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E-commerce Bookkeeping Services Tips

Posted on 08/12/2023

Master the art of e-commerce bookkeeping with our 2024 expert tips and techniques. Maintain your financial stability and push your business to the next level!

One of the most important components of establishing an e-commerce business is handling your cash. Bookkeeping helps you keep track of all of your financial transactions and enables you to make informed decisions based on the correct facts.

We will also go over the steps you need to take to get started with e-commerce bookkeeping, such as choosing an accounting technique, selecting the correct software, and organizing receipts and invoices.

In addition, we will discuss tips and methods for successful e-commerce bookkeeping in 2024, as well as typical obstacles and future trends in this industry. Whether you’re an experienced e-commerce seller or just getting started, this blog post will teach you everything you need to know about e-commerce bookkeeping to help your business flourish.

Tables of content

  • The Importance of Bookkeeping in E-commerce Businesses
  • Difference between E-commerce Accounting and Traditional Bookkeeping
  • E-commerce Bookkeeping’s Evolution
  • How Does E-commerce Bookkeeping Differ Between Platforms? (Amazon and Shopify)
  • Amazon vs Shopify Bookkeeping Case Study
  • Steps to Getting Started with E-commerce Bookkeeping
  • Choosing an Appropriate Accounting Method: Cash Basis vs Accrual Basis
  • Selecting the Best Bookkeeping Software
  • E-commerce Bookkeeping COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) Navigating
  • Receipts and Invoices – Importance in E-commerce Bookkeeping
  • Best Practices for Organizing Receipts and Invoices
  • The Role of an Accountant vs Bookkeeper in E-commerce
  • When Should You Hire a Professional Accountant or Bookkeeper?
  • Leveraging Email to Improve E-commerce Bookkeeping
  • How Can E-commerce Bookkeeping Help Your Company Grow?
  • Strategic Bookkeeping Tips for Financial Growth
  • Common Issues in E-commerce Bookkeeping and How to Solve Them
  • Is It a Good Idea to Outsource E-commerce Bookkeeping?
  • What Are the Future E-commerce Bookkeeping Trends?
  • What Exactly is Bookkeeping Software?
  • Conclusion

The Importance of Bookkeeping in E-commerce Businesses:

Accurate bookkeeping gives you a comprehensive financial picture of your e-commerce business, allowing you to monitor cash flow and successfully manage expenses. It assures sales tax compliance, avoiding penalties, while also allowing you to analyze profitability and make informed business decisions.

Good bookkeeping processes make audits and tax filings go more smoothly, demonstrating the value of keeping correct records. Small e-commerce enterprises can maintain their financial health and meet tax authorities’ standards by employing effective bookkeeping systems.

E-commerce bookkeeping, in essence, serves as a compass, directing the success of your online firm.

Difference between E-commerce Accounting and Traditional Bookkeeping:

When distinguishing e-commerce accounting from traditional bookkeeping for a retail organization, several crucial characteristics must be examined. E-commerce accounting entails tracking online sales channels and combining them with financial statements while taking inventory management and e-commerce platforms into consideration. This accounting method also focuses on specific variables such as cost of goods sold (COGS) and transportation costs.

Retail e-commerce bookkeeping necessitates a thorough understanding of sales channels, payment gateways, and online fulfilment. Traditional bookkeeping, on the other hand, may require assistance to capture the complexities of many sales channels and shifting stock levels.

E-commerce sellers running a retail business can guarantee that their financial records appropriately represent the unique nature of their online companies by recognizing these variations.

E-commerce Bookkeeping’s Evolution:

E-commerce bookkeeping has evolved significantly in response to the expanding landscape of online enterprises. Automation technologies and apps have aided in the simplification of procedures such as invoicing, inventory management, and financial reporting.

Furthermore, e-commerce bookkeeping interacts effortlessly with popular platforms like Shopify, Amazon, and Walmart. This interface enables advanced analytics, which provides useful insights into customer behaviour and profit margins. Overall, e-commerce bookkeeping has become more efficient, precise, and suited to the demands of online sellers.

How Does E-commerce Bookkeeping Differ Between Platforms? (Amazon and Shopify)

Amazon and Shopify have major variances when it comes to e-commerce bookkeeping. Shopify focuses on sales, discounts, and abandoned carts, but Amazon demands tracking fees, reimbursements, and delivery charges.

Platforms also differ in their ability to integrate with accounting software. Amazon may demand payment and return reconciliation, but Shopify may necessitate tracking sales tax, shipping charges, and fees from other popular marketplaces such as Etsy or eBay.

Amazon vs Shopify Bookkeeping Case Study

Managing FBA, referral fees, and storage costs is critical for Amazon sellers in the case study of Amazon vs. Shopify bookkeeping. Shopify merchants, on the other hand, must track Shopify Payments, third-party payment gateways, and app expenses.

