RDS Limited | Barry Roberts

RDS Limited | Barry Roberts

Tidy eCommerce accounts, deeper financial insights

Follow UK chartered accountants RDS Limited on their journey transitioning into eCommerce accounting, and how A2X ensures clients save time – and have access to accurate financial data they can use to grow their businesses. Founder Barry Roberts uses A2X along with Xero, Inform Direct, Comma, Hubdoc and a digital marketing agency, enabling his team to help eCommerce businesses be the best they can be.

Taking the headache out of eCommerce

Nine years ago, Barry Roberts saw a gap in the market. He decided to leave the corporate world after three decades as a chartered account and set up his own practice. His mission? To help small businesses access the expertise of a CFO, without having to hire one full-time.

RDS Limited is now a team with nearly 30 years’ experience, helping and advising all types of businesses throughout Mold, Ruthin, Deeside and the rest of North Wales.

The firm had a healthy number of compliance clients, but it wasn’t long before Barry noticed an upsurge in a new type of client – eCommerce businesses.

“It became evident, by the growth of Amazon, that everybody was now shopping online.”

Increase in online sales, larger volume of transactions

During the pandemic, online sales boomed, causing some eCommerce businesses to grow at an even more alarming rate. Barry knew that would mean more online sellers wading the waters of managing their accounts.

Though he has a mind for numbers, Barry admits even he needed some time to wrap his head around it.

“From an accounting perspective, you don’t realise how complicated it is. When using Amazon Central, you’ve really got to be on the money to navigate all of that.”

Already a Xero expert, Barry began researching a cloud-based tool that could reconcile his clients’ online sales with little to no fuss.

Before: unorganised books led to lost income

When Barry signed on his first eCommerce client – an Amazon reseller who also sells across various other eCommerce platforms – he had very few systems in place for managing his finances.

Barry quickly sorted that out, but there was a missing piece of the puzzle – a seamless way of transferring sales data from Amazon Central into Xero.

“I just thought, ‘How do I account for this multitude of transactions?’”

Barry knew the sheer volume would cause problems. Without accurate financial data, reporting capabilities were limited, and there was the risk that the client might not be meeting his tax obligations.

Apart from hindering reporting, international taxes, levies and fees could easily be mis-paid, as could client transactions, leaving the business overpaying on tax and fees or missing payments completely.

“Potentially, you’d end up in a right mess. We had no certainty that the transactions were accounted for correctly.”

Barry had read some reviews on A2X and decided to trial it. Both he and his client were pleasantly surprised by the results.

“A2X did what it said on the tin and worked fantastically well for the client.”

After: accurate, more detailed financial reporting

After integrating A2X, Barry confirms that his client can now sleep easy knowing that his sales transactions are accurately reconciled.

“There’s no concern that sales breakdowns are wrong. We have complete faith and confidence in A2X.”

He’s also chuffed with the improvements in data capture. A2X gives his client an “up-to-date MRI” of his financials, so he has a clear view of how the business is performing.

“That’s abundantly easier to do with A2X.”

The financial reporting aspect of A2X has been of great benefit to Barry’s business too. He has better visibility of his client’s financials, saving time usually spent on manually adjusting reports that Barry can now use to provide his clients with deeper insights for better decision-making.

“A2X streamlines the whole journey within seconds.”

A2X becomes part of Barry’s digital arsenal

Barry is a self-proclaimed Xero disciple. He uses it alongside A2X, Inform Direct (secretarial software), Comma (bulk paying application), Hubdoc (document storage) and a digital marketing agency.

Barry has tried other accounting applications but always found them to be lacking something.

“Whereas A2X has just been well written, and it works. It’s a great tool.”

Barry is a firm advocate of using the cloud – it’s “where the world has been going” for a long time, he says.

He believes strongly that any accountants worth their salt should be confident with a variety of cloud-based tools, and he would urge them (and eCommerce sellers) to consider using A2X right from the start.

“It will save a lot of mess,” he adds.

Why A2X? Because of its simplicity and “it just works well.”