As an Amazon seller, you have a lot on your plate: you build your brand, purchase and list your products, work on pricing, take care of complex logistics, and run marketing campaigns. This leaves little time to review and learn from your business reports available on your Amazon Seller's account.
Gaining understanding of your business reports will help you effectively manage inventory and price lists (yes, we occasionally find our customers selling for a direct loss), assess your eCommerce revenues and expenses, and control your cash flow.
In this blog, we provide an overview of the different reports you can generate from your Amazon Seller account. We will then dive into a detailed explanation of Amazon's comprehensive Transaction Report. We will include the best bookkeeping and accounting practices to make your transactions data useful for informed business decisions.
Reports you can generate through your Amazon Seller account
Amazon Seller offers various types of business reports. These full set of reports is available to Amazon Sellers who subscribed to the professional plan.
In the sales reports, you will be able to access the following information:
- Orders, including their payment status, fulfillment status, sales channel, and the products sold.
- FBA orders, including purchase price, tracking information, quantity, and destination.
- Promotions applied to your sales on Amazon.
- Sales Tax, including destination information, tax jurisdiction details, and the amount of Sales Tax collected by revenue stream.
- FBA Sales Lift -- comparison of sales of products that fulfilled through FBA versus sales through your other fulfillment channels. This report helps you understand which channel of fulfilment is the most fruitful for your online business.
On your Amazon Seller Central account, you can find information about payments from customers for the sale of your products, payment from you to Amazon ('charges'), and Amazon payouts to you ('transfers'). The report also provides information regarding long-term storage charges by Amazon and inventory reimbursements.
As part of the payments report, you can choose a 'Statement View', which is a summary of sales and fees within a pre-defined date range, as well as 'Transaction view' which is a summary snapshot of the transactions made between the most recent settlement date and the end of the previous day. You may also choose to generate a 'Transactions Report' within a specific date range, as will be further explained below.
Amazon Seller Central offers valuable data regarding your inventory, including a breakdown of your products listing and their status, inventory in movement to and from Amazon fulfillment locations, inventory in storage, and whether such inventory is subject to a long-term storage fee at the next inventory cleanup. Long-term storage fee is a monthly fee that Amazon charges for inventory that has been in an Amazon fulfillment center for more than 365 days. This reports also indicates your inventory health (current sellable and unsellable inventory), lists certain inventory adjustments and inventory aging.
Customer Concessions Reports
In your Amazon Seller's account, you can find reports with information regarding returns by customers and product replacements sent to customers.
In the removal reports, Amazon lists the inventory in the Amazon fulfillment centers that is subject to long-term storage fee at the next inventory cleanup. That report can help you decide whether to remove older inventory from Amazon centers, and avoid an additional storage fee.
Following the creation of an order to remove inventory, you will be able to see a report with your removal order details, including the status of the order.
What is the Amazon 'Transactions Report'?
Amazon transactions report details all of your orders. Each order has various attributes: order and customer details, Amazon fee breakdown, Sales Tax, and Amazon transfers and charges. It can be more useful than the "Transaction View" available on Amazon, if you wish to see the information for a date range (as opposed to snapshot report). The transactions report is available for download as a CSV file. In addition, Amazon Seller Central offers a summary of the report in a PDF version.
The transactions report details the orders made by customers, including the date the order was placed, product Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), the quantity purchased from the listed product, the customer's city and state and the gross sales price.
From a bookkeeping and income tax perspectives, the gross sales price underlying a fulfilled order (excluding Sales Tax) represents your earned revenue.
The transactions report lists the refunds made to customers, the date you initiated the refund, the refund amount, the product SKU and other details.
The report also shows the refund of the fees paid to Amazon with respect to that order. The refund of the fees does not necessarily equal to the amount of Amazon fees related to the original order, and subject to adjustments.
From a bookkeeping perspective, the gross sales price of the refunded orders is booked into an account named 'Refunds and Returns', which will decrease your Net Revenues in your
Profit and Loss Statement.