Both platforms necessitate the reconciliation of sales, returns, and inventory modifications. Analyzing each forum’s reports and financial data might provide significant insights for growth initiatives.

E-commerce enterprises can optimize their operations by analyzing sales, profit margins, and expenses between Amazon and Shopify.

Steps to Getting Started with E-commerce Bookkeeping

To successfully begin your e-commerce bookkeeping journey, you must take a few critical measures. First and foremost, open a separate company bank account for your e-commerce operations.

This will allow you to keep your personal and corporate finances separate, making bookkeeping easier. Next, choose the best bookkeeping system for your company: cash basis or accrual basis. Income and costs are recorded on a cash basis when they are received or paid, whereas an accrual basis records them when they are earned or incurred.

Choose dependable accounting software that works in tandem with your e-commerce platform. This will allow you to easily track sales, expenses, and inventories. Before you begin bookkeeping, you should become acquainted with essential terms and principles.

Understanding terminology like balance sheet, cash flow statement, and income statement will greatly improve your financial management. Finally, categorize all of your receipts and invoices for easier record-keeping and tax reporting.

By taking these crucial steps, you will establish a solid foundation for successful

e-commerce bookkeeping and ensure that bank accounts are reconciled at the end of each month.

Our Affordable Bookkeeping starting at just $10/hour

Creating a Business Account:

Setting up a specialized business bank account, such as PayPal, is critical to ensuring good financial management for your e-commerce business. You may retain clarity and avoid misunderstandings by keeping your personal and company finances separate.

By connecting your e-commerce platforms and payment gateways to your business account, you can ensure a smooth transaction flow. This makes tracking and managing your company’s finances easier. As the major source of financial records for bookkeeping, use your bank account statements. Reconciling your business account regularly helps uncover anomalies or irregularities, and maintain proper financial tracking.

Choosing an Appropriate Accounting Method: Cash Basis vs Accrual Basis

In terms of e-commerce bookkeeping, the proper accounting approach is critical for maintaining accurate financial records and reporting. The two basic approaches are cash-based accounting and accrual-based accounting.

  • Income and costs are recorded on a cash basis when they are physically received or paid, whereas an accrual basis records them when they are earned or incurred, regardless of cash flow.
  • Consider aspects such as size, complexity, and the desired level of financial accuracy when determining the best strategy for your e-commerce business.
  • It’s also worth noting that switching accounting methods necessitates filing documentation with the IRS.

Selecting the Best Bookkeeping Software

Several variables must be considered while selecting the best bookkeeping software for your e-commerce firm. Consider your budget, business size, and specialized demands first.

It is also critical to examine active user reviews and ratings to confirm that the accounting software is dependable and easy to use. When weighing different options, keep scalability and future development in mind.

Seeking advice from other e-commerce business owners or speaking with an e-commerce accountant can provide useful information. You may expedite your financial procedures and successfully manage the finances of your e-commerce firm by carefully selecting the correct bookkeeping software.

E-commerce Bookkeeping COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) Navigating:

Understanding how to calculate and track your e-commerce product’s Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and gross margin is critical. Deducting COGS from revenue yields gross profit, an important financial statistic for e-commerce enterprises. Inventory, manufacturing, transportation, and storage charges must be accurately classified as COGS.

COGS tracking accuracy allows you to analyze product profitability and make smart price decisions. It is critical to review and update COGS calculations and gross margins regularly to reflect changes in product costs and operational expenses. You may efficiently traverse COGS and ensure a healthy gross margin in e-commerce bookkeeping by doing so

How to Calculate Cost of Goods Sold for Your E-commerce Business:

Calculating your e-commerce business’s Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is critical for accurate financial reporting. To calculate COGS, first determine the cost of production materials.

Then, to get the entire cost of manufacturing your products, include direct labour costs in your calculations.

Exclude any expenses that are not directly related to the manufacturing process, such as marketing or administrative costs. To maintain accuracy and comparability, it is critical to employ a consistent approach to computing COGS.

By properly recording and calculating your COGS, you may have a better understanding of your product costs and make more informed pricing decisions. Payroll expenses are considered overhead costs and should be omitted from the COGS calculation.

Receipts and Invoices – Importance in E-commerce Bookkeeping:

Receipts and invoices are critical components of e-commerce bookkeeping. They provide tangible proof of all business transactions, assisting in the proper tracking of purchases and sales.

Furthermore, these documents are necessary for tax compliance because they validate the deductions claimed by the e-commerce merchant. Receipts and invoices that are organized also make financial analysis easier, allowing businesses to examine their income, expenses, and profit margins.

Furthermore, excellent receipt and invoice record-keeping eliminates errors and disputes, providing seamless financial operations for small e-commerce enterprises.

Best Practices for Organizing Receipts and Invoices

It is critical to apply best practices for tracking receipts and invoices to maintain a streamlined and efficient e-commerce bookkeeping process. Begin by developing a specialized filing system to conveniently categorize and access these documents.

