Owners of Amazon and other eCommerce stores are often overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping track of their accounting. Accounting information is not only important for keeping track of your profit and loss and inventory, but will save you headaches, time and money when it is time to file your taxes. If all of your sales are documented you can easily pull up a profit and loss statement and other information you will need for filing your taxes. QuickBooks is the industry standard for small business accounting, according to Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks, it is used by 85% of small businesses. Using information you can readily export from Amazon and third part software like The SuperManager you can keep track of your Amazon store sales in QuickBooks with limited touch time, allowing you to focus on building your business, minimize headaches of doing your own accounting and expenses for bookkeeping and accounting services.
Deciding What Information You Need
Before getting into the mechanics of exporting, let’s talk about what you need to keep track of.
- At a bare minimum you will need to keep track of your profits and losses. This includes revenues from sales and shipping income, sales taxes collected and fees assessed by Amazon
- You may want to use QuickBooks to track your inventory. Many businesses use several sales channels: Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and others. You may want to use QuickBooks as a way to combine the impact of all those channels on your inventory
- You may want to use QuickBooks to have detailed order information including addresses, payment and perhaps even shipment information
- You may want to use QuickBooks to store your customer database
The manner that you track your orders will depend on which of these options you need.
Profit and Loss
Tracking profit and loss from your Amazon orders can be fairly straightforward. Every two weeks Amazon settles accounts with sellers. As a part of this process they create a settlement report. You can view these reports in seller central by clicking on “Reports”, then “Payments” from the dropdown. Once there, choose “All Statements” from the tabs. This will show a list of all the settlement periods and give you a chance to view each report or download it as a flat comma separated value file.
The summary likely gives you enough information to input your profit and loss line items into QuickBooks. Product sales, shipping fees collected and other income are itemized. Amazon’s fees and other expenses are also itemized. You can replicate this information on a sales receipt in QuickBooks creating one line item on the sales receipt for each of these lines.
If you ever have a settlement period where you pay more to Amazon than you collect in sales, you will need to document the settlement on a credit memo rather than on a sales receipt.
In addition to using a single sales receipt for tracking the profit and loss, you can also use it to track inventory. To do this, rather than having one line item for all product charges/income, you will create a list of line items representing all the individual products sold. You can do this by downloading the flat file for the settlement, which will include a line item for each product sold. Take note when doing this that each product sold typically has multiple lines on the report: one for product sales income, one for shipping income, one for taxes collected, one for Amazon fees deducted, one for Amazon FBA charges deducted and perhaps others. You may want to create a line item for each product sale income referencing the QuickBooks item name, but then sum up all the shipping income, Amazon fees and other service items and just have one line item for each of them.
When you try doing this, especially if you have high sales volume, you will quickly find that this can be fairly time consuming. You could likely use some spreadsheet work to make this a bit more palatable. For example, you could build a pivot table of the Amazon flat file. As an alternative, SuperManager can import the Amazon settlement file for you. If you don’t already own SuperManager, you can request a free trial here. Once you have SuperManager installed, here is how you would import a settlement to QuickBooks:
- Open SuperManager and choose “View”, “Store Settings” and click “Add” to add a store to import your orders into. Enter a name for the store and any other information, although all the other fields are optional for using in this case. Set the store type to “Amazon”. Then press “Ok” to save and close the store settings.
- Press ctrl-S to save these store settings to your hard drive. You can save the file with any file name and in any location. We recommend saving it under the “SuperManager” folder that is created in your Documents folder when SuperManager is installed.
- Then to import your first settlement, download it from seller central and save it somewhere on your hard drive. Choose “File”, “Import”, “Orders”, “Amazon Settlement” and select the file from where you saved it.
- This should result in the settlement being shown in SuperManager as a single order. You can double click on it and look at how the order has been imported.
- Before exporting to QuickBooks the first time, you will need to go back to “View”, “Store Settings” and select the “Accounting Export” tab. You can read the meaning of each of these export options in the SuperManager user’s manual. Once you have finished setting all the export options, press “Ok” to save and close the store settings.
- You can now select the order/settlement to export and right click on it and choose “XML Exchange”, “QuickBooks” or press alt-Q, which is the keyboard shortcut.
Detailed Order Information
Rather than batching together all information from each settlement, you may want to have all orders with all their details in QuickBooks. This may especially be the case if you have a lot of repeat customers and want to keep track of them. You can do this manually, however, that will be quite a chore. Fortunately SuperManager can also do this for you. For using SuperManager in this manner, please see the user’s manual, as it will walk you through the setup for exporting individual orders. Again, if you don’t already own SuperManager, you can request a free trial here.
There are many ways to keep track of your Amazon store orders. Depending on how much information you desire to have this can be quite simple or very difficult to do manually. Fortunately, SuperManager can help you do this in one of a couple different ways depending on your needs and wants.