Best of both worlds: Janson James starts bookkeeping firm after building seven-figure Amazon business.
Janson James spent most of his career in corporate accounting, until one day he partnered with a colleague – and started an Amazon business selling sporting goods. Fast-forward five years and that side-gig is now a seven-figure company.
But that’s just the beginning of this story.
While Janson is still a co-owner, he’s stepped back from the day-to-day operations of his online store. That’s because he spotted a gap in the market for a completely different service – a bookkeeping firm that specifically focused on the financial health of Amazon businesses.
Combining his Amazon seller know-how with his working background in accounting, Janson launched SellerBooks in 2019. Since then, the company has been supporting Amazon businesses of all sizes to “gain clarity and focus on growing their company – while not having to worry about the condition of their books.”
To help his clients grow successful and long-running businesses, Janson uses digital tools like A2X.
New entrepreneur, growing business, little time
SellerBooks works with a lot of new entrepreneurs who often fall into the trap of becoming singularly focused on their revenue, Janson says.
“It’s our job to get people to focus on the actual health of their company.”
Janson knows first-hand the problems facing Amazon sellers – he’s experienced the same challenges.
“I hit this problem early on in my seller journey. I was working 80 hours a week, juggling my full-time role with this part-time gig. I didn’t have any time to focus on what could help me actually grow the business – and I’m an accountant!”
That’s when Janson turned to A2X.
“Even though I had the experience and I knew how to do the books, because I just didn’t have the time I started looking for a third-party partner.”
These days, approximately half of Janson’s clients also use A2X. Some used the tool before joining his firm; others want a more hands-on approach to their books.
“I think A2X is the perfect place to start. It gets you in and helps you understand exactly what’s going on in your business – and it saves you time.”
Neat and tidy books – no accounting experience required
Ironically, Amazon takes something that shouldn’t be that complex and makes it rather hard for aspiring entrepreneurs, Janson laughs.
“Amazon definitely doesn’t make it easy to see a breakdown of your deposits – and doing it manually is so time-consuming,” he says.
Time is your most valuable resource in business, but most sellers – especially at the start – won’t value their time enough, Janson adds. That’s where a tool like A2X proves its worth.
“It simplifies that process … so that entrepreneurs can accurately post their sales deposits to their accounting system or get that breakdown that they need.”
A2X for Amazon categorizes your Amazon marketplace transactions and automatically sends a tidy summary to your accounting system – which matches your Amazon settlement pay-outs.
This means his clients don’t have to spend a tremendous amount of time on their books, allowing them to be able to focus on growing their business instead.
“For someone who doesn’t have a background in accounting, A2X has made it really easy for Amazon sellers to do it themselves,” Janson says.
More than just a side hustle
A2X is not only saving Janson and his clients time but also helping him empower his clients to grow and transform their Amazon businesses.
“It’s the go-to tool in the marketplace for solving that problem, and it absolutely saves time, but that shift in perspective is probably the thing I love most about A2X,” Janson says.
He’s talking about the fundamental mindset change that he says many of his clients go through. Their Amazon businesses start as a hobby or side-gig and they’ve even maybe had some early success. When they start using a tool like A2X, it allows them to see the financial possibilities.
“Then, as the business grows, and they face other challenges like inventory and cash management, that’s where our [SellerBooks] professional services complement A2X.”
Digital tools key to growing a successful enterprise
While e-commerce has opened the door to endless opportunities, digital tools are what give sellers the ability to turn their business dreams into financial realities, Janson says.
“I’ve come from running large enterprise-level systems and that way of doing business is very different. Tools like A2X, Xero and QuickBooks – the key is that they all work together,” Janson says.
Every business is different, and it’s hard to pin down a number, but there comes a point where you start to worry about the implications of your success, Janson says. That might be tax liability, cash-flow issues or inventory management. Anytime a seller starts to feel those fears or concerns, that’s when using tools like A2X is crucial.
So, what does that all mean for SellerBooks?
“As a bookkeeping firm, we want to be part of that ecosystem, so we’ve got to be able to operate remotely. All our bookkeepers have accounting degrees, but we’re also all Xero and QuickBooks certified.
“Digital tools are important, and any serious firm is going to have to make sure they are equipped to handle working in this type of environment,” Janson says.
Amazon domination for SellerBooks
Since opening the virtual doors in 2019, SellerBooks has experienced rapid growth over the past 12 months as more and more people build online businesses.
Janson currently has three bookkeepers on his payroll, and right now his focus is on making sure they’ve got systems in place so that they can easily add more manpower as the firm grows.
He’s passionate about supporting the little guy, helping new Amazon sellers realize their potential.
“Maybe they don’t have a dedicated bookkeeper who spends so many hours on their books, but they’ve got someone that they can tap into easily – and they’ve got systems and tools.
“There are so many Amazon sellers who go it alone and they shouldn’t have to. My experience is what led me to create this business – and we want to help as many sellers as we can grow their business.”