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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Amazon FBA Bookkeeping: Tips for Accurate Financial Records

Updated: Apr 8

If you're an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) seller, you know that bookkeeping is an essential part of running a successful business. Keeping track of your finances can help you make informed decisions, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that you're compliant with tax laws.


However, bookkeeping for Amazon FBA sellers can be a bit more complicated than for other businesses. Since Amazon handles many aspects of the selling process, including shipping and customer service, it can be challenging to keep track of all the different fees and expenses associated with your sales. Additionally, Amazon's inventory system can make it difficult to accurately value your inventory and track cost of goods sold (COGS).


Fortunately, there are many resources available to help Amazon FBA sellers with bookkeeping. From accounting software to outsourcing your bookkeeping to a professional, there are several options to choose from. In this article, we'll explore the different aspects of bookkeeping for Amazon FBA sellers and provide tips and resources to help you stay on top of your finances.


You might also be interested in demystifying the 1099-K for Amazon sellers and staying tax-compliant! Learn more by reading our article '1099-K for Amazon Sellers' here.


Or start making informed decisions for your business by exploring our prep center services.


Understanding Amazon FBA Bookkeeping


As an Amazon FBA seller, it's essential to understand the basics of bookkeeping and accounting to keep your business financially healthy. Proper bookkeeping can help you track your expenses, manage your cash flow, and prepare for tax season.


Bookkeeping is the process of recording all financial transactions, including sales, expenses, and payments. It helps you keep track of your income and expenses, so you can see how much money you're making and where it's going.


Accounting is a broader term that includes bookkeeping and also involves analyzing and interpreting financial data to make informed business decisions. It can help you identify areas where you can cut costs, increase revenue, and improve profitability.


As an Amazon FBA seller, you need to keep track of several financial metrics, including:

  • Revenue: The total amount of money your business generates from sales.

  • Expenses: All costs associated with running your business, including product costs, shipping fees, advertising expenses, and more.

  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): The expenses directly related to producing the products you sell, including manufacturing costs, shipping fees, and other expenses.

  • Profit: The difference between your revenue and expenses.

Proper bookkeeping can help you track these metrics and make informed decisions about your business.


As a small business owner, it's essential to separate your personal and business finances. You should have a separate bank account and credit card for your business to make it easier to track your expenses and revenue.


In addition, you should keep track of all your receipts and invoices and reconcile your accounts regularly to ensure that your records are accurate. You can use bookkeeping software like QuickBooks or Xero to automate this process and save time.


Overall, proper bookkeeping and accounting are essential for Amazon FBA sellers to manage their finances effectively. By keeping accurate records and analyzing your financial data, you can make informed decisions about your business and ensure its long-term success.


Looking for other ways to secure your Amazon account's health and success? Read our guide on Amazon Account Health Assurance here.


Importance of Bookkeeping for Your Amazon FBA Business


As an Amazon FBA seller, bookkeeping is a crucial aspect of your business that you cannot afford to ignore. Proper bookkeeping helps you to keep track of your financial performance, profitability, and growth. It helps you to make informed decisions about your business and ensures that you are compliant with tax laws.


Here are some reasons why bookkeeping is important for your Amazon FBA business:


Financial Performance

Bookkeeping enables you to track your sales, revenue, expenses, and inventory levels. By keeping accurate records, you can analyze your financial performance and identify areas where you can cut costs and increase revenue.


Profitability

Bookkeeping helps you to understand the profitability of your Amazon FBA business. It helps you to calculate your net profit and gross profit margins, which are important indicators of your business's financial health. By tracking your profitability, you can make informed decisions about pricing, inventory management, and advertising.


Growth

Bookkeeping helps you to track your business's growth over time. By analyzing your financial records, you can identify trends and patterns in your sales and revenue. This information can help you to make informed decisions about expanding your business, launching new products, or entering new markets.


Financial Health

Bookkeeping helps you to maintain the financial health of your Amazon FBA business. By keeping accurate records, you can ensure that your business is compliant with tax laws and regulations. It also helps you to avoid financial mismanagement and fraud.


In summary, bookkeeping is an essential aspect of your Amazon FBA business. It helps you to understand your financial performance, profitability, growth, and financial health. By keeping accurate records, you can make informed decisions about your business and ensure its long-term success.


Another way to keep track of your finances is by familiarizing yourself with Amazon's payout schedule for sellers. This article will serve as your detailed guide as to when you get paid on Amazon.


Key Elements of Amazon FBA Bookkeeping

When it comes to running an Amazon FBA business, bookkeeping is an essential aspect that can help you keep track of your finances and ensure that your business stays profitable. Here are some of the key elements of Amazon FBA bookkeeping that you should consider:


Sales and Revenue Tracking

Tracking your sales and revenue is crucial to understand the financial health of your Amazon FBA business. You should keep track of all your sales transactions, including the total revenue generated, as well as any fees, commissions, or discounts associated with each sale. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to track your sales and revenue.


