The beginning of a new year is always a good time to look ahead and think about the progress you want to make in your business during the coming months. Will this be the year you add new platforms for selling your products, expand your product offerings, or move to a better accounting system? All these things are important steps in the growth of your business, and an experienced ecommerce bookkeeper can help you move forward quickly and effectively.
To accomplish these goals, it is essential to connect with a bookkeeper who has experience working with ecommerce businesses. As you know, ecommerce is a different animal than a bricks-and-mortar business. While the basics are the same regardless of the type of business, there are aspects of an ecommerce business that are unique. Understanding things like Amazon and other online merchant fees, seasonal inventory, product sourcing, and freight/shipping can make a huge difference when recording transactions in your accounts. Proper coding can save you many headaches throughout the year, not to mention money at tax time. On the other hand, the wrong coding can cost you…big time!
But how do you find such help? What traits do you look for in finding that important member of your team? I’ve outlined below the things we look for here at bookskeep when adding to our team.
You need someone you can trust with your sensitive financial information. Don’t leave it to chance. Check references and ask how they screen their employees. Find out about their systems for storing your passwords and make sure they will sign your nondisclosure agreement.
Are you passionate about your products but not always confident in your skills around the financial systems and reports? When you talk with your prospective bookkeeper, ask questions about your financials to determine if their communication style will mesh with yours. They can help you learn more about your financial requirements and your financial reports.
Today’s bookkeeping is more than just debits and credits. It’s about understanding workflows and ensuring that your technology solutions deliver the desired results. If up-to-date information is important for you, and I’m sure it is, then you want to look for someone who utilizes cloud accounting and applications to give you nearly real-time data.
Producing accurate financials is expected, but wouldn’t it be great to have someone who looked at them with a critical eye and pointed out historical trends that could negatively impact the future? Understanding the relationship of the numbers on the reports and calling them to your attention means you have one more member of your team helping you grow your business.
Eager to Learn
The technology landscape changes daily. Making good use of the many programs (such as QBO, Inventory Lab, A2X) and their features can enhance your ability to manage your financials and communicate with your bookkeeper. It’s important to work with a bookkeeper who is knowledgeable with the more popular or common programs out there, and they should be eager to embrace learning new systems that will bring you timely and accurate information for running your business.
Profit First Experience—Bonus!
For Profit First ecommerce businesses, it’s even more important to have the right bookkeeping team in place. Because of the multiple bank accounts and transfers from one account to another, they need to have a clear understanding of how and why this method works so they understand the decisions that are made.
If you’re not using a bookkeeping firm, but instead are taking care of all the recordkeeping yourself, I encourage you to consider making a change as soon as your business will support it. Especially if bookkeeping is not your thing. Partnering with an experienced ecommerce bookkeeping firm will allow you to focus on what you know best—building and growing your business.
At bookskeep, we not only look for bookkeepers who are experienced with ecommerce, more importantly, we look for those who are eager to learn, love the numbers, care about their clients’ success, and are great team players. So far, it’s worked very well for us.
Using this list as a guide, create your wish list first and then begin your search. Be careful not to get in a hurry to fill the position with just anyone, hoping they will “catch on.” Skills are important and you deserve to have the right people in the right positions. Take your time and the results will show that it was well worth it. And if you have trouble finding that perfect fit for your team, let us know. It might just be bookskeep!
Interested in Profit First?
If your ecommerce business isn’t where you’d like it to be in terms of profitability, check out my book, Profit First for Ecommerce Sellers. It answers important questions about how to implement Profit First in an ecommerce business. Take control of your money and your business, and put Profit First to work for you!
You can also sign up for the Profit First for Ecommerce Sellers Online Course. As a Mastery Level, Certified Profit First Professional, I will teach you why Profit First works so well for ecommerce businesses and the particular challenges for businesses that have physical products requiring inventory management. You will learn how your behavior drives your money management habits for your business and how you can set up your business bank accounts to work with your habits.
Check out all our ecommerce accounting and profit advising services here!