- The Intro: Ecommerce Needs Future-Ready Accountants
- The Details: What You’ll Learn & About Jody Padar
- The Background: Why Ecommerce is Fueled by Tech
- The Bottom Line: Advisory 2.0 is the Future of Accounting
- The Perfect Pair: How Technology Advances Advisory 2.0
- The Model: Your Ultimate Ecommerce Tech Stack
- The Results: Productivity + Predictability = Profitability
- The Future: Don’t Miss Your Opportunity in Ecommerce
- The Definition: Digging Into Some Tech Terms
- The Solution: Kick Busywork to the Curb with Webgility & Botkeeper
What You’ll Learn from This Interactive Web Experience
If you’re an ecommerce accountant—or plan on building your expertise to include this fast-paced area—it’s time to up your technological game. Take a tour of the playing field in easily digestible chapters, which include insights on:
Your Subject Matter Expert: Jody Padar, CPA
THE BOTTOM LINE
Advisory 2.0 is the Future of Accounting
Whether you’re with an accounting firm that serves ecommerce clients or sit on-staff at an online retail business, opening up your mind to technology is now crucial to your long-term success. Think grabbing this technological bull by the horns sounds scary? It’s not, with the right resources and a willingness to evolve to a consulting style Jody Padar calls “Advisory 2.0.”
At its heart, Advisory 2.0 addresses the fact that if you’re solely in the business of accounting to crunch numbers, you’re facing some stiff competition from the latest automated technology. But if you use technology to your advantage instead of fighting it, you can level-up your practice to one that is focused on building customer relationships and providing data-driven insights that help clients sustainably scale. This is true in any industry, but particularly relevant to ecommerce.
Get on the Advisory 2.0 train folks, Padar says, because it’s almost out of the station.
THE PERFECT PAIR
How Technology Advances Advisory 2.0
Still on the fence about whether technology is really the driving force behind future-proofing your accounting firm or in-house practice and successfully advising ecommerce clients? Jody Padar offers up these benefits to upgrading your tech chops:
It will help you overcome ecommerce data chaos
It will give you time to build better client relationships
It will let you build a single source of accounting truth
Online retailers deal in massive sums of transactional data stemming from multiple channels. Without a technology stack that seamlessly integrates data between ecommerce channels and accounting platforms, accounting professionals and their clients can quickly fall into the weeds. Even worse, they fall prey to inaccuracies due to human error, data silos, and even data loss. You can’t offer highly strategic, Advisory 2.0-style services on bad data. What’s worse, inaccuracies could not only undermine your clients’ profitability, but also put them at risk for compliance issues.
WORDS TO THE WISE
- Jody Padar of Botkeeper
Why should an accounting professional spend valuable (and for the online retailer, expensive) time handling manual data when they could instead be demonstrating their true value as a strategic business advisor? Take advantage of technology to put a seller’s data syncs on autopilot. You’ll benefit from greater accuracy, close to real-time availability, and the ability to form a partnership with your internal or external client as you digest data together on the fly.
WORDS TO THE WISE
- Jody Padar of Botkeeper
Instead of constantly looking backward and giving your clients a static snapshot of how they did, embracing technology will allow you to centralize incredibly large volumes of data into one hub (in close to real time). From there you can help online retailers fuel productivity by proactively offering business insights and forecasts based off of product margins, marketing spend, inventory, and more.
WORDS TO THE WISE
- Jody Padar of Botkeeper
Your Ultimate Ecommerce Tech Stack
With more than 500 ecommerce platforms on the market, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But if you choose your tech stack wisely based on best-in-breed platforms, you can lessen the learning curve and avoid getting burned. Keep in mind:
While each online retailer has different needs, here’s a model of a well-crafted ecommerce tech stack:
Productivity + Predictability = Profitability
But let’s get real. At the end of the day, we all know that your internal or external client doesn’t care how amazing the tech stack is. What they want are results, and in the case of accounting professionals, a relationship built on strategic business insights that allow them to achieve the best results.
But that’s the beautiful thing about leveraging a shrewdly built ecommerce tech stack. Traditionally, accountants spent 80% of their time in the weeds compiling data, and 20% of their time in advisory mode. Enter automation, which helps accounting professionals flip that ratio on its head. They can:
By saving time previously spent on manual data entry
By accessing powerful business insights in one centralized location
By leveraging performance analytics to increase online retailers’ bottom lines
- Conversion rate
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Customer Retention Rate
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Average Order Value (AOV)
- Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
- Order Volume
- Cart Abandonment Rate
- Net Profit
- Tax advisory
- Real time cash-flow management
- In-depth customer sales analysis
- A/R Forecasting
- Monthly KPI insights
When it comes to ecommerce KPIs, “If you want to specialize in e-commerce, you really need to understand what [the industry’s] key metrics are, how to get them, and what they mean so that you can help your client achieve their goals,” Padar says.
