Leaders of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have to do a lot to survive. They need to take risks, stretch resources and work around the clock.
For many, tiptoeing into the world of e-commerce is one of these major risks. Brick-and-mortar commerce just isn’t enough anymore if you want to thrive in this competitive landscape.
Here’s the major problem with e-commerce: The logistics can be overwhelming. Companies have to re-think distribution, regulations, payment and a whole host of financial implications including areas such as tax requirements, to name just one.
This means finding a software system to manage these financial dealings is critical for success. QuickBooks just isn’t qualified to handle substantial e-commerce efforts. To truly succeed, SMBs need to drastically alter their financial management and e-commerce strategies by investing in quality financial accounting software.
So why is relying on QuickBooks subpar? After all, this program can integrate with many e-commerce tools. Plus, it’s relatively cheap and very easy to use.
The reason has to do with the quality of these integration capabilities. Most companies use their e-commerce systems to run lots of payments and store shipping, customer billing and inventory information.
To keep the business in the black, the e-commerce software must work perfectly with the accounting system, which handles inventory, billing, tax information and all of your core customer information.
You need real-time inventory data, solid warehouse management, stellar shipping and pick ticket efficiency. Unfortunately, with QuickBooks, companies can’t manage these processes without moving data back and forth manually. By attempting this without automation or a strong integration with the e-commerce system, reconciling inventory, receivables and payables is often extremely time consuming, difficult and error-ridden. Shipping and billing challenges tend to pile up in an instant with this kind of a combination.
You don’t want to lose deals and customers because they don’t know when they’ll receive an order. Integration is critical as customers need to know — in real-time — if you have the product they need.
If QuickBooks isn’t powerful enough for these requirements, what is? For starters, companies selling online need an e-commerce package that lets them buy, sell and trade on the Internet with their partners. That means their financial accounting software must allow them to process business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) payments. It should also accommodate these three elements:
- Processing and shipping: You’re required to pay taxes on products, and you need simple tax software and solutions on everything you sell.
- Customer billing: You have to bill correctly without any mistakes such as double billing or missing a month.
- Inventory: Whether you’re in manufacturing or distribution or just selling products on eBay, managing inventory is something everyone needs to deal with correctly.
E-commerce is a vital platform in today’s business world. If you’re not conducting business online, you’re likely way behind your competitors. Even service-oriented companies need to have some kind of e-commerce function to succeed. Fortunately, with the right financial accounting software, the logistics of starting and maintaining an e-commerce strategy can be highly successful.