Finding Your Specialist Ecommerce Accountant
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes.
And then there are the added layers of sales tax, inventory, and merging multiple channels to consider, all of which directly impact your books.
To make sellers' lives easier, we have a directory of our trusted accounting partners based all over the world, so that you can find the expert, professional help you need.
It’s important that you work with specialist ecommerce accountants.
Why? Well, that’s what we’ll explore below, as well as how you can find your perfect match.
In this blog, the final part of our fundamentals series for the A2X Ecommerce Accounting Hub, we talk about finding the perfect accountant partner.
Table of Contents
Why Use a Specialist?
Most ecommerce business owners can get away with managing their own accounts in the beginning.
Usually, it’s the most cost-effective option, and it’s a great way to learn about (and stay on top of) your business.
As your business grows, you expand overseas, or enter new markets with different compliance obligations, working with a specialist ecommerce accountant becomes more important.
For example, meeting multiple sales tax obligations will become a headache, even if you expand within the same country but across multiple jurisdictions.
Several factors will influence when you decide to bring in an accountant. Generally, the biggest concern is whether you’re making enough to warrant investing in help.
A good time to start looking is when your business is making enough to become your full-time endeavor (approximately US$20,000-$50,000 turnover).
What makes ecommerce specialists the ideal choice?
Once you’re at a point where you know you need an accountant, the next challenge is finding one you want to work with. Like any new hire, you want to find someone you can trust. There’s also the dilemma of whether you work with a generalist or specialist ecommerce accountant.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with generalist accountants, ecommerce is its own special beast.
Aside from whether you like them or not, here is a checklist of things ecommerce accountants need to be familiar with:
International sales tax
Whether it be VAT in the Pan EU, sales tax in the US and Canada, GST in Australia and New Zealand (or all of the above), your accountant needs to understand what your international tax obligations are, when tax-filing dates are due, and how to confidently file your tax returns on your behalf.
Experience and qualifications
A specialist will have experience working in the ecommerce space, be familiar with the different lifecycle stages of an ecommerce business and have the right qualifications.
Working with a qualified CPA is less about the piece of paper and more about the standards and procedures they follow – because you want someone you can trust.
Cloud-based software and apps
As an ecommerce retailer, you want someone who is just as comfortable as you are working in the online space – a specialist who is well-versed in using cloud-based software and apps.
There are some fantastic tools available for ecommerce sellers, like A2X, that can make life easier for both the merchant and the accountant by automating time-consuming, manual tasks.
An ecommerce accountant will be up to date with these tools, and be able to recommend which is best for you, based on their expertise.
Focused on growth
Good accountants won’t simply tidy up your books, make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax and file your returns on time – they’ll be genuinely interested in growing your business with you.
They’ll help you understand the profitability of your business across all your different platforms, and work to optimize and automate your back-office processes – all so you can make better financial business decisions.
They should also be able to adapt quickly to rapid change and steep learning curves – it’s just the nature of ecommerce.
How they charge
As we mentioned, the ecommerce industry has grown and shifted, and so too has the accounting industry.
One noticeable difference, aside from the rise of specialist accountants, is the move towards ‘value pricing’. Rather than billing by the hour, you may find an accountant that charges a set price you can pay in weekly installments.
Consider which format may suit you better and discuss this with your prospective accountant.
Also, look to see if the set price includes any add-ons or integrations like A2X or accounting software subscriptions.
Finding the Right Fit
Type into Google ‘ecommerce accountant near me’ and you’ll probably be swamped with search results. Logically, you’d start at the top, but here’s a better solution.
A2X partners are ecommerce accounting firms that have experience working with multi-platform ecommerce sellers. They’re also masters of using A2X – as well as Xero, Quickbooks Online and Sage.
To find an expert ecommerce accountant today that understands your business and your industry, browse the A2X directory here.
Once you’ve navigated to that page, you can choose to filter the experts by location – A2X works with experts in North America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Scroll through the list of partners to read more about each company, and how long they’ve been an A2X partner.
Click ‘Learn More’ to be redirected to more information – and you’ll be able to message that partner directly.
Asking the right questions when you choose your accountant is important. Ideally, you want a long-term relationship with them. Check out this helpful video for pointers when looking for your accounting partner:
Where to Start
Most ecommerce sellers welcome being able to hand the reins of their accounts over to someone else. But knowing when’s the right time, who’s the right fit, and where to find the right expert is a whole different story.
A2X’s ecommerce accountant directory is a gold nugget of recommendations.
All the experts featured in the list have bucket-loads of experience and everything you need from a great accountant. The best thing about A2X’s partners is they’re willing to have open and honest conversations about where your business is at, where it’s headed – and whether they’re the right fit for you.
What Did You Think?
This blog was the final part of our ecommerce fundamentals series for the A2X Ecommerce Accounting Hub. If you have been through the series from start to finish, we’d love to hear what you thought.
Was this helpful? Have we missed anything?
We are dedicated to providing the best resources to help ecommerce sellers with their accounts. Please contact us if you have any feedback on our resources. Thank you.