Aprio Cloud and A2X
Aprio Cloud is something of a trendsetter among US accounting firms. The business started in 2011 as HPC Accounting, and unlike most firms at the time, focused on providing value-based services, rather than charging clients hourly rates. In 2019, they have been rebranded as Aprio Cloud following being acquired by Aprio, an award-winning Top 50 CPA Advisory firm.
Aprio Cloud is known for being an early American adopter of Xero and has now added QuickBooks and Netsuite to their technology stack. Once they discovered A2X, it became a standard part of service that is used to service every eCommerce client.
“A2X is so much of an efficiency saver that we have added it to our standard tech-stack for all e-commerce clients.” - Rachel Bussey, Senior Advisor, E-Commerce for Aprio Cloud
Aprio Cloud values A2X for a number of reasons - it saves time, gives them access to in-depth data, and integrates seamlessly with other apps and software programs. It’s so useful that Aprio Cloud calls it one of their ‘no-brainer’ tools.
One of the factors that makes eCommerce - and Amazon sales in particular - complicated is the sheer volume of data involved. For Aprio Cloud, the fact that A2X makes that data accessible is a real drawcard. The app breaks Amazon’s monthly reports down, so sellers can see exactly where their money is going.
“We love A2X for a few reasons, one of which is the in-depth view of the expenses that Amazon is charging. We love that we can actually see what makes up those fees, because Amazon does take so much. A2X takes the guesswork out of consistently categorizing the components of Amazon’s bi-weekly payouts." - Rachel Bussey
They also find A2X’s inventory feature extremely valuable when it comes to sorting out tax issues in different states. A2X allows the seller or accountant to pull a report showing where inventory is located at any one time. In the US, this information is essential, because storing inventory in some states triggers the need for a sales tax return, income tax return, and in some cases, both. Having an up-to-date overview of country-wide inventory helps Aprio Cloud and their clients deal with this complexity.
Saving time - and stress
Breaking complex data into digestible reports helps with insight - and it’s also a time-saver. Rachel explains that before using A2X, dealing with Amazon sales and fee reports was time-consuming and frustrating.
“Just the booking of Amazon sales and fees, from an accounting perspective, is extremely time-consuming, and if you’re trying to split sales between months it’s nearly impossible without heavy Excel manipulation.” - Rachel Bussey
A2X does the work for them, saving the Aprio Cloud team an estimated 2-3 hours per month, per accounting client. The COGS feature, which gives the client a breakdown of the cost of goods sold, also makes a big difference. This feature allows clients to better manage their own purchasing.
Rachel explains: “A lot of Amazon sellers don’t keep a true idea of what their cost of goods are. They often expense products as they buy them, or rely on monthly estimates to be trued up at year-end. The timing of cost of sales expenses should be matched with the revenue earned. A2X’s COGS feature makes tracking and properly reporting product costs manageable..”
Of course, A2X isn’t the only ‘no-brainer’ app the Aprio Cloud team uses. One of the factors that makes it so valuable is its ability to integrate with other software programs - in particular Xero, Netsuite and QuickBooks. And now with the integration with Shopify, Aprio Cloud has even more solutions for eCommerce clients.
This is another time-saver, as it means they no longer spend time working with Excel or plugging numbers into spreadsheets manually. A2X translates the complicated and often confusing data generated by Amazon or Shopify and feeds it into whichever accounting platform is required, so the Aprio Cloud team and clients have all the information they need in one place.
As Rachel explains, they have also been pleasantly surprised by using A2X with other programs, including inventory management systems like DEAR. She explains that her team still use A2X with these clients, using data from the inventory system rather than directly from Amazon.
The future of accounting
As a market-leading accounting firm, Aprio Cloud is always looking to the future of accounting. Rachel says that as apps and software programs like A2X become more and more powerful and efficient, accounting will be increasingly focused on interpreting and analyzing data, rather than just plugging in the numbers.
She puts it like this: “With the advancements in accounting tools, Aprio Cloud is dealing less and less with data input. We prefer to be on the other side of the data, interpreting and helping clients strategize on that data and move forward.”
She sees eCommerce as a huge area of continued growth, with sales platforms like Amazon giving even small operators the chance to establish a sales business and grow, without the need for infrastructure. But she cautions that accountants looking to get into eCommerce need to “do their homework” and make sure they have the tools and knowledge to serve their clients. Ecommerce sales can generate a huge amount of data, which can be incredibly time-consuming when you don’t know what you’re doing.
Making a difference at Aprio Cloud
A2X has been a game-changer for Aprio Cloud. They tested it on one client, then decided to expand to others after just one day’s trial. As Rachel explains, it has given them a consistent, reliable service from day one. It helps them save time, which means they’re able to give clients more personalized, strategic support. She’s now a true believer in A2X - and she’s not afraid to say so.
“A2X definitely blew our minds. We had issues with Amazon and other tools that connect, where they can’t keep that API up - but we’ve had no issues with A2X, it’s never broken down on us. I gush over A2X because it’s so great for us.”
For more information about Aprio Cloud or to enquire about their accounting advisory services, please visit www.apriocloud.com.