Get access for free
Read This Before You Hire an Ecommerce Accountant
Author Picture
by
Martin -
Author Picture
CO-founder at Dropshipping.com
Martin is an agency owner and SaaS projects maker. His work is featured in the leading ecommerce brands, magazines and podcasts. Talks about Marketing, Business Development, and Growth Hacking!
Learn more about our editorial process
CO-founder at Dropshipping.com
13 minutes

Are you considering hiring an accountant for your eCommerce business, but you’re not sure where to start? You might also be wondering if you really need an accountant and how exactly they can help you.

Don’t worry – we’re here to answer and explain all those questions. So take a seat, and let’s start from the beginning.

ArticleAIStoreDesktop

Understanding Ecommerce Accounting

Knowing how Ecommerce accounting works is essential for all eCommerce business owners. It’s all about keeping a sharp eye on your financial data – the money that flows in and out of your online business.

Moreover, ecommerce sellers know that success depends on making informed decisions. Therefore, ecommerce accounting is what guides these decisions.

Thus, it involves carefully recording every aspect of your online transactions, from sales to costs and everything in between.

For online businesses, financial data is the lifeblood. So, you need to know how much you earn and spend to steer your business effectively.

One key distinction of Ecommerce accounting is its focus on online transactions. It’s not just about recording sales; it’s equally important to track your expenses.

This includes the cost of purchasing products, shipping fees, or advertising expenditures. Every dollar that goes on this matters.

Furthermore, you will need to do a thorough tax management. You’re not just dealing with local tax regulations; now, you may have to navigate multiple tax jurisdictions.

Sales tax compliance becomes crucial to stay on the right side of the law.

In essence, eCommerce accounting empowers you with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions. It ensures your financial success and helps you stay on the right path.

Beyond DIY: When to Hire an Accountant

As a business owner, you’ve likely handled your own finances at the start. That is okay, but there comes a time when it’s best to hire an eCommerce accountant, as they bring expertise that will help your business grow and avoid many financial problems.

So, when is the right time to hire an eCommerce accountant?

You feel overwhelmed by taxes

If your tax planning feels like a maze, it’s a sign. An eCommerce accountant can navigate the ever-changing tax laws and help you minimize your tax burden legally.

Complex financial statements

As your business grows, your financials become more complex. An accountant can interpret these statements, providing insights to improve your financial health.

Time constraints

As the demands of your eCommerce business increase, time becomes precious. So, hiring an accountant frees you from number-crunching.

Hence, this allows you to focus on growing your business.

Bank account management

An accountant can help streamline your bank accounts.

In fact, they will ensure your finances are organized, bills are paid on time, and payments are collected promptly.

Evolving business structure

If you’re considering changing your business structure, such as transitioning from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, an accountant will guide you through the process.

👉 Check out my Step-by-Step Guide to Forming an LLC for Dropshipping.

Access to expert accounting services

With a dedicated accountant, you can access a wide range of tax services tailored to your eCommerce needs.

Audit preparation

If the thought of an audit keeps you up at night, an eCommerce accountant is there to help. Thus, they’ll ensure your financial records are audit-ready at all times.

Don’t wait until your financial tasks become too challenging. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Choosing the Right Accountant

Choosing the right accountant for your eCommerce business is a big step. You want someone who understands all the challenges and requirements of selling online.

This person will be a key partner in your business’s growth, so it’s important to make the right choice.

Here are some straightforward ways to ensure you pick the best eCommerce accountant for your needs.

🔸 Experience with eCommerce

Look for eCommerce accountants with a track record of working with online businesses.

They should be well-versed in eCommerce, including various eCommerce platforms and sales channels.

🔸 Accounting methods expertise

There is a difference between accrual accounting and cash-based accounting.

So, choose an accountant who can explain which method is better for your business and implement it effectively.

🔸 Management of accounts

Your accountant should excel in managing accounts receivable (money owed to you) and accounts payable (money you owe to others).

So, efficient management of these aspects is crucial for your cash flow.

🔸 International sales knowledge

 Your accountant must be well-versed in dealing with multi-currency transactions, taxes, and customs duties.

🔸 Revenue expertise 

Accurate revenue recognition is essential for financial reporting.

An experienced accountant must record your income correctly and ensure it complies with laws.

🔸 Alignment with business goals

Your chosen accountant should understand your goals and align their services to help you achieve them.

Thus, they should be a strategic partner, not just a number-cruncher.

🔸 Tax preparation knowledge

Tax season can be stressful, so choose an accountant who offers comprehensive tax preparation services.

Thus, they should keep you updated on tax laws and help you optimize your tax strategy.