Expense Management

Managing your expenses is equally important as tracking your sales and revenue. You should keep track of all your business expenses, including operating expenses, shipping costs, refunds, and any other business-related expenses. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to track your expenses.


Inventory Management

Inventory management is another crucial element of Amazon FBA bookkeeping. You should keep track of your stock levels, unsold inventory, and inventory planning to ensure that you have enough stock to meet demand. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized inventory management system to track your inventory.


Tax Compliance

Tax compliance is a critical element of Amazon FBA bookkeeping. You should keep track of your tax liability, tax deductions, and tax filing deadlines to ensure that you comply with all tax regulations. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to track your tax compliance.


Profit and Loss Analysis

Analyzing your profit and loss statement is essential to understanding the financial performance of your Amazon FBA business. You should keep track of your net profit, net income, and any other financial metrics that can help you analyze your business's profitability. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to analyze your profit and loss.


Accounts Management

Managing your accounts payable and accounts receivable is crucial to maintaining healthy cash flow in your Amazon FBA business. You should keep track of your bank statements, reconcile your accounts, and ensure that your accounts are up to date. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to manage your accounts.


Cash Flow Management

Managing your cash flow is essential to ensuring that your Amazon FBA business stays profitable. You should keep track of your cash inflows, cash outflows, and any cash flow shortages that may arise. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to manage your cash flow.


Financial Reporting

Financial reporting is crucial to understanding the financial performance of your Amazon FBA business. You should keep track of your financial records, including your balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and any other financial reports that can help you analyze your business's financial health. You can use an excel spreadsheet or a specialized accounting system to generate financial reports.


In summary, Amazon FBA bookkeeping involves tracking your sales, expenses, inventory, tax compliance, profit and loss, accounts management, cash flow, and financial reporting. By keeping track of these key elements, you can ensure that your Amazon FBA business stays profitable and financially healthy.


Choosing the Right Accounting Method for Your Amazon FBA Business


When it comes to bookkeeping for your Amazon FBA business, choosing the right accounting method is crucial. There are several accounting methods to choose from, but the three most common are Accrual Accounting, Cash Basis Accounting, and Double-Entry Accounting.


Accrual Accounting

Accrual accounting is a method of accounting that records revenue and expenses when they are earned or incurred, regardless of when the cash is received or paid. This method provides a more accurate picture of your business's financial health, as it takes into account all revenue and expenses, including accounts receivable and accounts payable.


If your Amazon FBA business has a high volume of sales, accrual accounting may be the best option for you. This method allows you to track your sales and expenses more accurately and can help you make better-informed business decisions.


Cash Basis Accounting

Cash basis accounting is a method of accounting that records revenue and expenses only when cash is received or paid. This method is simpler than accrual accounting and is ideal for small businesses with low sales volume.


If your Amazon FBA business has a low volume of sales and you want to keep your bookkeeping simple, cash basis accounting may be the best option for you. However, keep in mind that this method may not provide you with an accurate picture of your business's financial health, as it does not take into account accounts receivable and accounts payable.


Double-Entry Accounting

Double-entry accounting is a method of accounting that records transactions in two accounts: a debit account and a credit account. This method ensures that every transaction is recorded accurately and helps prevent errors in your bookkeeping.


If you want to ensure that your Amazon FBA business's bookkeeping is accurate and error-free, double-entry accounting may be the best option for you. This method requires a bit more effort and knowledge than the other two methods, but it provides a more detailed and accurate picture of your business's financial health.


Ultimately, the accounting method you choose for your Amazon FBA business will depend on your business's size, sales volume, and bookkeeping needs. It's important to choose the method that works best for you and to keep accurate records to ensure the success of your business.


Best Practices for Amazon FBA Bookkeeping

Keeping accurate and up-to-date records is crucial for the success of your Amazon FBA business. Here are some best practices to follow to ensure that your bookkeeping is effective and efficient:


Use Accounting Software

Invest in accounting software that is specifically designed for Amazon FBA businesses. This software can help you automate your bookkeeping process, track your expenses, and generate financial reports. Some popular options include QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave.


Keep Track of Your Expenses

It is important to keep track of all your expenses related to your Amazon FBA business, including the cost of goods sold, shipping fees, advertising costs, and more. Make sure to categorize your expenses correctly and keep all your receipts and invoices organized.


Make Data-Driven Decisions

Use your financial reports to make data-driven decisions about your Amazon FBA business. Analyze your revenue, expenses, and profits to identify areas where you can cut costs or increase revenue. Use this information to make informed decisions about your business strategy.