Furthermore, digitizing paper receipts and invoices can save time and facilitate retrieval when needed. Remember to reconcile your receipts and invoices with your financial accounts regularly to maintain accuracy. Consider using cloud-based solutions for secure storage and retrieval, which will allow you to access your papers from any location.

Following these best practices allows you to keep on top of your e-commerce business accounting and makes tax season a lot easier.

The Role of an Accountant vs Bookkeeper in E-commerce:

Accountants and bookkeepers both play important roles in e-commerce bookkeeping. Accountants specialize in financial analysis and strategy, assisting e-commerce businesses in making sound business decisions.

They create and analyze financial reports and income statements to provide information about the company’s performance. Bookkeepers, on the other hand, handle the day-to-day financial transactions of the e-commerce business.

They keep accurate records and ledgers, ensuring that all income and expenses are properly recorded. Both jobs are necessary for good e-commerce bookkeeping, with accountants providing strategic assistance and bookkeepers maintaining thorough records.

When Should You Hire a Professional Accountant or Bookkeeper?

When your e-commerce firm expands and you open your online store, consider hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper.

Professionals may also advise you on complex tax requirements and help you optimize your bookkeeping procedures, freeing up your time for key business tasks.

Leveraging Email to Improve E-commerce Bookkeeping:

Email can be a useful tool for keeping track of e-commerce transactions. One way to make use of email is to send and store essential financial papers.

You can quickly organize your bookkeeping emails and keep them separate from other messages by using folders and filters.

Requesting electronic receipts and vendor invoices can also help you streamline your record-keeping procedure.

Email conversations relating to financial transactions must be archived for future reference. Finally, consistently backing up important bookkeeping emails guarantees that you have a backup in the event of data loss.

How Can E-commerce Bookkeeping Help Your Company Grow?

Accurate bookkeeping provides a clear financial picture, allowing you to discover patterns and growth prospects. Proper expense tracking enhances cost management, while precise financial reports help make informed judgments. Furthermore, following tax regulations helps to prevent penalties and audits.

Strategic Bookkeeping Tips for Financial Growth

It is critical to have a systematic approach to bookkeeping to ensure financial success for your e-commerce business. Setting objectives and budgeting for future growth will create a road map for success.

Financial data analysis can assist you in identifying areas for improvement and making educated decisions. Monitoring cash flow ensures that there is enough funding for growth projects. It is critical to keep track of your cash flow—how much money comes in and out of your business.

Positive cash flow indicates that money is coming in and that your company is financially strong. Still, if money is flowing out faster than it is coming in, you must act swiftly. Effective inventory management strategies will improve the efficiency of your business.

Common Issues in E-commerce Bookkeeping and How to Solve Them

High transaction volumes in e-commerce can be difficult to manage, but effective technologies can help streamline the process.

Another challenge that e-commerce vendors confront is accurate inventory valuation, which may be overcome with good tracking and administration. Syncing numerous sales channels for precise bookkeeping might take time, but tools like QuickBooks Online can help. Seeking professional advice from a CFO or an accountant might provide significant insights into difficult deals.

Is It a Good Idea to Outsource E-commerce Bookkeeping?

E-commerce bookkeeping can be outsourced to save time and maintain accuracy. Businesses may focus on growth while meeting tax and financial requirements by employing professional skills. Outsourcing also provides a new viewpoint on firm finances.

What Are the Future E-commerce Bookkeeping Trends?

Automation to streamline processes, AI technologies for transaction categorization and reporting, integration with e-commerce platforms for simplified tasks, real-time financial data for better decision-making, and cloud-based solutions dominating the landscape are future trends in e-commerce bookkeeping.

What Exactly is Bookkeeping Software?

E-commerce enterprises can benefit greatly from bookkeeping software. It assists in the tracking of income, expenses, and inventories while also automating computations to prevent errors.

It promotes efficiency and accuracy with features such as invoicing, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting. Access to cloud-based software is possible from any location at any time. Integration with other business tools boosts efficiency even further.


Finally, good bookkeeping is essential for the success of your e-commerce business. It assists you in staying organized, making smart financial decisions, and adhering to tax requirements. As the e-commerce sector changes, it’s critical to grasp the differences in bookkeeping for platforms such as Amazon and Shopify.

You can simplify your bookkeeping process by taking important actions such as opening a business account, adopting an accounting system, and picking appropriate bookkeeping software. Additionally, using email for effective bookkeeping and financial planning might improve your company’s overall success.

Remember to overcome typical problems, explore outsourcing bookkeeping, and stay current on future e-commerce bookkeeping trends. Please contact us if you require any additional assistance or have any questions.


Topics: Bookkeeping Services




About the Author:

Pramod has over 11 years of experience relating to finance and accounts in diversified industries. He is an expert in resource and process optimization resulting in greater operational efficiencies.

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