🔸 Tech-savvy

Ecommerce relies heavily on technology. So, your accountant should be comfortable with modern accounting software and capable of integrating it with your eCommerce platform.

🔸 Good communication

Clear communication is vital. Therefore, ensure your accountant can explain financial concepts in plain language.

Hence, they should make it easy for you to understand your business’s financial health.

🔸 Proactive approach

Seek an accountant who regularly identifies opportunities to reduce costs, increase profitability, and improve financial efficiency.

Picture1

NEW: Get a Ready-to-Sell Shopify Store in 1 minute with AI!

Get a professional, personalized Ready-to-Sell Dropshipping store in less than a minute with the power of AI – Winning Products, a Unique Logo & our Custom Theme – included!

Get your Ready-to-Sell Store Now!

The Accountant’s Role in Your Ecommerce Business

Ecommerce businesses often deal with complexities that require specialized attention.

Ecommerce accounting services offered by expert tax accountants are tailored to address these needs.

Therefore, here’s a look at the key roles an accountant plays in your eCommerce business.

  • Accurate financials: Your accountant ensures your financial records are accurate and up-to-date. This is critical for understanding your gross profit, making informed decisions, and planning for the future.
  • Tax compliance: Staying on top of tax regulations and filling out the right tax forms can be tough. A tax accountant ensures your tax returns are accurate and submitted promptly.
  • Peace of mind: With an accountant on board, you can relax knowing that your financial matters are in expert hands. You can focus on growing your business while they handle the rest.
  • Financial insights: Accountants provide valuable insights, helping you identify opportunities for cost reduction, revenue growth, and improved profitability.
  • Strategic planning: They collaborate with you to set and achieve your business goals. With their guidance, you can make informed decisions that align with your long-term vision.
  • Risk mitigation: Accountants help you identify potential financial risks and develop mitigation strategies. This proactive approach safeguards your business’s financial well-being.

Navigating Cross-Border Sales

When you’re an eCommerce business owner venturing into cross-border selling, the path can become a bit more complicated. Ecommerce companies often face many complexities with international markets.

That’s where an eCommerce accountant can greatly help. Here’s how.

  • Understanding sales tax: Cross-border sales can trigger various sales taxes and customs duties. An accountant keeps you informed about the tax obligations in different regions. This ensures your compliance.
  • Multi-currency transactions: Dealing with various currencies can be tricky. Your accountant can help you manage multi-currency transactions efficiently, minimizing conversion losses.
  • Customs regulations: Expanding globally means adhering to different customs regulations. An accountant can assist with this to ensure smooth shipments.
  • VAT and GST: Value Added Tax (VAT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules can vary widely between countries. Your accountant ensures proper collection and remittance.
  • Tariff codes: Accurate classification of products under tariff codes is essential for customs compliance. Your accountant will help you determine the correct codes for your products.
  • Risk assessment: They assess financial risks associated with cross-border sales and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  • Venture capital support: If you’re seeking venture capital for expansion, an accountant can provide the financial documentation and insights that investors require.

Improving Cash Flow Management

Managing cash flow ensures your eCommerce business always has enough money to keep going.

Not sure how to do it alone? Here’s how an accountant can help.

  • Tracking cash flow: They will keep a close eye on the money coming in and going out. This helps you see if you’re making more than you spend.
  • Identifying trends: They look at your financial data to spot patterns. For example, they can tell you if certain months are slower so you can plan ahead.
  • Advising on expenses: Sometimes, businesses spend money on things they don’t need. An accountant helps you determine where to cut costs without hurting your business.
  • Improving receivables: This means getting paid faster. Your accountant can suggest ways to encourage customers to pay sooner, like offering early payment discounts.
  • Managing inventory: Too much stock ties up your cash. An accountant helps you find the right balance to have what you need without overspending.
  • Planning for taxes: Paying taxes can take much of your cash. An accountant helps you plan for tax payments so they don’t surprise you.
  • Monitoring profit margins: They ensure you’re making sales and making enough profit on those sales.

Time Management

An accountant can play a significant role in helping you save time, allowing you to focus more on growing your business. Below, we’ve listed all the ways how an accounting professional can help you.

  • Streamlining financial processes: An accountant can set up efficient systems for tracking your sales, expenses, and taxes. This reduces the time you spend on paperwork and financial management.
  • Automating financial tasks: They can introduce you to accounting software that automates many tasks, like invoicing and payroll. This means less manual work for you.
  • Managing tax deadlines: Accountants keep track of tax deadlines to ensure you’re always prepared and never late. This saves you from last-minute rushes and potential penalties.
  • Providing financial insights quickly: Instead of digging through reports and data, an accountant can quickly give you the financial information you need. This helps in making fast and informed decisions.
  • Handling financial queries: An accountant deals with financial questions from your bank, tax authorities, or partners. Therefore, you spend less time on calls or emails about finances.

