CASE STUDY

AC Ecommerce Accounting – Cindy Smith

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Penny perfect month-end for Cindy Smith and clients

A2X saves ECommerce Accounting LLC hours of manual reconciliation

Cindy Smith has worked as a CPA her entire adult life – it’s her bread and butter.

Several years ago, her son and his wife started an eCommerce business and Cindy offered to take care of the books. But she quickly realised that the world of eCommerce came with a raft of complexities.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Cindy swiftly upskilled herself, learning all about the intricacies of managing the books for an eCommerce business. Then, in 2019, the firm she worked full-time for went up for sale.

“At the time, there were fewer CPAs that specialised in eCommerce, so I took the opportunity to start my own firm,” Cindy explains.

ECommerce Accounting LLC works with online and eCommerce businesses of all sizes, providing online, remote and virtual accounting and bookkeeping services. Based in Canada, Cindy’s original intention was to work for herself, by herself – but the business had other plans: “We’ve now got seven employees, and we all work from home remotely.”

Cindy and her team now work with eCommerce sellers all over Canada and the US, and most of them sell on multiple platformsShopify, Amazon and Etsy to name a few. She still manages the books for her son’s business – except she now does it with a little extra help.

Time-consuming process thorn in CPA side

When Cindy took over the books for her son’s business, it was a combination of problems that made her search for a better way of doing things.

Not only was she juggling multiple journal entries for sales and fees from multiple eCommerce platforms, but also there was always a difference between their deposits and sales amounts.

“It bothered me that I couldn’t match to the penny perfectly every month, and it was a time-consuming process,” she says.

When she started ECommerce Accounting LLC, she knew her manual workarounds wouldn’t be able to scale or handle transaction volume.

A quick Google search – and Cindy found the tool she was looking for.

A2X: matches to the penny every month

If there’s one thing that every accountant loves, it’s a balanced month-end – and that’s exactly what A2X does for Cindy and her clients.

A2X works by categorising all sales transactions (including fees) into tidy summaries and imports them directly into your accounting system – so they match to the penny the payments made to your bank account.

While that was A2X’s initial drawcard, Cindy explains there are plenty of other benefits too.

She also likes how A2X splits out your sales across the correct months. In other words, if you have a deposit that straddles months, A2X will record the sales in the appropriate month. Then there’s also the ability to map all the different sales and fees to the right accounts in your accounting system.

For Cindy, that’s what gives her peace of mind.

“I really like to know that everything is penny perfect. It’s not like the sales and fees weren’t accurate before, but there was always that difference floating around. Now I feel very confident about how the data is reflected in the financials,” she says.

Saving hours of time

Sometimes it can be difficult to quantify time, but at a guess, Cindy says A2X has probably saved her and her team, on average, an hour per platform per month per client.

With that equation, it doesn’t take long to figure out just how much time – and therefore money – manual reconciliation could have cost them.

“All you have to do is think about what you typically bill for an hour’s work and using a tool like A2X saves you that time. It’s almost a no-brainer,” she adds.

Furthermore, Cindy recognises how that time saved has been better spent helping more eCommerce businesses achieve their goals.

“It’s worth every penny. Sure, you can figure out an hour per client and what that’s saved you. But more than that, think about how many more people I’ve been able to help and work with – because I don’t have to worry about sorting all that data.”

Digital tools essential for business growth

Considering the nature of eCommerce, it’s no wonder that Cindy and her team use various digital tools to work with their clients. That’s a vast contrast to the corporate environment where Cindy spent most of her career.

Using digital tools has enabled Cindy to start her very successful CPA firm from scratch and she’s been able to scale quickly – all from home.

Recently, Cindy also started teaching an eCommerce accounting course, where business owners can learn how to do their own bookkeeping. She recommends A2X to everyone “because it makes things so much easier.” It also helps her teach the value of having time to work on your business, rather than in your business.

She expects that more and more accounting firms will make the transition – especially after everything that’s happened in the last 18 months – but there’s a definite upside to being ahead of the curve.

As eCommerce continues to grow, and clients come knocking on her door, Cindy and her team are ready and set to go.

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