If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll know the importance of having accurate (and stress-free) finances. But managing your sales channels together with your accounting software can be messy – and cost you hours.
Luckily, there are some pretty great operational tools in place that easily integrate with your Xero suite, and our accounting team just happen to be experts at most of them.
We spoke with our CEO Vanessa Firth to get the lowdown on three apps to help you run your online business more efficiently.
Ask any Shopify owner using Xero what their biggest gripe is and they’ll (probably) say that it can only handle so many transactions at a time. This is all well and good if you run a smaller operation, but if you’re selling thousands of widgets a day you’d probably like your accounting software to keep up without breaking.
While there are a number of apps that can integrate with an accounting platform like Xero, they typically involve entering thousands of individual transactions into the system rather than batching. In other words, they leave you with a hot mess of a balance sheet.
Enter A2X, an app that uses ‘settlement files’ as a way of reconciling your sales data.
“It basically sucks the data out of Shopify or Amazon and puts it into a nice, simple format for Xero,” says Vanessa.
A2X takes those thousand-odd transactions, wraps them up into a neat little daily summary and syncs that into Xero for you.
And while Shopify does pay-outs, they’re not regular – which makes your sales more difficult to track. A2X gives you better data into your Xero file, saving you time.
“What we’re able to do in real time is track sales, discounts and returns, shipping – we’re actually able to break down the sales really easily,” says Vanessa.
“It really is quite a simple program, but it’s one that can do a lot.”
Stand-out feature: Their customer service is second to none.
If your Xero files have broken due to the volume of transitions coming through your website, check out A2X.
Need a better way to track your inventory? Don’t worry dear, we might just have the answer. Dear is a popular inventory management system for small-ish ecommerce businesses that easily bolts onto your Shopify and Xero tech stack.
The premise is simple: as you sell your goods, it keeps track of much you’ve got left in stock. But the beauty of Dear is that it pushes this information directly into Shopify so you can better forecast your inventory.
“If a customer goes online and wants to buy seven of something, Dear will let Shopify know if you have that many items in stock,” says Vanessa.
And with the COVID environment causing manufacturing delays around the world, there’s perhaps no knowledge more crucial right now than stock management.
Stand-out feature: Dear can also help manage the sending of purchase orders to your suppliers, allowing you to invoice before receiving the physical stock. No more traveling inventory!
If you need better visibility over your inventory, check out Dear.
Got your own warehouse, and a number of staff picking and packing goods? You probably work with a rostering system, so a staff management tool like Tanda can help streamline the process.
Tanda allows you to set up a roster and manage your employees’ working hours. It also works out current pay rates, giving you an accurate payroll.
“Employees can clock in and out and you’ll have visibility over how many hours they worked,” says Vanessa.
Perhaps one of the best features for business owners is the ability to cost out a shift in advance.
“If you’re going to have five people working for so many hours, you can calculate how much it’s going to cost you for the week,” says Vanessa. “That’s quite a handy thing if you’re trying to keep labour costs under control.”
Tanda interacts with your staff via an app, so you can easily communicate with them when they are rostered on to start.
“All the data, timesheets and leave forms essentially get sucked into Xero and you can actually run payroll knowing timesheets are approved,” says Vanessa.
If you want to change the way you operate your workforce, check out Tanda.
While there are a myriad of analysis and reporting tools at your disposal, these three apps are a great place for online businesses to start. At SBO we work with a wide range of apps for businesses across a variety of industries, and our team of experts can help you integrate them into your Shopify or Amazon store.
While the apps that we recommend would change depending on the type of business you have, reach out to your Client Manager to see how we can help you find efficiencies in your business.