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Running an eCommerce platform whether it’s Amazon FBA or drop shipping via Shopify is a challenging, competitive venture. But once your business takes off and becomes successful, that’s where the real challenges can set in. 

Getting your website off the ground and making sales is one thing, but as sales start to increase, you’re going to need a suitable solution to handle your accounts and ensure your business stays on track. 

With an appropriate accounting solution for your eCommerce platform, you can ensure continued success for your business, and a tight grip on your finances.

We can guide you through how eCommerce platforms work, and the importance of accounting for eCommerce platforms.

eCommerce: The basics

What is an eCommerce platform? eCommerce, essentially, is the name for buying and selling goods online. An eCommerce platform is where these transactions take place and describes popular stores like Amazon and eBay through to smaller or more specialist sellers.

eCommerce applies to several kinds of businesses, including online stores, business websites, business services such as memberships, donations and events and digital products such as software, apps and music. These types of transactions are split into different categories, including:

  • Business to business (B2B)
  • Business to consumer (B2C) most common
  • Consumer to business (C2B)
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

Setting up an eCommerce store

Setting up an eCommerce store has become simpler over the years, with various platforms existing to help people get their online ventures up and running. You’ll need several elements to bring your eCommerce store together, allowing you to process transactions and manage your accounts. 

Point of Sale (PoS) tools

To enable people to purchase goods or services from your website, you’re going to need a point of sale (PoS), as you would in a physical store. This is what makes it possible for payments to be processed. Some of the most popular PoS tools for eCommerce platforms include:

  • Slack
  • Worldpay
  • PayPal
  • Shopify Payments
  • Amazon Payments
  • GoCardless – regular and irregular Direct Debit Payments
  • iZettle

Popular eCommerce tools

eCommerce platforms provide users with the tools they need to get started, they will integrate with your chosen PoS tools to help you manage your online store. Some of the most popular eCommerce tools include:

  • A2X – makes Amazon and Shopify accounting simple – provides effective, simple integration with cloud accounting platforms such as Xero and Quickbooks online
  • Bold – again allows Amazon and Shopify to work with cloud accounting platforms
  • Shopify – The main solution for selling products online and also acts as a payment solution.
  • iZettle – not strictly an eCommerce solution but perfect for restaurants, coffee shops and small retailers that want a cloud-based integrated finance solution for sales.
  • Vend – another solution used for retail and restaurants/coffee shops to process payments.
  • Patreon – a way for creators to get paid for their creative content electronically.

At Together Accounting, we work with clients who have a need for the above tools and put in place a whole solution which enables them to stay on top of their finances and manage their eCommerce businesses effectively. 

Accounting for eCommerce platforms

The problem

eCommerce platforms can help you get up and running with your business. But a key issue that many business owners face is not being able to link their platform to their accounting in a way that makes it easy to process transaction volume, VAT, etc. 

Why is this an issue?

Once eCommerce ventures start increasing their business volume, it becomes more difficult to handle and process accounts. This can lead to missed payments, issues with stock levels, and difficulty in processing orders.

However, with the right accounting team at your side, you can manage this process seamlessly and effectively, helping your business to grow online successfully.

At Together Accounting, we’re certified users of a range of cloud-based accounting products, which allow us and you to manage your business’ finances easily online. Having at-a-glance, easy-to-read software can help you to stay on top of your business and make easier decisions based on real-time figures.

Some of the key features we provide include:

  • Setting up online dashboards
  • Providing a custom user experience
  • Providing ongoing user support
  • Migrating historical data

Whether you have an existing solution or you’re looking to set up a brand new eCommerce venture, we can help.  

 

Case Study 1

The client: A wholesaler to retail (B2B) taking orders from clients at retail outlets when dropping off goods. 

The problem: This was a paper process and rather laborious and prone to error and duplication.

The process: 

  • Initial paper orders taken at retailers premises whilst delivering
  • Orders are taken back to the accounts department for entering into invoice format
  • Invoice raised manually to accompany the delivery later that week
  • On delivery, further paper orders made and cycle repeats

As a result of this complicated process, orders were not processed until the next day and were prone to duplication, omissions and errors. This put limitations on those who could carry out processes, with a limited number of people able to operate the finance system. 

With customer balances only known by the accounts department, procuring money from customers could be a slow process. 

These kinds of processes cause several issues to businesses and prevent them from growing.

The solution:

To help the business move forward and enable more efficient accounting, we moved the client to Xero to enable cloud-based bookkeeping – giving multiple people access and making it possible to manage accounts from any location.

We set up eCommerce software through Shopify for the wholesaler, enabling all products and stock to be entered onto the system using a tablet. Orders are then submitted via tablets to the accounts department and to the stock team immediately, ready to take immediate action.

The result:

Key results for the client included:

  • Orders being prepared and carried out quicker and more accurately
  • Balances of retailers outstanding available at fingertips and handled quicker
  • Systemic process, allowing the client to use the system for ordering, invoicing and delivery work
  • Growth in sales
  • Removal of non-profitable retailers
  • Less time spent running the business and more time working on the business to enable future growth.

 

Case Study 2

The client: An Amazon seller (B2C)

The problem: The client had started selling items via Amazon as a way of making money whilst remaining employed. As the business became a success, the owner left their full-time employment to run the business. Eventually, the finances became difficult to manage as it was difficult to assess whether or not the business was making money due to the turnover.

The client’s existing accountants were not prepared to use integrated cloud accounting software to help run the business, leading them to move to us at Together Accounting.

The solution: 

To make the business easier to manage, we immediately transferred the client to Xero. This meant sales were fed directly to Xero accounting software, with a direct link for the transactions using A2X Accounting. We also established a precise stock management system which enabled the client to have a real-time view of stock.

The result:

  • The client now had a better understanding of performance, as well as being able to access the information in real-time.
  • The client saved time in dealing with the finances as the transactions were automatically added to the accounting software, enabling them to concentrate on growing the business.
  • The client now has an understanding of their stock value, the performance of sales, leading to informed decisions as to what’s selling well or what’s selling poorly. This ensured improved critical analysis in relation to stock decisions.
  • Better business insights to ensure the client was better informed to make critical decisions.
  • We were able to give them necessary insight into their business to enable them to make informed growth and stock investment decisions
  • Stock-lines removed or changed
  • New more profitable lines introduced
  • Added profit growth


Working with us

Choosing Together accounting allows you to take control of your business and enjoy accounting for eCommerce platforms that works for you. No matter what your business size, we can help you streamline your accounting, letting you focus on the running of your business. We work with a wide selection of platforms, allowing for easy integration with your existing eCommerce site, and giving you cloud access to see your data anytime anywhere. 

Want to find out more about our services for eCommerce Platforms?

Why not tell us about your business so we can create a solution tailored for you?