If you’re looking for a local accountant to support your e-commerce business, you may find your choices rather limited. You will likely have to choose a local generalist accountant, rather than an easily accessible specialist in e-commerce that could better serve your needs.
Business, in general, has changed a lot over the last 20 years due to the digital revolution. It has changed how every transaction is carried out, how staffing structure looks, and it has also hailed the birth of the virtual accountant. If you are an e-commerce entrepreneur you already know how tech can provide new possibilities, so embracing it in accountancy too will help keep your business costs low and your precision high.
Save time with virtual meetings
A lot of business owners both dream of and dread their meetings with their local accountant. Meetings are likely to be few and far between and they help to bolster yourself against imposter. Unfortunately, face-to-face meetings can also involve meticulous planning and scheduling, when often a quick phone call would do.
With a virtual e-commerce accountant, you can have a quick call, with optional video, whenever you need a meeting, and wherever you might be. Meetings take less time when you can have them from your lounge, and zero travel time is music to everybody’s ears.
Get an e-commerce specialist
A local e-commerce accountant may be a great option for you if you can find one, but the majority of local accountants aren’t e-commerce specialists. It just doesn’t pay to be a specialist if you have a bricks-and-mortar office. In many business sectors, industry-specific knowledge is largely irrelevant, but e-commerce has a whole host of specific rules and regulations that require expert knowledge.
If you can’t find an e-commerce accountant locally, then you must look towards virtual e-commerce accountants, unless you are willing to travel further afield.
Only get charged fixed-fees
A local e-commerce accountant will likely bill you by the hour when the work is completed. This can work well if you have a well-established business with a healthy bank balance year-round, but if you are just started out, cash flow may not allow for the sudden bills during tax season.
A virtual e-commerce accountant tends to bill by subscription or fixed rate. Your bookkeeping, taxes, and accounts can all be covered by the same monthly rate, so you’ll never be stung by a hefty bill that we know you can’t afford.
Additionally, traditional local accountants have overheads to cover that virtual accountants don’t, resulting in a higher bill. If you’ve forgone an out-of-home office for yourself for pricing reasons, you likely don’t want to pay someone else for the same privilege.
Tech is your ally
As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you know how useful technology can be – without it your business wouldn’t exist. Virtual e-commerce accountants utilise tech to its full potential, ensuring both you and your accountant always have full access to all data.
With a local e-commerce accountant, your accountant will hold the data and inform you periodically, but we share Xero access with you, so we are both working from the same page.
Work from anywhere
A local e-commerce accountant works on a local basis. You will need to deliver paperwork, arrive for meetings and generally be in reach.
Virtual e-commerce accountants understand that your preferred workplace may be the mountains of Tibet this week and a village in France the next. If you are looking to travel as you work, a virtual e-commerce accountant can help you keep everything moving.
Safety above all else
While historically, local accountants kept paperwork in hard copy in a filing cabinet, most have now switched to digital filing systems, just like a virtual accountant. However, most local accountants keep the digital data locally, on an office server.
Virtual accountants use off-site encrypted storage to ensure that no data is ever housed on-site. This ensures no unwanted viewers and reverts to the beauty of real-time data sharing.
The bottom line
Local e-commerce accountants are few and far between, and e-commerce entrepreneurs must seek out an industry specialist. If you can find one and find traditional meetings appealing, then this may be the right option for you. Overall, virtual e-commerce accountants come in cheaper, more specialised and more tech-savvy, providing you with the perfect support for your business.
If you would like to talk to our team about how we can support you, please get in touch today.
The best time to act is now.