Trying to find an accountant who truly understands the eCommerce space isn’t always easy, especially with the thousands of accountants out there claiming to be the ‘perfect fit’ for your online business.
So, how do you know who the real deal is?
The questions below will make finding an eCommerce accountant an absolute breeze. Someone that will help you to reach your business goals, while saving you time and money. Read on!
Do You Need Assistance with Bookkeeping?
Or do you only need an accountant? Or both?
The answer will depend on what phase your business is in.
If it’s a small business like a new start-up or a side hustle, they would typically be handling their own books. However, they could greatly benefit from accounting services when it’s time to do their annual tax returns.
A bigger business with more employees will certainly benefit from an eCommerce accountant, who will also guide them on the best methods to manage their bookkeeping and give them financial advice.
Established eCommerce companies with huge sales volumes will find it highly necessary to make use of an eCommerce accountant and outsource their bookkeeping too. This will allow them to optimise their performance and focus their efforts on their core business.
What Are the Accountant’s Qualifications?
The first thing you want to check for before you hire someone (in any field) is their qualifications and experience.
Finding out the following is crucial to ensuring that you choose the right professional that will suit the needs of your eCommerce store:
- Are they certified?
For instance, a Chartered Accountant, or a Certified Public Accountant.
- Are they experts in the eCommerce space?
Look at their portfolio of previous clients and see if they have dealt with similar-sized online businesses to yours.
Do They Specialise in Your Specific eCommerce Platform?
eCommerce accounting is significantly different from traditional accounting. And it goes even deeper than that – every eCommerce platform is unique, with different types of sales channels.
It gets even more complicated if you are using multiple sales channels for your business.
It’s crucial that your accountant is experienced and well-versed with the platforms you use- you shouldn’t have to teach them.
- Viewing your finances from anywhere at anytime
- Linking it directly to your bank accounts
- Integrating it with your sales channel
- Saving money on accounting fees (less work and time)
Are They Familiar With Cloud Accounting Software?
Since your business operates online, it makes perfect sense that you would want access to your books from anywhere, at any time – and cloud-based accounting software does just this.
The ideal eCommerce accountant would know how to integrate your apps and sales channels with the accounting software – to build an effective cloud-based solution to streamline your online business.
You can also check if they have the appropriate certification for the cloud platform they will be working with, for example, a Xero Advisor Certification.
How Well Does the Accountant Understand International Tax Obligations?
International sales tax (a.k.a all eCommerce business owners’ biggest nightmare) can get extremely complicated.
You definitely want to make sure your eCommerce accountant has extensive expertise in tax obligations, tax-filing dates and tax returns for different countries around the world.
Can They Advise You on Inventory Management?
If you run an online store, you’ll know how essential inventory management and tracking is. You might also be aware that inventory plays a big role in the books of eCommerce businesses.
This is why eCommerce accountants need to fully understand how your stock managing software functions, and how to integrate it with the accounting platform.
Do They Have Positive Reviews?
Being in the online space you’ll know the power of reviews and recommendations when making a decision.
Spend some time looking at online reviews and interacting with other reputable online sellers and eCommerce businesses in your circle.
Figures don’t lie – if the accountant is boosting the performance of another online business, it’s highly likely they’ll have the same positive impact on yours.
The ideal eCommerce accountant should be able to tick all of the boxes mentioned above.
Not only do you want to hire someone who is highly qualified and experienced in all the platforms involved with running a successful online store, but also one that is going to save you money and contribute to the growth of your business.