Accounting might not be the most exciting part of running a business but it’s surely important. If you have all your numbers straight, it will allow you to have a clear vision of how your business is doing. This can help you make accurate forecasts and develop or reassess your strategy.
You’ll also want to have your accounting organized when it’s time to file your taxes. By having a reliable way to track your expenses, you can minimize your taxes and maximize your income.
These practices are all the more important if you’re just getting started in your business, regardless of whether it has an online platform or not. However, keep in mind that e-commerce accounting has some differences from traditional accounting, due to the very nature of the business and the fact of not having a brick and mortar store.
If you like to do things yourself, you should get yourself a bookkeeping and accounting system. You could go with Excel spreadsheets, but these are somewhat outdated. Your best option is to use a cloud-based accounting software.
But how do you choose an accounting program for online sellers? There are several popular ones such as QuickBooks, Wave Accounting, and Xero. They all have their advantages and disadvantages: for example, Wave is completely free, and Xero is known for its reliability and security features.
However, today we’re going to focus on QuickBooks, which is arguably the most popular and the one with the largest feature list.
One of the good things about QuickBooks is that you can also find some online courses showing how to work with it. One example is Proven Accounting Training, which not only talks about QuickBooks but also gives some general notions about accounting and bookkeeping.
QuickBooks is currently one of the most popular accounting solutions, if not the most popular. It comes in two flavors: QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.
There are some differences between the two versions and one of them is in the pricing. Specifically, QuickBooks Desktop is more focused on one-time payments, while Online is based on monthly subscriptions.
So, let’s take a look at QuickBooks Desktop. There are 3 different packages available: Pro, Premier, and Enterprise. All 3 packages feature the most basic accounting operations, like tracking your income and expenses, creating invoices, and tracking your inventory levels.
The Premier version adds some interesting functionalities relative to the Pro version. It allows you to make forecasts, not only using previous information, but also from scratch, and also do other operations like monitor the profitability of a specific product or project.
The Enterprise package is obviously the most advanced. While the previous two support only 3 and 5 users, this one supports up to 30 users. In addition, you get other advanced features like scanning your product barcodes with a mobile phone and access to QuickBooks’ Priority Circle, which features special services like product training for your employees.
Both Pro and Premier versions are purchased with a single payment, but with the Enterprise version, you are basically making payments to get a one-year subscription.
If you were hoping to try out QuickBooks Desktop before you buy it, do not despair. There are trial versions available for the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.
The Enterprise version also has a location-independent trial.
Lately, Intuit seems to be shifting its focus toward the Online version of QuickBooks, which features different functionalities. First of all, QuickBooks Online has a mobile app for iPhone and Android, unlike the Desktop version. It is also accessible from both a PC and a Mac, thanks to the browser accessibility.
A mobile app is a great tool because it allows you to work from anywhere, and perform handy operations like capturing receipts with your mobile phone by taking a snapshot and attaching them to a transaction entry.
Another perk of QuickBooks Online is that you get several features for free that are paid in the Desktop version. These include phone support, automatic encrypted backups, and cloud access.
Like with the Desktop version, QuickBooks online comes in several different packages. Each of them is based on a monthly subscription. Starting from the most basic to the most advanced, you have Self-Employed, Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus. The Self-Employed version features only simple functionalities like income and expense tracking, while the Plus version has a ton of features, such as tracking time and tracking inventory.
The Simple Start, Essentials and Plus packages can be upgraded with some payroll add-ons for an additional cost. This allows you to manage employee payments much more easily.
What if you are currently using QuickBooks Desktop and want to move to Online, without losing all your precious data? Remarkably, Intuit has thought of this and gives you an easy solution. Within the first 60 days of your QuickBooks Online subscription, you can move all the data to Online using the Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
What if your Desktop version is outdated? Don’t worry, there is also a solution. You can install a trial for one of the newer versions, which will allow you to perform the exportation. All of this can be found in a helpful guide on the Intuit website.
If you are looking for an accounting program for online sellers to make your accounting days easier, there are several cloud-based solutions nowadays that can help you.
One of the most solid choices among those solutions is QuickBooks, which we’ve covered in this article. Intuit has been making some improvements to their platform, especially QuickBooks Online, which has a large feature set and conveniently includes access from a smartphone.
If you wish to learn more about QuickBooks Online, which version to choose, and how to use it, check out this course called Proven Accounting Training. It explains the basics of business accounting, talks extensively about QuickBooks Online and covers online platforms like Amazon and Shopify. If you want a quick way to learn some accounting basics (and not only basics), this material is for you.