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Yours or someone else’s? We are looking for an accountant to work with marketplaces


The only full-time accountant, due to a lack of experience in a particular trading niche, may simply not be able to cope with all the volume of surprises and innovations that surround marketplace sellers.

And the full-time “Nina Ivanovna” can at any time bring you to the issue of increasing salary plans or issuing a bonus.

In total, we assume that a beginner marketplace seller is too small a unit to burden himself with spending on a full-time accountant and overload himself with the search for such an employee. The search in this case is a very difficult question. After all, we need a specialist who not only knows how to keep accounting, but also understands the nuances of working with an online store and marketplaces. This is far from the same as trading in a tray in a market or in a shopping center. At this stage, we tell the staff member no.

Mom I ate

We argue further. We understand that our business is just beginning to develop and all processes are taking place before our eyes, controlled and understood. In the early stages, many sellers literally sort out, with their eyes, every line with goods sold on marketplaces. While we are talking about hundreds of products and several hundred sales, all this is calmly analyzed and viewed in manual mode. This means that we can try to do the bookkeeping on our own. Yes and no.

If you have experience in trading, and business on marketplaces is far from your first project, perhaps you can keep records yourself. If you are just starting your way in trading, then the apparent simplicity of the process can lead you into a hole already at the start. How? Let’s think about what questions the seller may face when entering the marketplace.

Firstly, it can be difficult for the seller to choose the right tax system which ultimately determines how empty your wallet will be after tax payment. Now you already know which system is more profitable for you – 6% STS or 15%?

Secondly, even if the entrepreneur has already worked in trade, he may not know what electronic document management is (offline and when working with your own online store, it may simply not be useful). But without EDF, it will not be possible to establish an adequate relationship with marketplaces. So you need to figure out how such systems work, how to choose the right one and what to do with them next.

Thirdly, you need to clearly understand at what point to fix the profit and from what amounts to calculate the final revenue… You understand that trading on a marketplace is far from a direct sale of goods to a customer. There is always a platform between you, which can act as an agent or intermediary, and is also surrounded by all kinds of bonus programs, points and promotions. It seems that this cannot be done without support from the outside. And if we realized that a full-time accountant is not yet our choice, then we need to look towards similar outsourcing services. Since we trade online, let’s try to drag the accounting department there.

Pluses of remote

Let’s go over our fingers. The cost of online bookkeeping is significantly lower than the salary of a full-time specialist. Moreover, an online service can be connected for a short period – it’s easier than firing an employee when you realize that you are capable of everything yourself or you want something new.

Online accounting allows you to access the database from anywhere, even if you use such a service from your phone or tablet. You are not tied to the workplace.

There is no need to constantly monitor legislation updates – online services do it themselves and remind the user that now everything works a little differently.

Finally, online accounting can be linked to online banking, then calculations can be made even faster and easier. And there are also options in which such a service is initially provided by the bank. It seems to be convenient.

The bank counts the best

At first glance, one of the easiest options is to choose an online accounting service that your bank offers. If you are just registering as an entrepreneur, you will still open a current account. Together with him, the bank will certainly offer you accounting support. Free or for a nominal fee, since then all your tranches will pass through it. In fact, the bank needs to help you to retain a client with a potentially growing business, and he will do it.

Another thing is that online banking provided by financial institutions does not necessarily suit you. If you yourself cannot figure out all the hardships and calculations and you need expert advice, only an online service for processing documents and transferring them to the tax office will not be enough for you. But not all banks will immediately offer you additional help from a personal accountant – you will have to figure it out yourself. And we have already realized that many questions can arise when working with marketplaces – not every accountant will immediately understand everything. If you want to get help from a real specialist, you will have to switch to a new tariff within such an online accounting department. Of course, it will no longer be free. Below is an example with a price list for the services of a remote accountant from Sberbank.

Another nuance: different banks offer accounting assistance to different categories of entrepreneurs. For example, Tochka Bank and Alfa-Bank work only with individual entrepreneurs on the simplified income system. Otherwise, they are not your helpers. And if you want to understand the peculiarities of working with EDF? It is even more difficult here – you will have to search for information yourself. In many ways, accounting assistance from a bank may seem like a kind of crutch to you.

Turning away from banks

In total, banking services cannot always lend a helping hand. We are looking for her elsewhere. If you just enter the query “online accounting” in the search engines, you will receive results from dozens of offers and services. Among them are banks’ offers and independent services. There is where to roam.

