Introducing the e-commerce accountant directory
It’s a complicated beast, accounting – and as an e-commerce store owner, you’ll have had first-hand experience. E-commerce has grown at a tremendous rate, and with it comes the growth of a new breed of accountants.
A2X works closely with a fantastic network of e-commerce accountants from all over the world, who are highly experienced with A2X and more importantly, understand the accounting complexities experienced by Amazon and Shopify sellers.
The right fit is important – here’s why you should go specialist, how to work out when you’re ready to hire an e-commerce accountant – and how to find the perfect match.
When the right time comes
Most e-commerce business owners can get away with managing their own accounts in the beginning. Usually, it’s the most cost-effective option, and it’s a great way to learn about – and stay on top of – your business.
As your business grows, you expand overseas, or enter new markets with different financial obligations, working with a specialist e-commerce accountant becomes more important.
Several factors will influence when you decide to bring in an accountant. Generally, the biggest concern is whether you’re making enough to warrant investing in help. A good time to start looking is when your business is making enough to become your full-time endeavour (approximately US$20-$50,000 turnover).
They’re specialists for a good reason
Once you’re at a point where you know you need an accountant, the next challenge is finding one you want to work with. Like any new hire, you want to find someone you can trust. There’s also the dilemma of whether you work with a generalist or specialist e-commerce accountant.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with generalist accountants, e-commerce is its own special beast. Aside from whether you like them or not, here is a checklist of things e-commerce accountants need to be familiar with:
International sales tax
Whether it be VAT in the Pan EU, sales tax in the US and Canada, GST in Australia and New Zealand (or all of the above), your accountant needs to understand what your international tax obligations are, when tax-filing dates are due, and how to confidently file your tax returns on your behalf.
Experience and qualifications
A specialist will have experience working in the e-commerce space, be familiar with the different lifecycle stages of an e-commerce business and have the right qualifications. Working with a qualified CPA is less about the piece of paper and more about the standards and procedures they follow – because you want someone you can trust.
Cloud-based software and apps
As an e-commerce retailer, you want someone who is just as comfortable as you are working in the online space – a specialist who is well-versed in using cloud-based software and apps.
There are some fantastic tools available for e-commerce sellers, like A2X, that can make life easier for both merchant and accountant by automating time-consuming, manual tasks. An e-commerce accountant will be up to date with these tools – and be able to expertly recommend and manage them.
Focused on growth
Good accountants won’t simply tidy up your books, make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax and file your returns on time – they’ll be genuinely interested in growing your business with you.
They’ll help you understand the profitability of your business across all your different platforms, and work to optimise and automate your back-office processes – all so you can make better financial business decisions. They should also be able to adapt quickly to rapid change and steep learning curves – it’s just the nature of e-commerce.
How they charge
As we mentioned, the e-commerce industry has grown and shifted, and so too has the accounting industry. One noticeable difference, aside from the rise of specialist accountants, is the move towards ‘value pricing’. Rather than billing by the hour, look for an accountant that charges a set price you can pay in weekly instalments.
Also, look to see if the set price includes any add-ons or integrations like A2X or accounting software subscriptions.
Where to find the good ones
Type into Google ‘e-commerce account near me’ and you’ll probably be swamped with search results. Logically, you’d start at the top, but here’s a better solution.
A2X partners are e-commerce accounting firms that have experience working with Amazon and Shopify sellers. They’re also masters of using A2X – as well as Xero and QuickBooks Online.
For a quick and easy way of finding an e-commerce accountant near you, browse Find an A2X Expert – A2X’s e-commerce accountant directory.
Once you’ve navigated to that page, you can choose to filter the experts by location – A2X works with experts in North America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Scroll through the list of partners to read more about each company, and how long they’ve been an A2X partner. Click ‘Learn More’ to be redirected to more information – and you’ll be able to message that partner directly.
Ready to get to work?
Most e-commerce sellers welcome being able to hand the reins of their accounts over to someone else. But knowing when’s the right time, who’s the right fit, and where to find the right expert is a whole different story.
A2X’s e-commerce accountant directory is a gold nugget of recommendations. All the experts featured in the list have bucket-loads of experience and everything you need from a great accountant. The best thing about A2X’s partners is they’re willing to have open and honest conversations about where your business is at, where it’s headed – and whether they’re the right fit for you.
Looking for more resources related to e-commerce accounting? Try:
If you’re looking for a comprehensive look at accounting and tax in general your specific region, check ou our in-depth tax guide series here. Along with our tax guides for Europe, Australia and Asia.