A2X and Sequentia: bookkeeping dragon slayers
After ten years running the books for his wife’s varied ecommerce businesses, Steve Chase knew he had something to offer the market. In spring of 2017, he opened Sequentia Solutions, operating from San Antonio, Texas.
Steve says he’s always been fascinated by supporting customers in the online space with bookkeeping, regulations and compliance.
“So many entrepreneurs have truly really cool products or services to sell online, but they become so overwhelmed with tech and compliance, they’re pulling their hair out at the end of the day. It’s a never-ending dragon to slay,” he says.
He believes that for start-up entrepreneurs to succeed, they’ve got to get peace and clarity from their bookkeeping, and his goal is to deliver that.
He thought he had all his bases covered, until he received his first call from a business owner selling on Amazon. The complexity of the settlement statements she and her previous accountant had been dealing with were unlike anything he’d ever seen. That began a journey to find a third-party app that would simplify the complex. A2X, Steve decided, would give him the tools he needed to help Amazon sellers slay their dragons for good.
An Amazon-sized issue
Steve distinctly remembers hearing from his first Amazon seller. He was initially excited about the client’s offering - what she was selling was right in his ‘sweet spot’. That excitement quickly turned to confusion as she began outlining the way Amazon works.
“She started going into just how much Amazon takes in fees and all the set up, and asked if I could help,” says Steve.
At first, he thought the answer might be ‘no’. This client was using FBA, which adds even more complexity to an already tricky bookkeeping task. As Steve explains, his wife’s companies had always managed their own fulfilment, so he was at sea with how to deal with FBA. The spreadsheet her previous accountant had been using didn’t make things any clearer.
“I thought at first that I would have to turn her away,” says Steve.
A home run with A2X
Being an Advanced QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor, Steve knew there would be a third-party app that would seamlessly connect the software to Amazon - he just had to find it.
He reached out to several companies, including A2X, and began running parallel accounts to explore the ins and outs of each. Besides requiring tidier, simpler books, there were some specific needs his client had too - advertising costs and refunds included her everyday reports. This was something that A2X did easily.
“A2X was a homerun in the performance - it was all-star. A lot of my colleagues also were supporting and endorsing A2X, which made the decision even easier.”
Steve was also impressed with the “fantastic” support he received from the A2X team.
“They were personal and welcoming. There was no pressure - they let the product speak for itself - whereas the other vendors were forceful and pushy,” he explains.
The ongoing support from A2X has also struck a chord with Steve.
“When I have a question, I feel like they’re available, I know they truly care deeply,” he says.
Steve says the level of service he receives from the A2X software is “phenomenal.”
“It helps bridge the gap to produce clean expenses,” he explains.
Steve says he also “really loves” that A2X lets him split a settlement that spans over two months.
“I found it amazing - I was downright giddy - that there was a January 2 settlement that came in and A2X was able to break it out for December last year and January this year”, says Steve.
A2X gives Steve’s client an “incredible level of reporting” - she can keep a close eye on refunds, which now show as a negative against her sales. This, Steve says, was “huge” for his client. She also now has advert line items built right into her line mapping.
“That was another really powerful piece. It used to be really confusing to break it out. Now she can see that in the reporting from the settlement. She was so joyful about that,” says Steve.
The result is that his client now has far more timely information to base her day-to-day decisions on. For example, with inventory evaluation reports ‘plugged in’ his client can see her levels at a glance, and calculate the basic cost of goods sold. The opportunity to expand on this reporting will help support the CPA’s end of year work too.
A2X’s capacity to support international markets has also proved useful.
“With A2X, we can support someone who is ambitious to go international. It’s really cool to see that,” says Steve.
Next for Sequentia
With A2X in his toolbelt, Steve is excited about the opportunities to support more ambitious start-up sellers.
“We’re entering the gig economy and people running side hustles, so I see many more people getting into selling from home and using Amazon - we’d be pleased to be able to support that.”
He’s particularly interested in helping new clients evaluate FBA for their business - something A2X is uniquely positioned to provide information for.
“The FBA services are truly great, but it can be a shock to see actually how much it all adds up to. Just having that data insight is important,” says Steve.
A2X, says Steve, offers such a seamless onboarding process that the biggest step with taking on a new client is ensuring Sequentia will be the right fit.
“Once we know we’re the right fit, we can pull the lever with A2X, and just like that you’re tapped in. That’s when the rocket ship takes off.”