby/biz partner) had subscribed to.
  3. If the cost was monthly, I multiplied by 12 so I could see how much each subscription cost on an annual basis.
  4. Once I had the annual totals, I did a sum tally of all the costs to get the grand total of subscription costs.  WOWZA! 

 

 

Once I had collected this initial information, I took a moment to consider each of these items.  Here is a breakdown of some of the items on the list:

Things I need for my business to function

  1. Adobe suite
  2. Shopify
  3. G Suite and extended drive storage

Things I actively use and get my money’s worth

  1. Quickbooks
  2. Flodesk (my email service)
  3. Canva
  4. A to Z Directory

Things I use but could probably find free versions that are just as effective

  1. Honeybooks
  2. Later
  3. Zapier

Things I didn’t even know I had subscribed to (YIKES!)

  1. Google Ads?!??!

So I made this list, now what do I do with it?! Looking at the categories of “I need this for my business to function” and “things I actively use” I need to make sure that I am for sure making enough money to cover these subscriptions. An easy way for me to think of this is doing x amount of custom projects to ensure that at least we can pay our bills at the end of the day.  Of course, things are not that dire, but I like to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. 


Next I needed to consider what to do with those categories that I use but could probably find a different solution.  Honeybooks, a project management system, for example was going to be a huge part of my business when I started.  I was planning on doing a lot of wedding stationery work.  However, considering that I started my business amidst COVID-19 I ended up going more of the product route.  I use Honeybooks to book my custom portraits, but if I copy my proposals into signable/fillable pdfs, figure out where I want to invoice (probably Quickbooks Online invoice), and save my canned emails that I tweak from client to client that is $400 I can save each year. 


Finally to the sneakiest category of all! "Things I didn’t even know I had signed up for."  So this was one of those moments where I signed up to get a free deal for google ads, but of course they took my credit card information and once I got through the free stuff they started charging me.  Luckily I realized it only after two months of payments (whew!) but ugh! What a bummer. That is why it isn’t a bad idea to look at this annually, or even quarterly (monthly if you’re wild!) if possible.  


I’ve used this for my business, but I can GUARANTEE you that it would benefit our household very much if we took a look at our personal subscriptions… Sorry YogaGlo, I don’t think you’re going to make the cut! 


If you’re ready to tackle this project, fill out the form below to get a copy of my Subscription Audit spreadsheet that you can copy and save into your google drive for your records. 

 

 

June 16, 2021 — KATE TALCOTT