Almost everyone carries a camera and a recording device nowadays in the form of a smartphone, a tablet or both. Some use the camera sporadically, and many of us aren’t taking advantage of the vast array of apps that are available to make our pictures and videos more professional. First, be sure to learn the ins and outs of your own camera and video software – there are plenty of tools right there for editing and augmenting. Meanwhile, we surveyed members of the CPA Practice Advisor community to find out their preferences in using photo and video apps.
Drew Carrick, CPA, director of operations at EvolveNow, recommends Pixlr X. “Specifically, Pixlr X is an excellent free online tool for editing of images, graphics, and more! Essentially, it provides an intuitive watered down version of Photoshop, but for free, and enables users to create or design just about anything they can imagine. I have been using this application for years and it has helped me go from just a CPA into a full on content creator!”
Angie Grissom, Owner, The Rainmaker Companies, told us, “I use Moldiv. I love the editing features including the ability to make different collages, edit the colors and filters, even the film style so you can view pictures with various looks!”
Rosalind Sutch, CPA with Drucker & Scaccetti, PC, said, ” I use an app called Mideo which allows me to film while listening to music. This helps because I film my workout lifts and using this allows me to keep listening to music while I lift and film.”
“Here is the one I love – BoomBomb,” said Sandra Wiley, president, Boomer Consulting, Inc. “I can take quick videos on my app and send them directly to clients in their in-box. So much better than a normal email. I try not to overuse it, but it is very effective when I want to make a statement.”
John Higgins, CPA.CITP, chief partnership officer at CPA Crossings, LLC, said, “We use Camtasia from TechSmith for all of our video production. There isn’t anything we have found that it cannot do.”
Garrett Wagner, CPA.CITP, founder and CEO at C3 Evolution Group, recommends Adobe Premiere Rush. “Video content is king, but like most of us accountants and CPAs, creating it is not part of our technical wheelhouse. I love Premiere Rush because it is very straight-forward and simple. With just the basics, I can create high quality video content for any media platform.”
“I often use Google’s free Snapseed app on my iPhone to touch up photos,” said Blake Oliver, CPA, marketing director at Jirav. “The ‘Selective’ tool lets you adjust the brightness or contrast of just parts of a photo, which is really helpful when you have an otherwise great photo where people’s faces are in shadow due to a bright background, for instance.”
Sandi Leyva, president of Accountant’s Accelerator, reports that, “My team uses Adobe Creative Cloud since many of them are professional artists. They are able to do quite a bit with clients’ photographs. We have edited team shots, adding new people and removing terminated people, for clients. We have also created our own from-scratch graphics for our major blog posts. We also design and refurbish client logos. I am not as sophisticated. I have been able to do what I need to – crop, recolor, resize – using PowerPoint, and then pasting or saving the graphic as a file. The go-to app in this category is Canva. It’s pretty much the market leader. And while it’s quite archaic, Paint, that comes with any Microsoft operating system, is quite useful and probably highly underutilized.”
Caleb Jenkins, EA, CQP, leader of client accounting services at RJL Financial Services, Inc., said, “I use Scannable on my iPhone to quickly take high-quality images converted to scans for items like Receipts, Documents, and Presentation Slides, and then I organize them in Evernote.”
Lindsey Curley, CPA, CGMA, senior manager, firm services at AICPA, told us, “I love creating and sharing videos with Animoto. With zero video editing experience, you can create professional style videos with their simple editing features. And while they offer tons of stock images and music, you can also customize your videos to make them your own. I always turn to Animoto to quickly create both personal and professional videos and have never been disappointed!”
Shehan Chandrasekara, CPA, head of tax strategy at CoinTracker, said, “I use the inbuilt photo edit app on Twitter. Nothing fancy. Since this is integrated into Twitter, it’s extremely user-friendly.”
Share your favorite photo and video apps in the comments.
See inside April 2021
Nonprofits Face Unique Accounting Needs
To complicate matters, nonprofits that offer memberships are also tasked with tracking member status, invoicing members when their membership expires, while also maintaining an accurate list of all members, both current and expired.