Accounting is a major (if not THE major) pain point for many Amazon sellers.
The way business is done has drastically changed in recent years but the accounting pains apply just as much today for your Amazon business as they did 65 years ago for Gramp's General Store.
The good news is, that while the pains still exist, there are many better solutions out there. Thankfully, today's solutions don't involve taking out the good ‘ol general ledger and a sharpened pencil to record your business transactions. Today's solutions are where accounting meets technology.
In this post, we’ll cover the best of these options for your online store. It’s time to make bookkeeping great again for the first time.
Top bookkeeping considerations for Amazon sellers
When choosing the right accounting software for your Amazon business, here are two fundamental questions you should ask yourself:
What kind of bookkeeping makes the most sense for my business?
When considering the right accounting software for you, one important point you should consider is whether you are, in fact, looking for an accounting software only or also a service to save you time on the actual bookkeeping tasks. If you're not sure, take this quiz to find out which option best fits your needs.
How do I get the data I need from Amazon Seller Central?
Whether you sell with Amazon FBA or Amazon FBM, an automated integration with Amazon is key to make sure your necessary data is pulled into your books. At a minimum, your integration should bring in details on your:
- Amazon sales
- Amazon refunds and returns
- Amazon disputes
- Amazon fees (including selling fees, fulfillment service fees, etc.)
- Amazon Lending loan balances and interest
- Amazon advertising
Additionally, the ability to bring in inventory and COGS data would go a long way to help you best manage your financials.
We recommend making sure that any accounting software you consider has an option to integrate with Amazon and sync your data directly into your books.
In addition, keep in mind that not all integrations work the same way so consider the level of detail you need in your books from Amazon. For example, certain integrations, such as A2X, sync the data as a cumulative journal entry every 2 weeks while other integrations, such as Finaloop's Amazon integration, syncs each transaction in real-time.
5 Best accounting software for Amazon sellers
- Quickbooks Online
Intuit’s Quickbooks Online is one of the most well-known and widely used accounting software in the U.S. They offer many features, reports, and a large pool of integration options for ecommerce sellers (e.g., eBay, Paypal, etc.) as well as some third-party integrations for an extra fee (such as A2X to integrate to your Amazon store).
A key point that is important to keep in mind is that Quickbooks is an accounting software only and not an accounting service. If you don’t have accounting or bookkeeping knowledge, Quickbooks can be fairly time consuming and complex.
On the other hand, Quickbooks can be a good fit for you if you have intermediate to advanced accounting knowledge (this is why it's a preferred choice for many CPAs). At a minimum, you should be familiar with double-entry accounting (i.e., debit and credit), balance sheets, owner’s equity, bank reconciliations, and creating a relevant chart of accounts for your business. If not, any money you save by managing your financials yourself may be lost when you need to pay a CPA to correct the books come tax time.
Prices start from $16 for the Simple Start edition but you would likely need to upgrade to a higher tier of $25 or $35 per month to get the functionality you need to manage your books. This price doesn't include necessary app integrations, such as A2X which starts at $19 a month but moves to $49 per month if you have more than 200 transactions.
Xero is another popular accounting software used by many accountants and bookkeepers. It’s user friendly and offers many of the same features as Quickbooks Online (double entry accounting, reports, bank reconciliation, inventory module and a lot of integration options).
While Quickbooks Online is more common in the U.S., Xero may be a better option for mid to large size businesses since it offers access for unlimited users (Quickbooks offers up to 25 users).
Similar to Quickbooks, Xero does offer multiple third-party integrations with Amazon Seller Central, like A2X and Zapier, for an extra monthly fee. In addition, similar to Quickbooks, Xero is an accounting software only and still requires DIY accounting to be done by you or a bookkeeper / accountant.
Prices start at $12 a month but you may need to upgrade to the $34 a month plan for your needed features. App integrations are an extra fee depending on the specific integration added. As an example, A2X starts at $19 a month but moves to $49 per month if you have more than 200 transactions.
Finaloop is an automated, full bookkeeping service for ecommerce businesses selling on online store platforms like Shopify or Woocommerce or marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc.
Finaloop is different from Quickbooks and Xero in that it includes not only an accounting software but also an accounting service as well as its own in-house app integrations.
Their integration connects to your Amazon Seller Central account as well as other relevant apps to integrate all of your data into your books. They also have an inventory tracking tool, accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) and accounts payable (i.e., bills) management, automated transactions categorization as well as expert bookkeeping and tax support.
At prices starting from $59 per month (depending on your expected annual sales), it costs more than the basic plans of Quickbooks and Xero since it includes accounting services as well as the app integrations.
If you are looking to spend less time on bookkeeping each month by outsourcing it, Finaloop is a great choice since it's significantly cheaper than traditional bookkeepers or accountants and can provide you with more accurate and real-time ecommerce-based financials.
Freshbooks is an accounting software that is known to be relatively easy to set up and use. Freshbooks is more limited with its features than Quickbooks but also is available at a lower price.
It offers invoicing and basic report options and you can use third-party integration tools like Zapier to integrate with Amazon Seller Central and sync your data.
Freshbooks offers an intuitive dashboard, good customer support, and basic income and expense tracking requirements for a good price. Having said that, it’s not great for large sellers and you need to pay extra for more than one user.
In addition, similar to Quickbooks and Xero, it would require you to invest the time to learn the system and maintain your books yourself.
Plans start at $15 per month for the basic plan plus the cost of the third-party app integrations.
Wave is a free accounting software for small businesses. It allows you to manage your transactions and invoices in one place.
While you can't beat the price (yes, it's actually free), there are no upgrade options. This could mean you may quickly grow out of it and need to start setting up your accounting software from scratch very soon.
With Wave, you'll need to manually enter the transactions from your Amazon Seller Central account. The transactions won't sync seamlessly like it does with some other accounting software options.
What’s the bottom line?
Before investing your time setting up a new accounting software, do your due diligence to make sure it's a system that fits your needs and that can grow with your business. You don't want to find yourself in the same position 6 months from now having to start this process again.
Recommended next steps?
- First consider if you are looking for a DIY accounting software that you would spend the time managing yourself or if you are looking to outsource your bookkeeping to an ecommerce accounting service or bookkeeper. Take our 2 minute quiz to help you decide.
- Once you decide, check out the software options listed above as well as their Amazon integrations to see which best fits your needs.
We are a technology company providing automated end-to-end accounting service to ecommerce businesses. Our system connects to your apps, syncs all your data and reconciles your books in real-time, replacing your bookkeeper. We offer reconciled books available 24/7, tax-saving insights, and a single place for all your financial data.
*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers are advised to consult with their attorney or accountant with any questions or concerns.*