E-commerce and POS automation is a growing need for accounting businesses of all sizes and industries. E-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. A POS, or point of sale, is a device used to process transactions by retail, restaurant, cannabis, and other businesses. A POS may be a physical device in a brick-and-mortar store or a checkout point in a web-based store.
Hundreds of channels exist to collect revenue, and developers continue offering more daily. Depending on the business, they could be multichannel sellers, meaning they use several different platforms to sell their products or get paid.
Most common e-commerce platforms
In 2022, we commissioned a research study with Paradoxes Inc. to better understand the impact of manual data entry for retailers, restaurants, non-profits, and accounting firms. The research found that over half of US accounting firm clients use e-commerce or digital payment systems. The most common e-commerce platform to handle payments and sell products used by businesses is PayPal, followed by Square, then Amazon.
However, fewer businesses integrate these platforms into their accounting systems due to perceived complexity or lack of awareness of how to integrate properly. Businesses and finance teams are confused about properly integrating these tools into their accounting systems.
The data suggest that few in the industry are effectively solving for and building platforms for revenue reconciliation automation. Accounting professionals say a technology that can improve the reconciliation process would make the most difference in their practice.
Automation of e-commerce sales processes
With so many commerce platforms and ways to gather financial data, the need for an easy solution to automatically collect all that data into accounting systems is essential. Manual data entry not only eats up your time but is more susceptible to human error and can create larger issues in the process and the office.
E-commerce and point-of-sale transactions are not going anywhere. More industries are using multiple channels to achieve their best sales. It's difficult and time-consuming for anyone to keep up with all the different e-commerce platform nuances and workflows. Imagine pulling each report and manually entering it into the preferred accounting system. According to The economic impact of manual accounting data for retailers, restaurants, and accounting firms, three-quarters of businesses report that e-commerce platforms have created additional manual bookkeeping work, with firms estimating that these extra processing steps cost them 5-7 staff days per month.
What Are The Benefits Of Implementing Automation?
There are so many revenue channels today that regularly add features and evolve. So automation is the best way to keep up with all the different workflows, especially with multiple physical and online "stores" using various platforms that apply different rules.
Automation can help with time, accuracy, integrations, summarized journal entries, historical data, and user experience. It also helps to reduce costs associated with manual labor while increasing accuracy and efficiency. Modern businesses need information faster to make rapid business decisions. Automation is critical to getting better information more quickly. Automation accelerates accrual-based bookkeeping, supports more efficient workflows, and makes businesses more aware of their daily financial health.
The Challenges Of Implementing Automation
Implementing these technologies can also require significant investments in technology and training and may require businesses to adapt their operations and processes to take full advantage of their capabilities. Here are a few key points to consider when implementing automation.
Selecting the “right” software
You will want to select an accounting automation platform that integrates with your GL program and sales channels. That means less time spent on manual data entry, so you have more time to focus on what you need or want.
- Before selecting an app, consider the following:
- Understand the business
- Understand the platform(s)
- The pain point you are solving for and how the technology will take care of the issue(s).
Any change in the process takes time and commitment. You want to find software that isn’t just new and shiny but tested and true.
- Before implementing new technology, consider the following:
- Talking to others specializing in e-commerce and POS accounting and learning from their experiences.
- Understanding how to onboard and train your team
- You should remember that with any automation, the setup needs to be done correctly and monitored regularly.
Yes, you may have technical skills, but it is not “your job” to know the technicalities of the software and how to troubleshoot your problems. Otherwise, you are losing valuable time!
- When selecting software, consider the following:
- What type of support do they provide? Whether it’s phone, email, chat, etc., and how that may work for you.
- When are they available to you to answer questions?
- Is their support accounting savvy so they can answer questions then and there?
Now is the time to move toward an automated future with e-commerce and POS automation. You can download the Executive Summary of The Reality of E-commerce and POS Automation, which offers a glimpse into the findings and includes charts and graphs illustrating the key data points.
At Bookkeep, we pride ourselves on providing accurate data automatically and saving you time! We're on a mission to seamlessly integrate with more sales channels and payment platforms to eliminate manual data entry for accountants and bookkeepers. Our team is always happy to help!