bookskeep paves a profit first path for ambitious ecommerce sellers
Discover how Cyndi Thomason built her bookkeeping empire from the ground up with the help of smart digital tools like A2X. These days, bookskeep is thriving, helping ecommerce businesses turn healthy profits, and Cyndi (now a bestselling author) has cemented herself as a leading figure in the ecommerce accounting community.
Juggling work and mum life
As with many accountants, Cyndi Thomason’s career started in the corporate world. When it was time for her to start a family, she put her work on the back burner, thinking she’d return once her daughter was at school.
She ended up home-schooling her daughter, which meant she couldn’t go back to the way things were, but when QuickBooks went online, she quickly realised she could keep her skills fresh and earn a living – by working from home.
That’s when she started bookskeep.
Today, Cyndi is a well-known thought leader in ecommerce accounting. She’s the author of the bestselling book, Profit First for Ecommerce Sellers, and creator of the online course of the same name.
And that’s just the beginning.
Profit First a game-changer
In the early days of bookskeep, Cyndi joined an organisation called Profit First – and it revolutionised the way she worked with her clients. She realised that for her business to grow faster, she needed a niche, and ecommerce was where she saw an opportunity to grow.
“I had a few ecommerce clients from referrals and I really loved working with them. They were after the same lifestyle as me, I could do everything over the phone with them, they were comfortable with technology. Some of the other businesses that I worked with, they expected me to show up and be in their offices, which I didn’t like.”
With a virtual team located across the United States, Cyndi provides SmartCFO business advising, Profit First consulting, and bookkeeping services for ecommerce clients worldwide.
Using the Profit First methodology, Cyndi has coached many ecommerce business leaders in their mission to understand their cash flow – and become profitable faster. These days, she spends most of her time speaking at industry events, sharing her knowledge even further.
Before: 90% accuracy not good enough for Cyndi
There was a time when not everything was running smoothly. Cyndi remembers very early on watching her ecommerce clients struggle to line up their revenue with the cost of goods sold.
“It was a combination of the way Amazon reported revenue and the way clients were tracking inventory. It just never quite gave us the result we were looking for.”
As bookskeep began to work with larger ecommerce clients, “it became a huge time-suck and often higher-level resources would be pulled in to help unravel the problem.”
It became a bottleneck in their system.
“Ultimately, we would always work through it, but the time it took to do that was impeding our ability to grow the business.”
That’s when, by coincidence, A2X came into the picture.
After: a win-win for accountants and e-commerce businesses
There’s no doubt in Cyndi’s mind that A2X has saved the bookskeep team endless hours of manual reconciliation, but the benefits don’t stop there.
She says having confidence in the numbers means the team can work with clients to solve targeted problems.
“It allows us to help our clients get a better handle on their inventory, cash flow and how it all impacts their books.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Cyndi says clients who have chosen to sell their ecommerce businesses have been far better prepared with A2X.
“Many of our clients have never had the kind of insight A2X provides and, for the first time, they’re finally getting a handle on what their gross margins are because previously, their books just didn’t match up.“
“Using A2X, we’ve helped them see the connection between their sales and overall profitability – and therefore, how much their businesses are worth.”
Choose digital tools that give you room to grow
As a business owner, Cyndi says there’s nothing more valuable than a digital tool you can rely on, particularly when it comes to ‘the big three’ platforms: Amazon, Shopify and Walmart.
Over the years, A2X has continuously and consistently allowed her team to access accurate financial info they have 100% confidence in, and “spend minimal time on something that’s critical to our clients’ financial success” – instead of troubleshooting all the time.
“We’ve been able to grow over 25% year-on-year for many years. My mission has always been to create a business that provides my team with the same flexibility to create the lives they want, and A2X has helped free us to focus on those other aspects of the business.”
When it comes to the right digital tools to implement in your business, Cyndi recommends choosing solutions that allow you to grow, without the cost of having to switch or upgrade.
“Our pattern has been to choose things that use a very small fraction of their capability, but it has allowed us to grow and not have to switch tools – and I think that has put us ahead.
“To me, the idea of investing in something that’s going to support you down the road, even though it may cost you a little bit more upfront, is totally worth not having the headaches of upgrading later.”