How Can an Accountant Optimize Your Tax Strategy?

Tax strategy is about following the laws and regulations related to taxes in the places where you do business. It’s important because it keeps you out of legal trouble and ensures your business runs smoothly.

An accountant can be a key player in optimizing your tax strategy, ensuring compliance, and saving money where possible. Here’s how.

✅ Identifying Tax Deductions

An accountant can help you identify all possible tax deductions related to your eCommerce business. This includes expenses like the cost of goods sold, home office expenses, and marketing costs.

By identifying these deductions, an accountant can significantly lower your taxable income, meaning you pay less in taxes. They know the ins and outs of tax laws and can ensure you claim everything you’re entitled to.

💡 Tip: Read about Dropshipping Taxes and Payments – Guide For Beginners.

Planning for Tax Payment

An eCommerce accountant can forecast your business’s earnings and help you set aside the right amount of money for taxes throughout the year.

This planning prevents any surprises when tax deadlines come around. It ensures you’re not scrambling to find the money to pay your taxes at the last minute.

✅ Choosing the Best Accounting Software

Choosing the best accounting software for your eCommerce company involves a careful evaluation process. You may not be sure where to start, but an experienced accountant can do it for you.

They will look beyond the surface features to ensure the software meets your business needs. Also, they’ll consider several crucial factors that you might overlook.

First, the significance of cloud-based software cannot be overstated today. Your accountant knows that eCommerce businesses thrive on real-time data access and mobility.

Cloud-based solutions offer the flexibility to manage your finances anywhere, anytime. So, it is vital for online sellers who operate in a fast-paced, always-on environment.

Furthermore, inventory management is a critical aspect of running an Ecommerce business. So, your accountant will prioritize finding software that excels in this area.

Thus, they’ll choose the one that will manage stock levels efficiently and plan for future inventory needs based on accurate financial data.

Moreover, seamless integration is another key consideration. The best accounting software is one that integrates smoothly with other tools and platforms you use.

Thus, they include your Ecommerce platform, payment processors, and shipping services.

This integration capability ensures that data flows freely between systems. It reduces the need for manual data entry, minimizes errors, and saves time. Your accountant will choose the perfect software for you.

So, here’s my option.

For example, I am personally using QuickBooks. For a long time now, this has been a go-to choice for many in the accounting field. It’s trusted by experts and has a solid reputation.

One great thing about QuickBooks is the wealth of online training materials and forums it offers. These can be super helpful whenever you need support.

Plus, when it comes to handling dropshipping finances, QuickBooks connects smoothly with a wide range of tools. This makes managing your online store simpler than ever before.

✅ Navigating State Sales Tax

State sales tax is a tax imposed by individual states on selling goods and services. You might need to collect sales tax from your customers and then pay it to the state if you have a “nexus” there.

A “nexus” means having a business presence (a physical location, like an office or warehouse) in a state. But for online businesses, it can also mean making a certain amount of sales in a state or having affiliates there. The rules for what creates a nexus vary from state to state.

An accountant can help you determine all of it – where you have a tax obligation, how to register for sales tax in those states and calculate how much you owe. They keep up with changing regulations so you can focus on your business.

✅ Advising on Tax-Friendly Business Structures

Lastly, an accountant can advise you on the best business structure (like LLC, S-corp, or sole proprietorship) for tax purposes.

Different structures have different tax implications. Choosing the right one can significantly affect how much you pay in taxes.

An accountant will consider your business size, goals, and revenue to recommend the most tax-efficient structure.

However, here you can check the difference between LLC and LLP, and collect information for yourself. 👇

There you go! Now, you should have a clearer picture of how an accountant can support your business, what to consider when picking one, and how they can drive your growth and success.

Take a moment to think about your choices and figure out the best path forward. We’re rooting for you and wish you nothing but the best on your journey!

ArticleAIStoreDesktop

Conclusion

In summary, hiring an eCommerce accountant is essential for managing the complexities of online business finances.

These professionals offer expertise in tax optimization, financial analysis, and strategic planning, crucial for sustained growth.

When selecting an accountant, prioritize experience in eCommerce, proficiency in accounting methods, and proactive financial management.

With the right accountant, you gain a strategic partner to navigate challenges, optimize tax strategies, and drive your eCommerce venture toward success.

About the Author

Profile picture of Martin
Martin Stoimenov
Martin is an agency owner and SaaS projects maker. His work is featured in the leading ecommerce brands, magazines and podcasts. Talks about Marketing, Business Development, and Growth Hacking!