As part of our series on taxes, this post covers a solution for simple bookkeeping, Outright.com. See my last post on sales tax by Kat Simpson and Michael Rice for a book on the new sales tax requirements for Amazon sellers.
As FBA sellers, Amazon does a lot of the heavy lifting for us (in more ways than one!). There are many helpful reports available to us on Amazon SellerCentral to help us keep track of inventory and pay our sales taxes. They even collect sales tax for us for a small fee. However, if you’ve been successful selling, you’ll find that more is required when it comes time to pay Uncle Sam in April.
Let’s face it, bookkeeping is boring compared to selling. The trick is to accomplish what is required legally with the least amount of effort and the least amount of learning new things…and then get back to making money with FBA!
My personal bookkeeping situation is more complicated than most people who start their Amazon businesses because I already had a C Corporation and three other businesses running on Quickbooks. I do not recommend my solution for people who are new to running their own businesses and whose only business is as an Amazon FBA seller. There is a fairly steep learning curve to Quickbooks and it is better suited for more complicated businesses.
I get asked the bookkeeping question a lot, which is why I went looking for a simple solution to suggest. While I don’t personally use Outright.com, I know and respect several established sellers who do.
I talked with Outright.com representative Jenn Dunn to learn more about their online software and how it works for Amazon sellers. Outright’s bookkeeping solution is designed especially for online sellers whether they are eBay, Etsy or Amazon.com sellers. It simplifies the process by easily pulling reports, income and expense data from Amazon into the program.
Outright works by automatically tracking your FBA income and expenses to give you an up-to-date view of your company. You simply sign up for a free Outright account, import your Amazon account, and any other accounts you might use for your business – like a bank account, credit card, or PayPal, and then Outright does the rest.
It is simple to import all these accounts. When I tried it out, all I needed was my SellerCentral and PayPal logins to connect the accounts.
From there, Outright gives you a complete overview of your income and expenses. Not only does this let you get a clear overview of your business’s health (complete with charts and graphs for the visual folks ), it allows you to be prepared once tax time rolls around by tracking your write-offs.
Speaking of charts and graphs, if you really want to know the skinny on your business, Outright provides several financial reports to help you. Find out analytics like which vendors you paid the most money out to (Target or Big Lots or…?), and what your profit and losses were by month, quarter or year.
Are you having Amazon collect your sales tax for you? Most of us are small enough that we only have to pay sales tax quarterly. Outright will pull in the reports (i.e. massive spreadsheets) from Amazon’s SellerCentral and tell you instantly how much you owe each state in which you pay tax. This will make it much faster and easier for you to pay your sales tax.
Then comes federal tax time. Outright, which is designed with the sole-proprietor or LLC in mind, helps you fill in your Schedule C, reconcile tax forms you may receive, like the new 1099-K, and generally makes for a less taxing tax time.
If you have a CPA, you can quickly produce the reports he or she will need to prepare your taxes for you.
Outright’s basic package is free which is great for new sellers. When you are comfortable with the program and want to use it to help you pay your sales tax, the “Plus” program is $9.95 a month – far less than Quickbooks, believe me.
I signed up for a free account just to see how friendly it is and I was impressed. It was fast and easy to link my Amazon SellerCentral, bank and PayPal accounts. As a Quickbooks user since 1995, I can tell you Outright is hundreds of times friendlier and more intuitive. If you are still using spreadsheets to run your business, Outright will make your life easier.
In addition to the online software, Outright also has free tax and bookkeeping-related webinars to help Amazon Sellers be more successful. Here is the next one:
Savvy Amazon FBA sellers minimize their liability come tax time. Sign up here for Outright.com’s webinar “Keep Uncle Sam Out of Your Pocket! Tax Tips for Amazon Sellers” on Wednesday, September 19th at 1pm PT/4pm ET.
What about you? How are you keeping track of your income and expenses? Have any of you tried Outright.com? Post a comment here to share your experience!