ASE Presents:  Freelancers' Information Night

29TH March, 2017 – Sam Hardy

An assembly of 28 assorted post practitioners ranging from students assistant editors and editors filled the upstairs room of The Palace Hotel to listen to the legendary Belinda Fithie.
Belinda in the past has generously given her advice and recommendations based off her 20 years of working in the post field as a freelancer and for companies as an editor and post production supervisor.

Many at the tables were freelancers who, like me were eager for tips and tricks on how to get by in the industry when you are supporting yourself.

Belinda had great advice regarding people who are working by themselves on how to get organised with the basics, such as ABN and finding an industry specific accountant who know what can be correctly deducted from work expenses at tax time.

Quoting was covered, and so were tips and tricks on how to get paid on time, namely being persistent and polite with the accountants.

Regarding quoting, many are unsure how much to quote. Presently there is a parliamentary enquiry into the sustainability of the industry and its wages and the ASE is soon to release its new and improved rate sheet. This will now be used as a long awaited starting point for negotiations.

A point was made regarding whether to charge for GST or not. The ATO cites that you can register if "you are in business and your annual business income is $75,000 or more a year (or you think it will be)".

If you are unsure, check with an accountant to make sure you are not doing unnecessary BAS statements or if you need to register in the first place.

Other general tips included advice on software and hardware troubleshooting and for assistants, never be afraid to ask a question and how and when. As for people starting out, getting onto programs like ASE’s mentor scheme is a great start for people transitioning from post-grad or for applying for assistant roles.

And finally, one great bit of advice if you can afford it was to get out there and visit international trade shows as well as local events.

Overall the evening was a great success and proved to be a very informative night for all.
Thank you to Belinda for giving up your valuable time and speaking to us this year.

Sam Hardy
Assistant Editor, Wrangler and Editor
ASE Committee Member - Victoria