Manage Your eBay Bookkeeping With Integrated Software
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Accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes are often some of the biggest bugaboos for small business owners. Often, those just starting online selling businesses feel overwhelmed at the prospect of keeping books and managing money at this level, fearing that they will either need an accounting degree or an expensive accountant to help them to stay on top of things.
While an accountant is never a bad idea (so long as the accountant is a good one), many small selling businesses can get by using tools that are readily available. Many of these accounting tools go a considerable distance toward automating or at the very least greatly simplifying your accounting tasks as an eBay seller — and they are, for the most part, quite inexpensive as well! Here are some of the most popular tools among small eBay sellers.
eBay Accounting and Bookkeeping Tools
In the accounting and bookkeeping space, there are several online products that are considered great go-to's for small eBay sellers who aren't interested in having to learn the ins and outs of more serious (and expensive) accounting suites and/or having to hire an actual accountant:
- GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright): Online Bookkeeping is probably the most popular and easiest to use of the eBay- and PayPal-integrated accounting platforms. The basic package is available for an inexpensive monthly fee and it's incredibly easy to use: just register, answer a few questions, and the program does the rest, integrating automatically with eBay, PayPal, and your bank accounts to track expenses, sales, profit, loss, your best customers, needed tax forms (and the data to go on them) and other common small-business accounting needs.
- Intuit Quickbooks Plus for eCommerce: Like Online Bookkeeping, Intuit Quickbooks for e-commerce integrates directly with your eBay seller account through their eCommerce Cloud (ECC) tool. They offer a 30-day free trial of all levels of the software from basic to premium before settling into a monthly subscription fee.
In addition to GoDaddy and Intuit's eBay accounting software products, there are a number of other online and offline accounting software packages that have been designed for and that appeal to small business owners, including Freshbooks, Xero, Zoho, Kashoo, WorkingPoint, and Sage One. Explore all of your options to ensure you pick the product that works best for you and your small business.
Tax Preparation for eBay Sellers
Most small sellers would just like a little help with their eBay taxes without having to hire an expensive tax preparer or become an accountant themselves. While some bookkeeping platforms have features to help you complete your taxes, most of them aren't specialized tax preparation platforms and may leave you with a great deal of work to do on your own.
Most of the popular electronic tax preparation platforms also either support small businesses and related tax preparation tasks (for sole proprietors) or have alternate versions (for corporations, partnerships, and other company organizational structures) that handle these tasks. Here are a few options to consider:
- Intuit TurboTax: Sole proprietors will find that the regular version of TurboTax is enough to get them through tax season. Businesses organized in other ways are able to use the small business version of the product.
- TaxAct: The regular version contains everything that you need for sole proprietorships while the business editions serve those with more complex company structures.
- H&R Block: H&R Block offers versions of their tax software tailored specifically to small business sole proprietors and related paperwork, for those more comfortable using a preparer that has a brick-and-mortar presence in the tax preparation world.
Make It Easy for Yourself
Whichever accounting platform or tax preparation platform you use as a small business, realize that you probably don't have to do it "the hard way:" selling on eBay by day, and frantically trying to learn accounting and managing your books by night. In fact, if you're doing all the work by yourself and/or by hand, you may be unnecessarily losing valuable time that could otherwise be spent growing your business.