On the one hand, online accounting services were created specifically for those entrepreneurs who do not understand or do not want to understand accounting at all. They are ways to prepare reports, calculate taxes and organize the billing process correctly. They constantly update the legislative framework and are able to remind you when you need to enter all the necessary data into the system in order to do the rest of the work for you. But it all depends on the capabilities of the selected tariff. If we are talking specifically about online accounting, then you will have to fill out and submit documents yourself. If you seek private help, you will have to pay a substantial additional fee for the services.

For example, the cheapest tariff plan for online accounting “My Business” will cost an entrepreneur about 900 rubles per month. For this money, he will get access to thousands of document templates, will be able to quickly enter all the data into the system and aggregate them, but only independently. If you need the help of a specialist, then you can get it only at a tariff that costs from 4,200 rubles per month. Yes, it is ten times cheaper than a standard unit. But will it be so easy to explain to a remote accountant your schemes of interaction with marketplaces and will you be able to quickly catch with him all the changes that marketplaces are so fond of making to contracts? After all, yesterday you paid 15% of the commission on the sale, and today it is already 5%. Who is responsible for all these nuances?

Turning to sellers

It is logical to assume that the sellers themselves are better at communicating with marketplaces than others. Those who have already managed to make a mistake in the choice of the taxation system; learned how to track changes in the contract before they are published in official references; works with marketplaces here and now.

It is clear that the sellers themselves will not directly provide such services – they have their own concerns that are directly related to their business. But as for accountants who have worked or work directly with such entrepreneurs, they are excellent assistants for starting their own business on marketplaces. If you look for such specialists, you can find them. It remains to figure out how adequate their offers are in the context of the entire market. Usually, narrow specialists are much more expensive. Again, yes and no.

If you look at the grid of tariff plans for the accounting support service “SellerCat”, you can see that the cost of the services of accountants specializing in marketplaces does not differ much from the offers of all the services listed above. But what then are the differences and advantages?

Unlike online accounting services that work with you at the very moment when you have taken the decisive step towards entering the marketplaces, SellerCat is ready to help the seller from the very beginning – from choosing a suitable taxation system, registering a legal entity and opening accounts before connecting EDM and subsequent control and maintenance of all processes remotely.

In fact, we are not talking about an online system, but about real people – accountants who work with your business remotely and at the same time do not cost big money. Why? Because this is a whole team of specialists who can manage several projects without prejudice to your business and because such a remote accountant handles your affairs exactly when it is needed. That is, they do not receive a gigantic salary while sitting at the rate, no matter how busy they are today and tomorrow.

We also remember that traditional accounting is quite conservative and even an expensive full-time employee may not always take into account the specifics of working in online retail. For example, sometimes it is quite difficult to understand exactly how to calculate the revenue (read the forums of professional accountants – they are overwhelmed with questions “what to do with the reports on sales on marketplaces?”) – from the money that came from the marketplace, or from the total turnover. Obviously, these questions need to be entrusted to those who are already working with such online platforms.

So that later it would not be excruciatingly painful

The story is akin to renovating an apartment. You can pull yourself together and try to do everything yourself. If you make a mistake somewhere, then there will be no one to scold for the unsticked wallpaper, you will have to spend money on buying a new one.

You can contact a professional designer – he will help you with the choice of wallpaper, tell you where to buy it and be able to give instructions on how to carry out the repair. Then you will do everything yourself. If something goes wrong, you can be offended by the designer, but you will know that all the mistakes you made yourself anyway.

You can also hire a team of repairmen who have been transforming apartments for a long time. They will do everything quickly and beautifully, but then it may turn out that wallpapering is their weakest point, because all previous projects were associated with painting walls. You will have to pay for the mistake again.

But if you initially understand the competencies of a specialist and understand that he even sleeps in paper rolls and knows everything about where and how the glue should be applied, the result may be surprising. You will not save, because the pastor will have to pay (you remember that you yourself would have pasted everything for free), but you will be sure that in the future you will not expect new unforeseen expenses.

What do you say – we glue ourselves, invite handymen or agree that it is better to find a specialist (sorry for repeating) a specialist?

Moris Akline
About author

Speculative operations in the foreign exchange and stock market. Work with futures and indices on CME. Work on FORTS and RTS. Development of portfolios and investment strategies for clients. Knowledge of technical (price charts of various types, indicators and oscillators, trends, channels, support / resistance levels) and fundamental analysis, take note of news. I work according to my trading strategy in compliance with the rules of capital management and risk management. Development of trust management strategies. Technique of order execution, placing and changing protective stop-losses, hedging.
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