Simple questions and answers for those wondering which to choose.
Ecommerce sellers often ask me which edition of QuickBooks they should choose for their business, but the answer isn’t so cut and dry. Over the last several years it seems that Intuit has been focused on QuickBooks Online and moving everything to the cloud. But QuickBooks Online may not have the capabilities you need and QuickBooks Desktop might be more powerful than necessary for an SMB. Here’s an overview of the big differences between the two based on the varying needs of ecommerce businesses.
From what device or from what location do you run operations?
QuickBooks Online is cloud based, so you can access it from any web browser, your phone, tablet, or computer. QuickBooks Desktop runs from a stationary computer, but you can also have it on a hosted solution and still get the remote capabilities.
What are your inventory needs?
Yes, QuickBooks is accounting software, but it’s also plays a key part in inventory management, especially as it relates to the cost you pay for your stock. A big factor to consider when choosing which version to use is the complexity of the inventory. For example, if you’ve got finished goods that you’re selling out of a single location, QuickBooks Online is a great choice. But if you have more advanced needs like multiple warehouses, choose QuickBooks Desktop, specifically the Enterprise edition. And if you sell assemblies or bundled products or need barcode scanning and serial tracking, you’ll also need the advanced features of QuickBooks Desktop.
What are your accounting needs?
When it comes to accounting, the capabilities are the same with a few variations. For example, the workflow looks a little a different and the interface is a little different but from an accounting standpoint, they accomplish all the same tasks. The one exception to that is sales orders, which is a capability needed by many B2B businesses. Since the purpose of sales orders is to take units out of the available quantities so they’re not being sold, QuickBooks Desktop is the best choice. You can’t do that with QuickBooks Online.
It’s worth noting, purchase orders have previously been a limitation for QuickBooks Online but that capabilities has recently improved. So for businesses that might’ve hesitated because of purchase orders and partial bills, that feature is no longer a deal breaker.
The only thing that’s constant with these two products is change, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the differences. Even though it may seem that Intuit is putting more resources toward QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop is still evolving and expanding features all the time.
For online retailers, few issues are as confusing and cumbersome as understanding sales tax obligations in various states. Most companies either try to find an automated solution or stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best. In the face of this complexity, the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., which challenges the high court’s 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. If the court sides with South Dakota and overturns Quill, the impact will likely be significant and, at least in the short run, expose many more sellers to today’s sales tax compliance complexity.
What is Quill and Why Does it Exist?
Much like today, the late 1980s was a time when states were actively seeking ways to get retailers to collect sales tax everywhere. Many states adopted new use tax nexus laws, and a plan developed to find a way to get the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a 1967 decision declaring that physical presence was the constitutional test for sales tax collection. In the early 1990s, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota’s tax commissioner, filed suit against Quill Corporation, an office supply retailer, to get Quill to collect North Dakota’s use tax on sales made to North Dakota residents. Continue reading
Just click once to settle your accounting!
Making sense of fees and other costs can be a frustrating experience for Amazon sellers. Now a new enhancement to Webgility Unify simplifies accounting for Xero users who sell on Amazon. With Webgility 1-Click Accounting, it’s now fast and easy for sellers to post Amazon Marketplace orders, refunds, expenses, and payments into Xero.
In fact, Unify users can now swiftly reconcile their Xero accounting with their Amazon Settlement Report, eliminating the need for any additional data entry or a separate clearing account. Webgility Unify automatically syncs the Amazon Settlement Report with Xero, making batch reconciliation easy for both sellers and accountants. “Managing a business’ finances from a central dashboard is a far more beautiful experience,” says Steven Larsen, Product Partnerships Director at Xero.
Xero offers an open app ecosystem that gives users an opportunity to select technology that best suits their needs as their company grows. Webgility Unify’s integration with Xero enables small business owners and their advisors to track sales and automate accounting across online marketplaces and ecommerce tools.” Continue reading
Answers to 4 Common Sales Tax Questions
We hear ecommerce sales tax horror stories all the time. In this increasingly complex and changing industry, both new and experienced sellers are often confused about how much sales tax they should charge—or even if they should charge it at all. Let me be clear: collecting sales tax is not optional for ecommerce sellers. If your business has a significant presence, or nexus, in a state that collects sales tax, but you’re not collecting it at the time of sale, you are still liable for tax in that state, which means it comes out of your pocket.
That’s a clear start, but unfortunately, figuring out your local rate just scratches the surface of what you should know about sales tax. There are many variables. Sellers—who are usually not tax experts—are often left wondering if, when, and how much to collect and remit in sales tax. In the most general of terms, if you’re in the business of selling tangible products you may need to register, collect, and remit sales tax. To keep it simple, answers to these questions can help get you started in your sales tax self-assessment.
A simple case for changing the course of your business—and your life—with automation.
These days sellers conduct business through a number of channels—both offline and online. These can include a cash register at a brick-and-mortar location, a selling platform (or store) like Magento or Shopify, a custom website with a shopping cart extension like WooCommerce, on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and even a point of sale tool like Square. So when it comes to accurately inputting all that sales data into inventory, shipping, and accounting systems, life for a multichannel seller gets very complicated very quickly. And the complexity is multiplied tenfold not if, but when, human involvement introduces errors. Typically when sales hit a peak or the business scales in some way, either the repetitive manual entry becomes too much for a busy seller to manage or hiring a bookkeeper becomes too expensive to justify. In fact, the data management has been the undoing of many a burgeoning business.
Either way sellers are conflicted: The ones who handle their own bookkeeping know their time is better spent growing the business with marketing, networking, researching lower-cost vendors, reviewing workflows—the list goes on. And those who pay to outsource data entry and bookkeeping are often left wondering if they’ll ever be free of an expense that scales in tandem with their business. Continue reading