The Ecommerce Guide To Bookkeeping


Rely on automated accounting software to constantly keep track of your inventory. As a new item is scanned or manually added to your inventory storage, the software tool you’re using automatically updates the inventory count and the total cash figures. ZipBooks – Effective cost management, smooth credit card processing, accrual and cash reports, unlimited number of customers and vendors.That’s a quote by Bob Willett, former President of Best Buy International. The customer experience in retail commerce is vastly different than the customer experience in eCommerce, but business management is roughly the same for each. You might hear some people use the terms “bookkeeping” and “accounting” interchangeably. Bookkeeping and accounting are definitely related practices and you can’t really do one without the other, but there are different processes and end goals for each. Some of the most common mistakes we see here are bookkeepers expensing all the product immediately when the product is purchased from the vendor. See this blog here for a more in-depth discussion on COGS and inventory.We’re an online bookkeeping service powered by real humans. Bench gives you a dedicated bookkeeper supported by a team of knowledgeable small business experts.

The Basics Of Ecommerce Accounting

Now, online retailers have to remit taxes in almost every location where they make sales. So, it’s important to make enough time for yourself to file sales tax.

  • Bench gives you a dedicated bookkeeper supported by a team of knowledgeable small business experts.
  • Tune in for expert insights, strategies and tactics to help grow your business.
  • Even in the more affordable plans you can still have unlimited users, so if you want great collaboration between departments, this might be the best software for your needs.
  • Most sellers let their customers return items that don’t fit, arrive damaged, or don’t work for any other reason.
  • You want your company to be able to grow and you don’t want to have to worry about switching to new software when it does.

If they then add accrual transactions, (outstanding invoices, bills, etc.) they will be 99% of the way there. We automatically import transactions from your bank or credit card accounts, and use it to categorize your expenses. Your bookkeeping team generates financial reports for your business at the end of every month. At the end of the year, you get a financial package that gives you everything your accountant needs to file your taxes. Thankfully, the digital age has made it easier than ever for small business owners to do both.

Automated Billing, Payments, And Cash Flow

You can create your own financial statements, or use accounting software to generate them automatically . If you’re not up for doing it yourself, your accountant can prepare your financials, or your Bench bookkeeper. To complete one, you’ll need your bank statement, plus financial statements. If you’d like to learn how to reconcile bank statements, check out our step-by-step guide. You can manually import that information by copying it from your online bank account. Or you can use accounting software to automatically import it for you.The con of accrual accounting, however, is that this way of record-keeping shifts the focus from how much money you have to how much money you move. By counting in future payments/expenses, accrual accounting can make your operations look more profitable than they actually are. When using the cash method of accounting, you add a new record whenever the cash lands in your bank account or leaves it as an expense. This way your books mirror all the transactional information, stored across your payment methods and bank accounts. This financial information reveals insights into where you’re spending money and how your business makes revenue.Most accounting software partners will do this for you when integrated with your ecommerce platform. You get a better picture of the present and future of your cash flow. You can forecast more accurately, make more informed decisions about your finances and prepare for the peaks and troughs of your business finances. Only when money leaves your hands or arrives into them do you count the income or expense. This method allows you to easily understand your cash flow. This method impacts the kind of forecasting data you’ll have (or won’t have) for your business, and essentially, how accurate your understanding of its finances will be.You’ll also want to collect and store receipts in a safe place, and hold on to them for at least three years (the IRS’s typical audit duration). Save all your paperwork, including invoices, statements, orders, tax returns, forms, and applications. If tracking and managing your expenses and revenue sounds intimidating, you’re not alone.There are numerous elements of your finances that you need to keep track of. This is more suitable for businesses that deal with inventory. In this blog, the first part of the A2X Ecommerce Accounting hub, fundamentals series, we’ll be covering the basics of accounting for ecommerce. The same goes for raw materials — don’t be tempted to over-buy unless you know that you can make use of all the stock. Storage costs will end up overeating any type of bulk discount you are getting. $50 billion in losses per year due to the unmoving inventory.Your business entity has an effect on how you’re taxed, and that’s why it’s important to choose the one that’s the most financially advantageous for your company. However, this is a pretty complicated topic that’s worthy of its own blog post. Consider speaking with one of our knowledgeable team members to learn more about business entity formation. Both retail and eCommerce businesses need to keep track of inventory—that is, monitoring all the items you have in stock that are available for customers to buy. If you’re doing accounting for a business, it’s important that you know what the inventory is at any given point during the year. The original transaction should be recorded as an expense and added to the accounts payable list. When the product is delivered back to your business, the customer return transaction should be listed under the Returns and Allowances section and deducted from your revenue.When you do your books in a hurry, mistakes will creep in. Having errors in your bookkeeping records can eschew your financial projections and result in financial losses. If those are left unattended, they can pass onto your tax fillings.

