In the world of ecommerce, companies need the right financial infrastructure to support their growth. This includes hiring the right ecommerce Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to manage financial records, taxes, and other accounting tasks.
However, finding the right ecommerce CPA can be daunting, especially for small and medium-sized companies that need a dedicated accounting department. In this article, Unloop will explore how companies can find ecommerce CPAs and how accounting service agencies can help them get one.
What CPAs Can Do
CPAs can do all the regular accounting functions. Many non-CPA functions such as bookkeeping, financial statement analysis, internal business auditing, and tax preparation are part of their skill set. But there are certain things only a CPA can do, such as the following.
Licensed accountants can formally audit a company's financial statements as a representative of an institution such as the IRS. They can check if your business's recording methods comply with the rules.
Sign Off Tax Documents
If you have non-CPA ecommerce accountants doing your tax preparation, they are limited to bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, and filling out tax forms. A qualified CPA must still sign off on your tax documents before it's honored.
Oversee Accounting Systems
In some cases, only a qualified CPA can take on the responsibility of a comptroller. While even non-CPA ecommerce accountants can do consultation work, they may need to be qualified to oversee your accounting systems and make changes.
Things To Look For When Hunting for a CPA for Ecommerce
All ecommerce companies must have a CPA working for them. It is essential because there are plenty of business activities in the accounting and finance facet that need the services of a public accountant. You'll need CPAs to move things along to keep your business running well. Note the following before deciding to get a CPA.
Accountants must pass a licensure examination to become CPA. This license allows them to take private and public business clients. So before you hire a CPA, be sure to check for their license. Additionally, their license must also cover the state or jurisdiction where you're operating so they are recognized by the institutions they're going to deal with.
Accountants also have different specialties when they set out to practice accountancy. Public accountants are no different. So, as much as possible, look for the ones with several ecommerce clients under their belt. This reduces the learning curve, plus they can offer great insights from their previous experiences working with online businesses.
Favorable Billing Practices
Hiring a CPA is an added expense to your business operations. But you want to get the best value out of their service—which means paying the correct amount given the degree of work provided. As an ecommerce seller, be aware that accountants, in general, charge in three different ways.
- Flat rate
- Bundle or Packaged fee
Each one has its benefits, depending on your company’s needs.
One of the most sought-after characteristics of a CPA is their reliability. They have to be ready to work at a reasonable time. This is how they move things along for your business. So in a practical sense, try to go for a public accountant that services only a few clients.
How Companies Can Find Ecommerce Certified Public Accountants
Now that you have the qualifications to shortlist your CPA candidates, it's time to find one that suits your ecommerce business. Here are some of the steps you can take to ensure you choose wisely.
Determine Your Accounting Needs
Before you start looking for an ecommerce-specialized CPA, you must determine your ecommerce business's accounting needs. So check your business's accounting system and volume of business, then ask yourself the following questions:
- What accounting tasks do I need for my business?
- What are my short-term and long-term goals?
- Do I need a remote or on-site accountant?
Once you have a clear understanding of your accounting needs, finding a CPA who can meet your requirements will be easier.
Use Referrals and Recommendations
One of the best ways to find a reliable CPA is through referrals and recommendations. Check with other ecommerce business owners in your network for a CPA recommendation. Lawyers, bankers, or other professionals you work with can also be a great source of CPA referrals because they are more likely to use accounting services.
Conduct Online Research
The internet is a valuable resource for finding ecommerce CPAs. You can use search engines like Google to find local CPAs specializing in ecommerce accounting. You can also use online directories like the American Institute of CPAs to find licensed CPAs in your state.
Professional social media sites are also rich sources for accounting professionals. Sites such as LinkedIn can give you the essential information you need to know to help you find and connect with ecommerce CPAs in your area.
Attend Ecommerce Conferences and Events
Attend conferences and events in the ecommerce industry to network with other professionals and learn about the latest trends and best practices. These events can be a great way to meet qualified CPAs specializing in ecommerce accounting.
Some conferences double as trade fairs where you can find several CPAs that offer their services. What's good about these conferences is you get to ask them questions and qualify them on the spot.
Evaluate Credentials and Experience
Once you have a list of potential ecommerce CPAs, evaluating their credentials and experience is essential. Read back to the previous section on what to look for when hiring CPAs.
Your public accountant may be a member of the American Institute of CPAs or other professional organizations for accountants. This is a plus you can consider on top of their experience. Check to see if they have certificates to present that back up their titles, too.
File Name: ecommerce accountants.jpg
Alt Tag: ecommerce accountants
Accounting Service Agencies Can Help You Find an Ecommerce CPA
If you need more time or resources to find an ecommerce CPA, accounting service agencies can help. These agencies can connect businesses with qualified CPAs who can manage their accounting needs. Here's how they can help.
They Have a Network of Qualified CPAs
Accounting service agencies have a network of qualified CPAs who specialize in ecommerce accounting. They can match you with a CPA who meets your specific needs. This is convenient because you can get your tax filed through a CPA from an agency that also handles your books.
They Can Help You Save Resources
Finding the right ecommerce CPA can be a time-consuming and costly process. You can save precious hours and energy by working with an accounting service agency. They can handle the entire process for you, from finding the right CPA to managing the billing and payment process.
They Offer Additional Services
In addition to connecting you with a qualified ecommerce CPA, accounting service agencies can offer additional services to help you manage your finances. These services may include the following.
Accounting agencies employ many highly skilled and experienced ecommerce bookkeepers and accountants. They can help you record transactions accurately, which will benefit your CPA when it comes to tax planning.
This team of experts is also adept at using accounting software when dealing with ecommerce accounting tasks, which makes recording and reporting faster and better.
One of the challenges a growing ecommerce business faces is reconciling its business bank account with its financial records. Accounting services can do this in hours by combining their skills and expertise with your software.
Sales Tax Compliance
Ecommerce businesses need to collect sales taxes, just like any business in the United States. The challenge is that online businesses are wide-reaching, and they do business in multiple locations, making accurate tax collection problematic. A team of experts, combined with the right tax software, can help you surmount your sales tax collection obstacles.
Calculating the correct cost of goods sold (COGS) is a crucial part of managing an ecommerce business's inventory. This cost account says a lot about how efficient you are in producing or sourcing your products relative to their price. An accounting team can help you determine the accurate COGS in a given period so you can make good inventory management decisions.
Let Unloop Connect You to an Ecommerce CPA
Sourcing a qualified CPA accountant for an ecommerce business can be difficult, primarily if you have yet to work with an ecommerce-specialized public accountant. The easiest way to get access to these professionals is to find an accounting agency that can bridge the gap.Let Unloop handle your accounting and bookkeeping needs. More than helping your ecommerce business become efficient with its accounting systems, we can also connect you with a CPA during the most critical period of your business—tax time. If you're curious about what Unloop can do for you and your business, book a call.