Selling online? Here’s why you need an accountant

It’s no surprise that there’s been an explosion in demand for online shopping recently. Going online is a great opportunity for small businesses. It can help expand your offering and grow your customer base (including international reach).

However, setting up a successful ecommerce platform comes with its own challenges.  It’s essential to have your financial housekeeping in order before you start expanding into new areas. It’s also vital to implement best practices from the beginning of your ecommerce journey to avoid headaches down the line.

A really savvy accountant can offer expert guidance through the world of digital sales. 

Breaking down reports If you don’t know your numbers, you’re flying blind – but Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and other online sales platforms all use vastly different reporting methods. If you’re using multiple platforms, this can quickly become tricky to manage. Fortunately, accountants can interpret the various reports and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Management reporting is essential for any business launching in a new industry. Financial reporting allows you to view the areas of your business that are profitable and make relevant business decisions. eCommerce is fast-moving and requires sellers to quickly adapt to remain profitable. Entrepreneurs require transparency and easy access to their accounts so they can make quick business decisions

Juggling tax regulations and legislative changes eCommerce business leaders have the luxury of storing and sending goods from wherever they like. That can mean keeping costs down, faster delivery times or boosting supplier relationships. However, there are hidden tax implications to where you choose to store your stock if you’re selling in multiple countries. 

Choosing an accountant with a sound knowledge of currency, import and export rules and the compliance issues around that are vital for ecommerce businesses.

Additionally, European governments are implementing rapid legislative changes to ecommerce regulations. Governments are becoming increasingly aware that they need to have stringent checks and controls on ecommerce sellers to ensure tax compliance. It’s becoming clear that at the heart of all strategic planning should be the contingency for expert advice on taxation.

Currency conundrums One significant benefit of ecommerce is the ability to sell globally. However, this means that foreign income needs to be considered. While losing amounts to currency transactions can seem minor at the time, these losses can quickly add up. Accountants are in the best position to advise on ways to minimise exchange losses.

A currency account will enable you to hold funds in a certain currency and then make relevant payments in that currency also, meaning no exchange into your domestic currency needs to take place. 

Your accountant Expanding your business onto an ecommerce platform is a great opportunity. It’s important to work with an accountant who understands online sales and cross-border tax implications to help you avoid any pitfalls along the way.

Get in touch for a chat about your business and how we can help.

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