Running an e-commerce business entails a lot: you have to stand out from the rest of online businesses with a constantly updated product range, friendly marketing and many more. Therefore you want to spend as much time managing your business as possible; too bad accounting is actually taking your precious time. However, there is a solution for your problem, with which you can concentrate on your business and get the accounting done within minutes. The solution is called online accounting software.
With these cloud-based software you can see your incomes and expenses at a glance, create invoices in seconds, easily manage your expenses, keep your inventory in sync with your e-commerce software, get auto-generated reports for tax purposes, connect with thousands of different banks and payment processors, and get unlimited access from anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, you can integrate with many third-party software and services to further automate your bookkeeping and administration. And this is just the beginning…
Online accounting solutions have countless features, so without further ado, here’s a run-through of the features an e-commerce business should look for in accounting software:
Cashflow at a Glance
An online accounting solution always has some sort of a dashboard where all the necessary data is displayed. So you can see your cashflow at a glance: your incomes and expenses, profit & loss, the state of your inventory, who owes you and who do you owe, and your banking.
Creating multi currency and/or recurring invoices is very easy with accounting software: just pick you customer, add the item you are selling and send the invoice via email or even snail mail. Furthermore, if you use a payment processing service like PayPal, your clients can instantly pay you with credit/debit card or an e-wallet.
With inventory management tools baked into the online accounting software or through a third-party integration, you can keep track of the items you are selling and you can add new ones or remove those you ran out of. Some software are even capable of displaying the profitability of each of your item, therefore you can decide which one you should sell more of.
Tracking expenses is an easy job: just grab your mobile device, snap a photo of a receipt and let the software take care of the rest for you. Once uploaded, you can attach expenses to invoices to get reimbursed by your client.
Connect to any kind of bank account, and the online accounting software will not only display data from your account in real time, but will organize said data too. So you will always know when you were paid and when your money is sent to your suppliers.
With this usually extra feature your employees can enter their own work time to the software, you can write their checks or direct deposit them and you can prepare and print your 1099s.
Integrating Other Software and Services
Integration with third-party services, especially those that engage in e-commerce activities, is very crucial. Thankfully almost all of the online accounting software offering and supporting an API are capable of integrating with hundreds of different applications and services; from the aforementioned e-commerce platforms to POS software, inventory and expense reporting tools, invoicing solutions and even time tracking add-ons. Just give permission to your accounting software to get the data from the other software and you don’t have to use separate solutions anymore.
Many of the best known e-commerce solutions, such as eBay, Etsy, Amazon and Shopify can be integrated into your accounting software, so you can manage their respective inventory, customer list and many more from one account. Similar solutions include BigCommerce, Zen Cart, and Squarespace. You can also integrate online payment options like PayPal to your software thus allowing your customers to pay instantly using an e-wallet and even adding your PayPal account as a bank account that could be displayed on the dashboard. You can also integrate other types of software: POS services such as Square or Vend, inventories such as TradeGecko and Stitch Labs, and even Google Apps like Docs and Gmail.
Online Accounting Solutions Recommended for You
The online accounting market is flooded with solutions, each with similar and different features. Which one will be the winner is up to you, but before you make your decision, let us recommend you two solutions that focus on catering to e-commerce businesses: Xero and QuickBooks Online.
Xero is intended for smaller businesses. However, it has everything you need from invoicing, estimating, expense management to a handy inventory, and the option of preparing and printing your 1099s. Depending on your subscription you can manage the payroll of up to 10 employees, and you can have your customers pay faster with different payment add-ons. Xero has outstanding iOS and Android apps that could serve as a second step in the two-step secure authentication process when accessing your account. The software integrates with over 400 apps and services including Shopify and PrestaShop, provides 24/7 customer service and offers a 30-day trial.
QuickBooks automatically recommends its top product, QuickBooks Online Plus for e-commerce businesses because it has the following features: an inventory, preparation and filing of 1099s, income and expense tracking, estimating, auto-syncing of your bank accounts, management of bills and auto-generated reports. QuickBooks Online has an iOS and Android app with most of the feature available thereat, but if you need a missing feature – for instance time tracking – you can integrate your software with over 300 third-party solutions. With the top product included as well, QuickBooks offers three different pricing packages, while the payroll feature and the fast payment option is an extra you have to pay a monthly fee for. Before purchasing the software you can try it out for 30 days for free, but if you are not satisfied with it, you can get a full refund within 60 days from subscription.