When the pandemic took over the entire world and shut down many brick-and-mortar businesses, people turned to ecommerce businesses with the hope that they would fulfill their needs.
Naturally, people expected the current pandemic to become a huge game-changer, especially for small ecommerce businesses, helping them grow significantly. However, the results we got are rather mixed.
The report by Statista shows that while some ecommerce businesses were able to increase their sales, the profits of others have dropped:
To break down the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ecommerce businesses, the most recent analysis by ROI Revolution also reports a disproportionately negative impact of the pandemic.
For instance, the number of working small ecommerce Black businesses has decreased by 40% compared to the 22% overall drop. Moreover, 81% of small ecommerce businesses expect to experience the long-term negative impact of the pandemic, and 87% of them are preparing for the extended economic slowdown.
As you can see, a sudden surge in the demand for their products and services has come as quite a shock for small ecommerce businesses, forcing many of them to slow down the production and shipments because they were not prepared for the sharply increasing demand.
For a small business, such stress can be detrimental and can drive it into a crisis. In this situation, it is important to be smart with money and expenses to help the business stay afloat.
Can you, as an accountant, help your ecommerce business clients navigate through COVID-19 and avoid a possible crisis?
Absolutely. Here’s how.
1. Assist with Managing the Current State of Finances
To help your small ecommerce business clients get through the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can first assist them with managing their current state of finances.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many businesses to their knees because they couldn’t prepare for it. They start putting out fires and spending their security funds on costly solutions. The role of an accountant here is to become a mediator and save your client’s business from collapsing.
There are several things you can do for your small ecommerce business to help manage their current state of finances:
- Review the business model and supply chain. Doing such an analysis can help an accountant understand, where the business is leaking money, and help redirect funds to eliminate these leaks.
- Communicate with debtors. Accountants can also negotiate the agreements with debtors and get more financial relief solutions to help your client’s business stay afloat.
- Analyze insolvency options. In case your client’s business doesn’t have the resources to operate further, reviewing their current financial state and their insurance can help you offer the least ‘painful’ insolvency option.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many online businesses, including content writing companies like TopEssayWriting and GrabMyEssay, have hired accountants to plan their future income and adjust their cash flow forecasts. This is important because, with the growing demand for ecommerce products and services, many online businesses have significantly increased their revenue, and need help with the smart distribution of their finances for the future.
2. Help Access Financial Aid
As an accountant, you can also help your small ecommerce business clients navigate through the COVID-19 crisis by assisting them with accessing different financial relief options.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration and a few other organizations provided small businesses, including ecommerce ventures, with different coronavirus funding options to save them from the unprecedented economic disruption.
These financial relief programs help small ecommerce business tackle common issues they face because of the COVID-19 crisis, including:
- Problems with capital access, making a business unable to make payroll and maintain inventory
- Supply chain shortfalls in case some of the distributors had to shut down because of the pandemic
- Insurance problems and other issues
The application process for the SBA program, in particular, is quite lengthy and requires a lot of financial data, which you, as an accountant, can help your client with. Accountants can provide precise information for:
- Eligible entity verification
- Business information, including capital access, insurance, debtors, and other details
- Information about business owners, their tax records, and other financial details
As a result, you can help your small ecommerce business clients speed up the process of getting financial aid by filing the correct application right away, which saves them from re-applying or even losing this opportunity.
3. Introduce Money-Saving Solutions
Right now, it’s a turbulent time for your clients’ finances, and it is important to find money-saving solutions that will help put their capital to the right use.
The automation of day-to-day tasks can become one of such money-saving solutions, helping your client’s small ecommerce businesses operate smoothly.
As an accountant, you can help your clients detect and automate different business operations, including:
- Sales and CRM processes
- Customer service and ticketing operations
- Task and project management
- HR management
- IT back-office processes
You can also offer your clients to automate document management and ecommerce accounting, in particular.
Accounting involves a lot of repetitive manual tasks that take a lot of time and can be automated for the sake of better efficiency. Automating these accounting tasks can bring you quite a few benefits, including:
- Saving time
- Improving productivity
- Keeping the financial data accurate
- Retrieving data easily and quickly
- Secure data storage
Webgility ecommerce accounting solution offers you all these benefits as well as hands-free data entry, keeping your financial data structured and safe.
As a result, by helping find different automation opportunities for your client’s small ecommerce business, you will help them save money and better manage their resources during the pandemic.
Start Acting Now
Unfortunately, no one knows how long the COVID-19 crisis will last and how big the impact of it on the small and medium-sized businesses will be.
That’s why the best way is to start acting right now to help save as many small and medium-sized ecommerce businesses because many consumers depend on them and will be in the upcoming future.
Your role as an accountant in helping these businesses navigate through the COVID-19 crisis is significant. You can offer professional assistance with managing their current finances, as well as with applying for financial help and helping find solutions to save money.
Author Bio: Erica Sunarjo is a writer and a frequent contributor to a number of blogs and other writing services, like TrustMyPaper and ClassyEssay. She’s currently working on getting her MBA degree and applies her knowledge to help small and medium-sized businesses operate successfully during the COVID-19 shutdown.