But remember: It’s a learning curve, a journey you’re taking with your internal or external client. “Your client is not necessarily asking you to have the be-all-end-all answer,” Padar explains. “With niche-specific advisory services like ecommerce, your job is to walk alongside your business partner and help them make sense of the information they’re digesting. You don’t necessarily need to know the right answer, but you do need to understand the drivers and how it all fits together.”
Don’t Miss Your Opportunity in Ecommerce
Think ecommerce is just a niche industry, or a flash in the pan that will fade as the world returns to a post-pandemic “new normal”? Experts say think again. While retailers were forced to move most of their operations online during the COVID-19 crisis, the surge in online shopping is here to stay. And presented with an extraordinarily competitive marketplace, businesses now face a near-daily challenge to optimize their online experiences.
What’s more, ecommerce operations are quickly making their way into brands that were previously never associated with the practice. “Every single business is going to be an ecommerce business,” Padar predicts. In a global world, every business will have at least an ecommerce function to it, highly tied into the latest technology to better integrate data and serve customers. The question, says Padar, is how are you going to help all your clients connect to that ecommerce piece?
The good news: There are tools and resources out there that can help you, and you don’t have to learn them all on day one. “There are accountants who say they don’t want to touch ecommerce because they have no idea how the technology works and don’t want to get involved,” Padar says. “But they’re missing the boat because there’s a lot of ecommerce advisory they can do at a lower level that will allow them to gain the experience they need to perform at a higher level. In reality, 80% of [the accounting practices] you do every day apply to ecommerce as well. There’s only the 20% piece you need to learn.”
We wish you all the best in your Advisory 2.0 journey.
Digging Into Some Tech Terms
Marketplaces: A website on which multiple sellers offer their products under a single web address. The primary advantage of using marketplaces is that the store setup is very easy and they have a large, built-in customer base.
Online Stores: A software component or extension that creates items and sells those items within its interface on any website, used when selling from one’s own website. Considered a cost-effective solution for new sellers.
POS: A point of sale system, or POS, is where customers make payments for products or services at a brick-and-mortar store. It used to refer to the cash register but now can be totally digital.
Shipping Solutions: Shipping solutions, also known as shipping carriers, are the parties responsible for transporting goods from one location to another.
Payment Processors: Payment processors act as the mediator between the merchant and the financial institution(s) involved in a credit card transaction process.
CRM/CMS: Customer relationship management (CRM) technology helps manage a company’s relationships and interactions with customers and prospects, functioning much like a digital Rolodex with additional features.
Accounting software: Accounting software is a digital application that assists accounting professionals in recording and reporting a business’ financial transactions.
Sales Tax Automation: Sales tax automation software accurately calculates rates, assesses use taxes, files returns on time, keeps exemption certificates up to date and accessible, and registers a business in the right locations.
Payroll tools: Payroll tools manage, organize, and automate employee payments, tracking all transactions and maintaining payment records.
Accounts Payable solution: Accounts Payable solutions use automation to streamline the accounts payable process, in the process boosting efficiency and decreasing costs.
Analytics Tools: Analytics tools retrieve data from one or more business systems and aggregate it into a centralized repository for easy review and analysis.
Kick Busywork to the Curb with Webgility & Botkeeper
Ready to take your advisory practice to the next level? Webgility and Botkeeper’s award-winning platforms help you put your accounting busywork on autopilot, so you can focus on offering strategic insights that boost profitability instead.
Webgility is empowering businesses to thrive in the world of ecommerce. The company’s ecommerce accounting automation platform offers users a single source truth—one that helps high-growth online retailers and their accounting professionals collaborate to drive insights and profitability. The number one accounting automation software for ecommerce brands and accountants using QuickBooks, Webgility seamlessly integrates with over 50 of the world’s top ecommerce platforms and marketplaces, and garners a 99 percent customer satisfaction score.
Botkeeper is a human-assisted artificial intelligence (AI) platform that automates bookkeeping, purpose-built for accounting firms. It combines AI and machine learning technology with high-quality skilled accountants to deliver a full-suite bookkeeping and pre-accounting solution that increases capacity, accuracy, and efficiency. Accounting firms and their clients receive 24/7 accounting and support, as well as incredible insight into financials with beautiful dashboards and unlimited reporting.