Frequently Asked Qu

Do I need Windows® to run your software?

No, our software works with numerous internet browsers - Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.  If your computer or mobile device can run one of these you can use Taxidermy Direct® 

How do I install Taxidermy Direct®

There isn’t anything to install or maintain.  Once you register for a free trial we will create your account and send you an email with instructions on how to create your password.  After setting your password you can log into our system and start using it. 

Does Taxidermy Direct® work in Canada?

In theory, Taxidermy Direct® will work everywhere.  It’s a cloud application.  On the financial side, you can setup your pre-defined sales tax rate or VAT and charge your customers accordingly.  However, invoices print using the US currency, date, and address formats.  We will be evaluating international formats in later releases.

Is my information backed up? If so, how often?

Taxidermy Direct® is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and is supported by a 99.95% uptime guarantee.  The data is automatically backed up and retained for 7 days.  Full backups are taken every week, differential backups every day, and log backups every 5 minutes.  Backup files are stored in a geo-redundant storage account to ensure availability for disaster recovery purposes.

Microsoft is able to restore the Taxidermy Direct® database to any point in time within the last seven days.  If there is an outage incident due to natural disasters – flooding, fire, tornado, etc. they can restore the Taxidermy Direct® data to an alternate region.

How secure is my data?

Taxidermy Direct® provides multiple layers of protection.  All data is encrypted in transit and at rest using an SSL certificate and the built-in protections of SQL Azure.  Even the backup files are encrypted.

How do we back up our customer list?

Your data is protected in one of Microsoft’s state-of-the-art data centers.  Taxidermy Direct® uses its built-in anti-virus, backup, and security features.  Rest assured, your data is safe with us, even when natural disasters strike.

However, we also realize that your data is important to you so we went to great lengths to give you the power to back up your data locally if you choose.  Most screens have an ‘Export to Excel’ button that you can use to backup your client and supplier list, orders, invoices, expenses, and even your cash flow transactions.

We realize that Taxidermy Direct® may not be right for everyone.  If you are not completely satisfied with Taxidermy Direct® we want to help you take your data with you.  Your account will remain active, even if you don’t renew, so you can log in and export your data. 


I have employees, can they access the system without seeing my bank information?

 Yes, there are three levels of user permissions.  You can create up to three users with the following roles.

Shop Owner: Users with this role assigned to them are the owner of a taxidermy shop and should also be the primary contact on a client account. These users have full permissions to access all shop related tasks as well as creating users that are attached to their client account.

Shop Manager: Users with this role have most if not all of the same permissions as a shop owner, but are restricted from tasks that are applicable to license renewals with Taxidermy Direct. Shop managers may be permitted to see business information for the shop at the discretion of the owner.

Taxidermist: Users with this role are employed by a taxidermy shop and their account is limited to operations involving taxidermy workflows and customer relations such as entering a new order. 

Can we continue to use paperwork in the shop and enter the data later?

Absolutely!  While most households have a computer, many taxidermy studios don’t.  We used the following design philosophies when creating Taxidermy Direct®.

  1. Data entry doesn’t need to be – and most frequently won’t be – performed in real-time.
  2. Taxidermists know their jobs.  The software doesn’t drive the work; it reflects it.
  3. We can’t ever slow down the work in order to feed the software; the software must play a purely supportive role.

Does Taxidermy Direct® track my inventory?

 No.  Taxidermy Direct® uses the cash method of accounting.  Sales are recognized when cash is received and expenses are recognized when payments are made.  The IRS restricts this simpler accounting method when a company reports inventory on hand at year-end.  However, the cash method of accounting is allowed for smaller, non-manufacturing businesses.  While we consider taxidermists to be artists and not manufacturers we feel that inventory tracking isn’t necessary to run a profitable taxidermy studio.  The care and feeding required to maintain the accuracy of your inventory add unnecessary complexity and cost to your small business.  Your time and money are better off spent elsewhere. 

Does Taxidermy Direct® come pre-loaded with prices?

No, Taxidermy Direct® uses your operational data to suggest a price unique to your own situation. You can run the Profit Margin report to take the guesswork out of your pricing.  It uses critical shop parameters you set up and the operational data you enter.

