As an Amazon seller, your business can often grow to the point where it becomes impossible to track all your cash flows on your own. Without properly accounting for your money, you may not know how profitable you are, and you’ll have a much harder time getting a loan, filing your taxes, or even eventually selling your business.
But if dealing with finances is becoming your biggest challenge, and it’s taking away valuable time from more urgent issues like customer service or marketing, it may be time to look into some accounting and bookkeeping services.
While hiring an actual ecommerce accountant is an option, accounting software will often do the trick. There are some great amazon accounting software platforms out there, so we’ve created a little primer here, and curated a list of top options to make your life easier.
Generally bookkeeping is more for the day-to-day transactional details, while accounting tends to focus on longer term goals, and may only be needed on an occasional basis, like during tax season or in the midst of financial issues.
Bookkeeping refers more to the record-keeping parts of accounting, because it’s the process of recording all the information regarding the transactions (and other financial activities) of your business. Here’s how LendingTree defines them:
What is Accounting?
“Accounting is the practice of recording a business’s financial transactions. These transactions are tracked through a record-keeping system that aggregates the results into financial reports… You could use commercially available accounting software, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks to establish the record-keeping system for your business. You may need a separate system to collect and organize customer orders, bills and payments.”
What is Bookkeeping?
“Bookkeeping, like accounting, is the practice of recording a company’s financial activity. A business must accurately track all financial information on its books to make informed operating, investing and financing decisions. Once your business is up and running, you’ll need proper bookkeeping to measure daily performance and provide information to set revenue and income goals… A bookkeeper would be responsible for documenting business expenses, processing payments, managing payroll and balancing the books by the end of each month.”
In the early excitement of launching your ecommerce business, it’s easy to overlook best practices for accounting. But once you get bigger, this will come back to bite you in the rear. Between manufacturing, shipping, marketing, and plenty of unexpected costs, all these cash flows can quickly spiral out of control as you scale.
Like most things in business, if you want to streamline processes in the long-term, it requires extra work and attention upfront.
There are three key things to remember about managing your business finances: building a solid foundation, maintaining accuracy in your numbers, and staying tax compliant across state and local tax codes.
The right software will keep this data organized, and the accounting practically does itself once you have the workflow set up. In other words, once you’ve started operating by best practices and have some good tools in place, you can put it out of your head and focus on your strengths.
Before you get started here, be sure your Amazon seller account is separate from your personal one. Mixing your personal and business expenses can quickly become a tax nightmare, so keep it clean and simple from day one. This means if you haven’t already, you’ll want to open a business bank account too, with your seller account linked to it.
With that done, it’s time to look at your available options to track your money. As you may have gathered, QuickBooks or FreshBooks are some tried-and-true software platforms for your accounting. Some services will integrate with these, while others are more full-service.
There are automated accounting services that specialize in Amazon seller bookkeeping, so you’re by no means limited to traditional (human) accounting companies.
Consider the different tools the software offers: it should ideally update sales, finances, and cash position in real-time. Choose accounting software with great organization and automation tools (meaning it can import your Amazon info). What do they offer to help with tax compliance?
Amazon provides tons of information on their seller dashboard, but not everything is calculated for you. Don’t expect to find sales tax, profit per sale, or other costs that can be used to reduce your tax bill.
Thankfully, these accounting and bookkeeping services have built their businesses around Amazon sellers, so you don’t need to worry about integrations or compatibility with ecommerce.
There are two main options for Amazon sellers when it comes to bookkeeping, and the first is an automated service that connects your Amazon seller account and to a third-party accounting platform.
This option is great if you are already using an accounting platform such as QuickBooks for your Amazon business, as you can continue entering expenses and other information based outside of Amazon, and still save loads of time.
The second option is using a traditional bookkeeping or accounting service that specializes in providing services to Amazon and online sellers. These services are great because they take care of everything for you, and can help you with identifying costs you may not have been including in your accounting and reducing your overall liabilities. The downside is they tend to cost much more.
We’ve compiled a list of companies who provide Amazon accounting and bookkeeping services, as well as services to help with automation and integration if you’d rather not organize it all manually.
1. QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks is a major accounting service in the business world. Made by Intuit (the creators of TurboTax) QuickBooks is one of the most reliable and flexible ways to link multiple users and locations to their finances, anytime, anywhere. It’s also a great option for small businesses who need more advanced accounting services. Of all these services, it’s the software most people have heard of, so a little name recognition is reassuring. Prices start as low as $12.50 for the essentials, and only $35 for the Plus plan, which adds things like inventory management and Form 1099 contractor payments, which can be useful for anyone scaling their business on Amazon.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting solution for small businesses, and is known for its ease of use. They emphasize meeting you wherever your business is, and provide varying plans and features to make scaling simple, so you won’t need to invest in a new accounting program when your business grows. The apps across all platforms make it easy to stay on top of your money from anywhere, and it offers plenty of great integrations. Pricing starts at $9 a month after the free trial.
