Growth-minded ecommerce entrepreneurs learn early on that it takes way more than a spreadsheet to keep their books in good order. Sales, returns, operating expenses, platform fees, and other line items quickly become too overwhelming to track in Excel, and scaling only exacerbates the problem. Unsurprisingly, shrewd sellers turn to accounting software solutions to establish some financial organization.
While each ecommerce business has unique needs in mind when choosing accounting software, those on the smaller side are often drawn to Xero. As a brand, Xero highlights the importance of small businesses to the global economy, and caters to startups with features and resources they can actually use. Plus, it’s a cloud-based solution that’s built for speed and agility—just like its users.
There’s no question that Xero is a top-notch choice for small ecommerce businesses looking to take their accounting to the next level, but it doesn’t solve every pain point. Unfortunately, manual data entry, human error, and a need for in-depth business insights remain hurdles for startups. The good news? An ecommerce accounting automation platform like Webgility, when paired with Xero, gives it the extra boost needed to make sellers and accountants unstoppable. Let’s dive in and explore the top three challenges smaller sellers face, and how Xero and Webgility team up for the rescue.
The Challenge: Too Much Accounting Busywork
During the beginning stages of running a small ecommerce operation, business owners typically wear many hats: VP of Sales, Marketing Manager, Website Maintenance Specialist, and Supply Chain Director, just to name a few. There is a seemingly never-ending list of tasks to accomplish, and the days start to feel shorter and shorter. Over time, the accounting duties tend to be deprioritized in favor of other items, leaving the books in disastrous shape at the end of the month—or worse, when it’s time to file business taxes.
Sellers, you’re not alone if you’ve ever sheepishly delivered a mess of spreadsheets and receipts to your accounting professionals. But, you should know it drives them nuts, especially when they’re on a time crunch. On the flip side? If you’re an accounting professional, you don’t want to spend your time making sense of the chaos when you’re being paid to offer business insights.
There is simply too much accounting busywork for online sellers and their accounting partners to handle when their ecommerce businesses are growing. Sellers can’t afford to get bogged down by their messy books, and the financial experts have more important things to do than manually entering their clients’ transaction information.
The Solution: Save Time by Putting Your Data Entry on Autopilot
What if there was a way to eliminate manual data entry yet still record all necessary data? It’s not magic, but it’s pretty close. Webgility’s ecommerce accounting automation software bridges the gap between online sales channels and a small-business-focused accounting software like Xero.
Here’s how it works: Webgility integrates with Xero and your ecommerce platforms, pulling data from all the sales channels. All transactions are then automatically posted directly to Xero on a self-set schedule, no data entry required. Test your sync settings worry-free to configure Webgility to your business needs. Then get automation running and you’ll never fall behind on accounting and inventory for online sales again.
The Challenge: Manual Data Entry Leads to Errors
Another problem with manual data entry is that it leaves a lot of room for human error. Ecommerce transactions are complicated when you consider all the parts of a sale: the price of the product, shipping costs, sales taxes, and more. And try as you might to capture every detail, something’s bound to slip through the cracks or get fat-fingered..
But accurate books are crucial to ensuring business compliance, understanding the financial health of your store, and providing a smooth customer experience. Therefore, depending on the severity of the accounting error, a seller’s inaccuracies can put their operation at serious risk. Small sellers in particular are susceptible to the consequences, as they rarely have a large cushion or the cash flow to cover a misstep. Accountants who have worked with online sellers long enough have seen plenty of businesses fold after these types of losses.
Clearly there’s a lot on the line. So, how do you avoid making accounting mistakes? You turn to technology—specifically, a solution that keeps financial information and ecommerce data totally in sync.
The Solution: Sync All Your Ecommerce Data for Tidy Books
Xero is widely regarded in the small business community as a top-tier tool for tracking financial data, and its full potential really shines when the solution is paired with accounting automation. A platform like Webgility powers a two-way data sync that ensures retailers’ online sales channel reports match their books—and the books are accurate at all times. Whether you’re a seller or an accountant, your month-end reconciliation just got a whole lot easier. And the peace of mind that stems from knowing the books are accurate is unbeatable.
The Challenge: Lack of Insights Stunts Growth
The past year has been a turbulent one for all online sellers, but consumers’ behavioral shift toward ecommerce has offered some stability for the new year. This gives savvy sellers an opportunity to lead with data as they work to get ahead of the competition. However, unless retailers want to cobble together analytics from their online sales channel(s) and other technology solutions—a process that takes valuable time away from growing the business—they’ll struggle to gain actionable insights..
And without clear reporting, accounting professionals struggle, too. They can certainly pour over the books to identify trends, but their time is better spent elsewhere. In order to offer sound advice, they need to gain access to the data that will back it up.
The Solution: Generating Actionable Reports Will Help You Scale
Sellers and accountants who strategically drive with data are much more likely to see businesses thrive. Rather than hunting down reports from sales channels, shipping software, and other ecommerce solutions, why not utilize Webgility as a single source of truth? Users can generate regular reports that show the financial performance of their channels over any given period of time. Webgility empowers Xero reporting by flawlessly transporting over sales, refunds, and expense data from your sales channels into specialized accounts and products. You’ll be able to get insights in the reports you are familiar with in Xero updated on a daily basis automatically.
How are you using Webgility and Xero to maximize your ecommerce accounting efforts? Let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell your business’ story.