We love working with e-commerce businesses, because e-commerce entrepreneurs tend to be the most innovative and creative people in the room. They often manage everything from product design and development to web development and sales and marketing, plus everything in between. In our experience, they often wear all these hats quite well.
But in our experience, there’s one area where e-commerce business owners often struggle – their finances. And no shame here! The finances for an e-commerce business can be the most complicated around, even if you’re still a small operation. There can be so many complex and moving pieces, including international taxes, cost of goods, payment portals, and staying CRA compliant.
Get it wrong, and it could cost you a lot of money, or worse. It’s why it often makes sense to bring in a financial expert to help make sense of things.
Here’s how a virtual CFO can help you bypass all these finance issues, so that you can focus on what matters: your business.
Build A Better Budget
Having a good budget can be make-or-break for any small business, especially one that’s online. A virtual CFO can take an honest look at your current reality and then help you better plan for the future. This can include identifying opportunities to streamline or grow your business.
You can get always get started on your own with our guide to building your small business budget, but an outside perspective from someone who understands your business model can be invaluable.
Manage Your GST – Pain Free!
If only having a ‘virtual’ store meant you could pay ‘virtual’ taxes! The reality is that e-commerce stores need to GST and HST, just as if they had a physical storefront.
If you’re not a numbers nerd (like we are!), then collecting and properly paying taxes can be one of the biggest headaches of running your small e-commerce business. Our Canadian Quick Guide to GST & HST For Small Businesses & Startups is a great place to start, but sometimes, you just want to hand your books over to someone you trust to let them deal with it.
Specifically, a virtual CFO can help you determine if and when you need to register for GST/HST, they can help you register, and they can help you make and keep up with your payments.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Like we’ve covered, mistakes with finances can really hurt (or even kill) your e-store. And when you’re not a financial expert, it’s only natural to make mistakes!
Meanwhile, working a VCFO can help you avoid these common e-commerce accounting issues:
- Not charging the right tax
- Not pricing your products to account for additional e- commerce costs like credit card processing fees, packaging expenses, and website costs
- Using outdated accounting software
- Not tracking your KPIs
Find The Best Online Accounting Software
If you’re selling online, then you’re definitely using the most cutting-edge cloud-based software out there, right? So don’t want you use the best possible software for your accounting, too?
Perhaps you’ve already tried to make the switch to cloud-based accounting software, but were overwhelmed by the choices – there are certainly a lot of them. Working with a virtual CFO can help you cut through the noise and find the software solution that is best for your whole team, and that integrates with your current e-store.
Next up, your virtual CFO can also help you make the switch, and then better use your new accounting software to track your finances in a sustainable way. Win-win-win. We offer our CFO services virtually, so we understand what it’s like to run an online business. If you need help managing finances for your e-commerce store, please see our services here, or reach out to learn more.