NetSuite by Oracle has an impressive list of features and is designed to work from the smallest of businesses to the largest. While not always the most intuitive software to use (the learning curve can be a little difficult at times), once you get the hang of things it becomes very easy and convenient to use, and a powerful set of tools. Plus, being able to login and view your info from anywhere makes it easy to check your data whenever you need to. Netsuite is frustratingly opaque about their costs, but this is because costs vary a great deal. They will depend on your individual configuration, your provider, any discounts, and the costs of support and implementation. You can get a free quote on their website.
Whether you don’t like managing all these numbers on your own, don’t have the time, or don’t trust just anyone to do it for you, an automated solution can save you a lot of headache. They’re not only big time savers, but they’re a great way to maintain accuracy in your data. Accounting can be a very detail-oriented process, and you don’t want to have any mistakes when tax season comes around.
1. A2X Accounting
If you use QuickBooks or Xero for your Amazon business, then A2X may be the option for you. That’s because it automates the entry of finances into your books. Simply link A2X to your Amazon seller account and your accounting platform, then make a few key selections so the platform understands how you conduct your accounting. From there, just sit back and relax!
Reconciling is easy, no more flipping back and forth, as the system does it for you by matching your bank deposits and Amazon numbers.
A2X does have some other great features that other Amazon accounting services do not offer, such as tracking sales margins and automatically calculating your inventory values for your balance sheet. A2X starts at $19 per month after the free trial.
Taxomate is an Amazon FBA seller accounting intended to automate your financial processes. Taxomate connects your Amazon account with Xero and QuickBooks so that you can import your order sales and cost of goods sold. This automated approach to importing data has a starting price of $14 a month after the free trial.
EntriWise is an Amazon accounting solution providing easy QuickBooks integration for Amazon sellers. With their automatic reconciliation, get recent and past Amazon transactions into Quickbooks easily. Choose to import data daily or by statement. Pricing starts at $15 per month.
Webgility is a multi-channel e-commerce software providing automated accounting and inventory management. Webgility is targeted towards retailers using QuickBooks and Netsuite, as well as Shopify, Amazon, and Magneto. The cheapest account automation portion option starts from $99 per month, but the Lite plan is $49. Both of these have significant discounts if you pay annually rather than monthly
5. Amazon To Accounting
Amazon to Accounting provides automation for Amazon FBA sellers between the Amazon seller marketplace and QuickBooks Online. Amazon FBA to accounting automatically grabs the latest Amazon settlement reports and prepares a summarized and validated journal. Pricing starts at $29 per month after trial
This service captures everything in your Amazon seller account and ensures that you have a full picture that reflects your expenses accurately. ConnectBooks was created by accountants to provide the most comprehensive system possible while unifying your QuickBooks data with your Amazon data.
ConnectBooks offers in-depth reporting with detailed breakdowns of your expenses and revenue. They are a bit different from other automated accounting services in that you can track fees by item, class, and even group profits, by item or category. If you are looking for an automated system that provides in-depth reporting, they’re a great bet. The Merchant Starter plan is just $25 a month after trial.
Xendoo provides Amazon sellers with a dedicated bookkeeper and CPA to take care of all your bookkeeping needs. They build all your monthly reports and can even provide financial consulting if your business needs it. When you start with Xendoo, they can also catch you up on all your past bookkeeping within a week or so. Unlike other services, they emphasize tax savings and offer your business yearly tax preparation and filing. Plans start at $195 per month after trial.
MuseMinded accounting firm that specializes in providing incredible services for Amazon sellers and has dozens of reviews from sellers that rave about their services. MuseMinded believes in providing the best services for its clients and has been called the “gold standard in bookkeeping” for ecommerce.
They offer unlimited transactions and bookkeeping reports every month, but the big bonus is that they can also handle your financial accounts, unlike the automated systems which only transfer data from Amazon seller central into your main accounting platform. This is a huge time saver, so if you have the budget for them, they’ll treat you right.
They will be able to capture costs that other systems may ignore and provide you with an accurate representation of your finances! Plans start at $215 per month after trial (this plan is paused as of this writing), and the next plan is $430. If you want a nice environmentally conscious perk, you might like to know they plant a tree for every twelve dollars you spend.
There are countless accounting platforms out there for every need and budget, and we can’t realistically list them all here. But these are some of the top accounting services for Amazon sellers, whether you’re in wholesale, retail arbitrage, dropshipping, or private labelling. Remember, if you’re already using QuickBooks or Xero, an automated solution like ConnectBooks or A2X can automate your entries and ensure that your books are accurate.
To pick the right platform for your ecommerce business, you’ll also need to decide which features are most important to you. If your business is growing steadily, it may be worth investing a bit more than you’re comfortable with to get a more comprehensive bookkeeping service too. At a certain point, hiring a traditional accountant might even be the move, especially if you’re not the most tech-savvy.
It’s never too soon to start operating on best practices for accounting and bookkeeping, but choosing a service is not something to rush either, so select your top choices and do some comparisons before you pull the trigger. So balance those books and get back to selling!