Specifically, it analyzes:

  • Completed Jobs
  • Time entered against completed jobs
  • Cost of Materials (direct costs associated with jobs; forms, eyes, etc.) 
  • Overhead Expenses (indirect costs; shop supplies, license fees, insurance, utilities, rent, etc.)
  • Markup Percentage (specified in the Studio Setup screen)
  • Shop Rate (specified in the Studio Setup screen)

The Profit Margin Report uses your sales and expense information to answer the following accounting questions: 

How much profit or loss am I experiencing for each trophy category? 

The report calculates your gross profit on each trophy by subtracting your total costs from your list price.


Gross Profit = Selling Price - (Material Costs + Labor Costs + Overhead Costs)

What is my gross profit margin for each trophy category?

The report calculates your gross profit margin by determining your gross profit (step 1 above) and then divides this number by the list price for the trophy.

Gross Margin = (Gross Profit / List Price) x 100

How does my gross margin differ from my markup?
The report compares your actual gross profit margin (step 2 above) against the markup percentage you specified in the studio setup.

Actual Gross Margin vs. Markup Percentage
Gross margin is the percentage difference between the selling price and the profit.
Markup is the percentage difference between the actual cost and the selling price.

The markup percentage is always higher than the gross margin percentage.  Many people mistakenly overestimate their profitability due to this fact.

What price should I be charging to reach my financial goals?
The report calculates your list price for you based on your own situation.  It suggests what you need to charge in order to stay profitable.

Price = (Material Costs + Direct Labor Costs + Overhead Costs) x Markup Percentage + Cost

Can Taxidermy Direct® calculate Net Use tax?

 Yes, The use tax report uses the methodology described in my blog article on sales and use tax.  What’s the Use … And Other Sales Tax Questions?

Alternatively, you can use our Expense Management tool to group your expenses by expense account and export them to Excel using the ‘Export to Excel’ button.  Once in Excel, you can apply the appropriate tax percentage to the totals. 

Can Taxidermy Direct® calculate my sales tax?

Yes, The sales tax report has three different reporting options.  Use the one most appropriate to your operations and when you recognize your revenue.

  1. If you report all of your revenue at the time the order is taken, you’ll want to use the first sales tax grid.
  2. If you report all of your revenue at the time the order is paid in full, you’ll want to use the second sales tax grid.
  3. If you report your revenue only when cash is collected, you’ll want to use the third sales tax grid.


Can I charge a flat fee for my deposit instead of a percentage?

Yes.  We suggest the appropriate down payment to collect at the time of intake based on the price and down payment percentage you require.  However, this is only a suggestion and you can enter in whatever down payment you want. 

Can we use our own order number?

Yes.  Taxidermy Direct® will suggest the next available order number in the system.  You can choose to use our recommendation or overwrite our order number with your order number. 

What if my state requires me to record a hunter's confirmation number?

We built Taxidermy Direct® with flexibility in mind.  You can add your own fields to comply with your specific local or state regulations. 

Can I change the email message that is sent to my customer?

Yes, and no.  We offer a bulk email feature that you can use to send promotional emails or newsletters to your customers.  These types of emails are completely customizable by you.

The automatic email sent to your customer as you start and complete their trophy is defined by Taxidermy Direct®.  The email provides trophy and order information, contact information, balance due, and a thank you message. 

Can I print mailing labels?

Yes.  You will need a set of Avery labels, a printer, and Microsoft Office.  Export your client list from Taxidermy Direct using the ‘Export to Excel’ button.  Use Word to read in your Excel sheet and create the mail merge.  Watch the short video tutorial to see how. 

How much does Taxidermy Direct® cost?

We charge $120 per year.  We opted for one annual payment and will not automatically renew your subscription.  When you renew your subscription your credit card information is sent directly to our credit card processor, your information is not kept on file with Taxidermy Direct®.

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Do you charge per user?

No.  We include up to three user accounts for the same low price.  This should accommodate most family-run businesses.  If you need more please ask. 

Do you offer discounts?

Yes.  We offer a student license to new students at participating taxidermy schools. 

Do you offer refunds?

No.  We offer a 30-day free trial for you to decide if Taxidermy Direct® is right for you.  We do not require long-term commitments.  If you chose to cancel your subscription after the annual license has expired you are free to export your data and walk away. 

Where do I sign up?