Pay Estimated Quarterly Business Taxes

But to run a profitable, healthy business, it’s crucial to understand your numbers. Revenue records from your ecommerce platform such as BigCommerce.Your books can provide detailed historical data you need to create accurate, reliable forecasts. If you’re going to invest your time bookkeeping, you want to make sure you do it well. Getting the small things right from the get-go will prevent your books from turning into a useless mess. We rushed to be ready to launch for that weekend, when in actuality, Black Friday is probably the worst day possible to launch a brand new brand with no customer data.The more products you have to advertise, the more expensive it is to figure out which customers want which products. With the strict low-dollar budgets we create for ourselves, we shoot ourselves in the foot when we have to spend x amount across eight different products. Bean Ninjas is an awesome team of ecommerce growth accountants. Wayne currently serves as the CFO in residence in our ADmission Slack community and has been super helpful. Understand how to scale faster by generating more cash flow from a single source of profit.These systems will provide the most accurate data so financials will always be up-to-date. Our walkthrough of inventory management will equip you with all you need to know. Since eCommerce has become such a large part of the economy, interstate trading laws have evolved. The task of preparing financial statements may fall upon either the bookkeeper or the accountant.For instance, when a vendor invoices you, you record the expense only after you send them their money. Kashoo comes at a reasonable price and is even more affordable when paid annually. Multiple businesses can be added to your account as well, making it simple to keep track of all of your enterprises at once. It’s easy to set up and has great time-saving features like recurring invoices and auto connection to bank and credit card accounts for simple reconciliation.Many sellers choose to change the returns settings to send all returns back to their office or warehouse where an employee can inspect each item. Most good accounting systems including Quickbooks Online and Xero really stink at handling 10,000 detailed transactions each month. The system will slow down and can’t handle that level of specificity. This means that you have to find an intelligent way to batch your transactions. Whether or not your business will still need an accountant depends on how much accounting you need to do and how much of it you’re comfortable handling yourself. You may decide to take care of most of your business accounting internally, but outsource your taxes to an accounting firm.

Accounting For An Ecommerce Business Vs Bookkeeping

However, returns throw a wrench into the accounting process. Customers are issued a refund, and the returned product may have to be re-added to the inventory. Inventory management is a challenge even without its tie-in to accounting.

Optimize Accounting Software & Bookkeeping Tools

Another key aspect of successful accounting is knowing, planning, and influencing your gross margins. Introducing the all-new Make it Big Podcast — a thought leadership audio series for retailers, entrepreneurs and ecommerce professionals. Tune in for expert insights, strategies and tactics to help grow your business. That’s another reason for having a budget and setting some extra income aside.

Financial Statements: Profit And Loss P&l

In How Finance Works, Mihir Desai provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to fully understand finance. This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post.

Cut Costs

A chargeback happens when a credit card company asks you to return funds you charged to a customer’s credit card. This happens because the card’s user has told the company that the charges on the card are fraudulent. A chargeback can happen if their card was stolen and then used to make the purchase. It can even happen if the customer forgets they made the purchase, or if the transaction has a weird name on their statement that doesn’t line up with your store name.