Follow the Profit First Framework

The Profit First framework is a system that helps you prioritize profit in your business. The basic idea is to allocate a percentage of your revenue to different accounts, including a profit account, a tax account, and an owner's compensation account. By prioritizing profit, you can ensure that your business is sustainable and profitable in the long run.


Watch Out for Potential Problems

Keep an eye out for potential problems in your bookkeeping, such as discrepancies in your financial reports or missing receipts. Address these issues as soon as possible to avoid any legal or financial consequences.


By following these best practices, you can ensure that your Amazon FBA bookkeeping is accurate, efficient, and effective. This will help you make informed decisions about your business and ensure its long-term success.


Common Challenges in Amazon FBA Bookkeeping and How to Overcome Them


As an Amazon FBA seller, bookkeeping is an essential part of your business. However, it can be challenging to keep track of all the financial transactions and ensure that your books are accurate. Here are some common challenges you might face in Amazon FBA bookkeeping and how to overcome them:


1. Complicated Financial Transactions

Amazon FBA sellers have to deal with a lot of financial transactions, including sales, refunds, returns, and fees. It can be challenging to keep track of all these transactions and ensure that your books are accurate. One way to overcome this challenge is to use accounting software that integrates with Amazon FBA. This software can automatically import your financial transactions and categorize them correctly, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.


2. Hiring and Managing Contractors

Many Amazon FBA sellers hire contractors to help them with various tasks, such as product sourcing, listing creation, and customer service. However, managing these contractors can be challenging, especially when it comes to bookkeeping. To overcome this challenge, it's essential to have a clear contract that outlines the scope of work, payment terms, and deadlines. You should also keep track of all the payments you make to contractors and ensure that you issue 1099 forms at the end of the year.


3. Freight Forwarder Fees

If you import products from overseas, you might have to deal with freight forwarder fees. These fees can be complicated to track, especially if you use different freight forwarders for different shipments. To overcome this challenge, it's essential to keep detailed records of all your shipments and the associated fees. You should also reconcile your freight forwarder invoices with your books regularly to ensure that everything is accurate.


In conclusion, bookkeeping can be challenging for Amazon FBA sellers, but there are ways to overcome these challenges. By using accounting software, having clear contracts with contractors, and keeping detailed records of your freight forwarder fees, you can ensure that your books are accurate and up to date.


Amazon FBA Bookkeeping Software Options

When it comes to bookkeeping for Amazon FBA sellers, there are many software options available to help make the process easier. Here are some of the most popular options:


QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a popular accounting software that many Amazon FBA sellers use to manage their finances. QuickBooks allows you to track your income and expenses, create invoices, and manage your inventory. You can also connect your bank accounts and credit cards to QuickBooks to automatically import transactions.


QuickBooks also offers a variety of integrations with other software tools that Amazon FBA sellers might use, such as Shopify, PayPal, and Amazon Marketplace. This can help streamline your bookkeeping process and make it easier to manage your finances.


Xero

Xero is another popular accounting software that many Amazon FBA sellers use. Like QuickBooks, Xero allows you to track your income and expenses, create invoices, and manage your inventory. You can also connect your bank accounts and credit cards to Xero to automatically import transactions.


One advantage of Xero is that it offers more advanced reporting and analytics features than QuickBooks. This can be particularly useful if you want to get a more detailed view of your finances and track your performance over time.


A2X

A2X is a specialized accounting software that is specifically designed for Amazon FBA sellers. A2X automates the process of importing your Amazon settlement data into your accounting software, which can save you a lot of time and effort.


A2X also offers a variety of features that are specifically tailored to Amazon FBA sellers, such as the ability to track your cost of goods sold and manage your FBA inventory. A2X integrates directly with QuickBooks Online and Xero, so you can easily import your data and get started right away.

Overall, there are many different software options available to help you manage your bookkeeping as an Amazon FBA seller. Whether you choose QuickBooks, Xero, A2X, or another software tool, it's important to find a solution that works for your specific needs and helps you stay on top of your finances.


Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Amazon FBA Bookkeeping


As your Amazon FBA business grows, you may find that you need help with bookkeeping tasks. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be a great solution to this problem. Here are some things to keep in mind when hiring a VA for your Amazon FBA bookkeeping:

What a VA Can Do for You

A VA can take on a variety of tasks related to your Amazon FBA bookkeeping, including:

  • Recording transactions

  • Reconciling accounts

  • Managing inventory

  • Generating financial reports

  • Filing taxes

  • Handling customer service inquiries

How to Find a VA

There are many ways to find a VA for your Amazon FBA bookkeeping needs. Here are a few options:

  • Online marketplaces: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr allow you to post job listings and review proposals from VAs.

  • Referrals: Ask other Amazon FBA sellers if they have any recommendations for VAs.