From an income tax perspective, your total refunds reduce your taxable income and should go to the 'Returns and Allowance' line item on your tax return.
The transactions report lists the Sales Tax you collected from your customers for each Amazon order. The report indicates whether Amazon will remit the Sales Tax to the relevant State pursuant to the relevant marketplace facilitation law (which as of the date of writing the blog, includes 42 States).
From both an accounting and income tax perspectives, Sales Tax is not part of your revenues or taxable income. In case you are (as opposed to Amazon) responsible for remitting the Sales Tax collected through Amazon to a relevant State, you need to book a Sales Tax liability (a liability account in your Balance Sheet until you report and remit the tax to the State (then offsetting the liability account).
Transfers and Charges
The transactions report labels a transfer of funds from Amazon to your bank account as a "Transfer".
In case you owe money to Amazon (for example, because of refunds or returns), Amazon will charge your credit card on file for the amount due. In this case, the transactions report will label the funds charged to your card as "Debt".
From a bookkeeping perspective, the net balance you have with Amazon (sales orders minus transfers made by Amazon) represents a current asset in your Balance Sheet typically named 'Undeposited Funds'. It represents the funds Amazon has yet transferred to your bank account as of the Balance Sheet date.
From a business perspective, it is important to keep track of your net balance with Amazon and include it in your financial forecast. Often Amazon Sellers miscalculate their profitability or cash flow overlooking significant funds deposited with Amazon.
The transactions report includes detailed breakdown of the main categories of Amazon fees: selling fees, FBA fees and other transaction fees.
This transactions report shows Amazon's selling fee, also referred to as 'referral fee'. This will include the fees for orders fulfilled by the Amazon Seller, as well as the selling fee of FBA fulfilled orders.
Amazon fulfillment fee for orders fulfilled by Amazon.
FBA Inventory Fees
Amazon fee for storing inventory with Amazon.
Other Transaction Fee
The other transaction fee typically includes the additional referral fee for media products sold by the Amazon Seller and advertising fee (the fee for advertising on Amazon).
Other than the above fee categories, the transaction report may provide for a few additional Amazon fee categories, including:
- Service fees: the subscription fee for selling on Amazon under the Amazon Seller's plans. The service fee also includes additional fees for using Amazon's advanced selling tools (as applicable).
- Shipping fees: the fee for purchasing shipping labels through Amazon.
For more information regarding the various Amazon Seller fees, click here.
There are a few approaches as to how to classify Amazon Seller fees for bookkeeping purposes. Under one approach, all Amazon fees (except for advertising) constitutes Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). Another approach is to breakdown the Amazon fees: inventory and shipping related fees as COGS; selling and transaction fees as operational expenses; and the service fee as software or subscription expense. Advertising fee is always an advertising and marketing expense.
There are also several approaches as to how to classify refunds of Amazon Seller's fee for bookkeeping purposes. The prevailing approach is to deduct the refund of Amazon fees from the Amazon fee relevant expense account in the Amazon Seller's chart of accounts. For example, if the refund is for advertising fee previously paid by the Amazon Seller, the refund decreases Advertising Expenses.
Amazon Seller's business reports provide real-time insight into your store's financials. These reports help you manage your online store and ecommerce business as a whole. It gives you necessary control over your inventory quantities and storage costs and the Amazon fees associated with selling your products. Leveraging this information, you will be able to validate your pricing and maintain your profitability.
A professional eCommerce bookkeeper will be able to help you arrange and organize the raw information contained in the Amazon reports into common categories, turning big data into actionable information. Your tax accountant will then use the information in order to correctly capture your income and maximize your tax deductions.
Finaloop provides eCommerce bookkeeping, accounting and tax services for online businesses, including Amazon Sellers. We are here to help you with your bookkeeping and tax tasks, so you can focus on growing your eCommerce business and make data driven business decisions.
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.