  • Industry groups: Join a Facebook group or other online community for Amazon FBA sellers and ask for recommendations.

What to Look for in a VA

When hiring a VA for your Amazon FBA bookkeeping, look for someone who:

  • Has experience with bookkeeping and accounting

  • Is familiar with Amazon FBA and its unique accounting requirements

  • Has good communication skills

  • Is reliable and trustworthy

Setting Expectations

Before hiring a VA, be sure to set clear expectations about:

  • The scope of work

  • The timeline for completing tasks

  • How often you will communicate

  • How you will handle any issues that arise

Conclusion

Hiring a VA for your Amazon FBA bookkeeping can be a smart move as your business grows. By finding the right VA and setting clear expectations, you can ensure that your bookkeeping tasks are handled efficiently and accurately, giving you more time to focus on growing your business.


Conclusion

In conclusion, bookkeeping for Amazon FBA sellers is an essential part of running a successful business. By keeping accurate records of your sales transactions, expenses, and other financial information, you can gain a better understanding of your business's financial health and make informed decisions about its future.


To ensure that your bookkeeping is effective, it is important to establish a solid foundation of records and maintain accuracy and compliance with tax laws. This requires a basic understanding of bookkeeping and accounting principles, as well as the use of specialized software or services that can help you manage your finances more efficiently.


When it comes to bookkeeping for Amazon FBA sellers, there are several key components that you should focus on, including tracking sales and revenue, managing expenses, and staying up-to-date on tax obligations. By taking a proactive approach to your bookkeeping, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your business is on the path to success.


Overall, bookkeeping for Amazon FBA sellers can be a complex and challenging task, but with the right tools and resources, it is possible to manage your finances effectively and achieve your business goals. Whether you choose to handle your bookkeeping in-house or outsource it to a professional, it is important to stay organized, stay informed, and stay focused on your business's financial health.


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Frequently Asked Questions


How can I manage Amazon FBA bookkeeping efficiently?

Managing Amazon FBA bookkeeping efficiently involves keeping accurate records of all financial transactions, including sales, expenses, and fees. You can do this by using accounting software that is specifically designed for Amazon FBA sellers. Additionally, you should keep track of your inventory levels, reconcile your bank accounts, and regularly review your financial statements.


What is the best accounting tool for Amazon FBA sellers?

There are many accounting tools available for Amazon FBA sellers, including QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks. These tools offer features such as automatic bank feeds, inventory tracking, and sales tax management. Some tools, such as A2X, are specifically designed for Amazon FBA sellers and integrate seamlessly with Amazon's platform.


How can I track Amazon selling fees for bookkeeping purposes?

Amazon charges a variety of fees to sellers, including referral fees, storage fees, and fulfillment fees. To track these fees for bookkeeping purposes, you should regularly review your Amazon seller account and download reports that detail your fees. You can also use accounting software that automatically imports and categorizes these fees.


What is the recommended chart of accounts for Amazon FBA bookkeeping?

The recommended chart of accounts for Amazon FBA bookkeeping includes accounts for sales, cost of goods sold, Amazon fees, shipping expenses, advertising expenses, and other expenses. You should also have separate accounts for inventory assets and cost of goods sold.


Are there any bookkeeping services that specialize in Amazon FBA?

Yes, there are bookkeeping services that specialize in Amazon FBA, such as Beanninjas and Catching Clouds. These services offer bookkeeping, accounting, and tax services specifically tailored to Amazon FBA sellers. They can help you manage your finances, stay compliant with tax regulations, and provide insights into your business's financial health.


Do you need an accountant for Amazon FBA?

Deciding whether to hire an accountant for Amazon FBA depends on several factors. If you're struggling to scale your systems, spending too much time on accounting, or planning to expand into other marketplaces, it's worth considering professional help. Using Amazon FBA also adds complexity with additional fees and tax obligations. An accountant's expertise can help navigate these challenges and ensure compliance, making them a valuable asset for your business.


What financial reports are available on Amazon for accounting purposes?

Amazon provides several financial reports for accounting purposes, including the Settlement Report, the Transaction Report, and the Inventory Report. These reports provide detailed information on your sales, fees, and inventory levels. You can also use accounting software to automatically import and categorize this data.


Is Amazon FBA really profitable?

Amazon FBA can be profitable, but it requires time, investment, and dedication. It's not a passive venture; success comes from continuous learning and improvement. While not every seller succeeds, the potential benefits often outweigh the challenges. If you're committed and willing to learn from mistakes, you have a good chance of success in Amazon FBA.


What accounting system does Amazon use?

Amazon employs SAP as its ERP system for internal business operations. However, for Amazon sellers, there's no mandatory accounting procedure set by Amazon. Sellers typically opt for accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero to handle their financial management.

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