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369 : Anna Hill – Closeout 2018 and start 2019 with strong financial controls and monthly financial statements

amazon accounting

Yes, it is time for our annual discussion about getting your financial house in order. We are all guilty of letting stuff go while we surge through Q4. When will you take the plunge to get things in real order? When can you start to see monthly financials? When can you see how you did versus plan? When can you get an almost instant valuation for your business? Are you making quarterly deposits? Even more basic are you profitable? Well now is the time with great tips from a real experienced CPA who also sells on Amazon.



AMZ Accounting Simplified – Quickbooks course that will help you get your house in order

Accounting we will go – Anna and Allison’s free Facebook Group




Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List


Scope from Sellerlabs

Tactical Arbitrage – Get an 18 day free trial with code: “Tactical”

Freeeup– Save 10% (forever) and get an instant $25.00 voucher for your first hire.



Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)

Anna:                                    [00:00]                     Telling records are denominated, are valued at lower of cost or market, so you want to think about it that way if something cost you, and I’m going to use round numbers $100, you listed it for 300, but now the market is only 90. You could consider maybe writing it off at market, but the problem is, is if there’s a lot of judgment involved and you know, these adjusting inventory values can get kind of, um, you can expose yourself to question that. You’d have to substantiate. So my professional opinion is leaving the value at cost is probably the wisest thing. So that would be 100. Unless you have a really good reason and support documentation for a lower value that you’re writing off, but you’re correct in that case, you certainly can’t write off $300 the fantasy price or whatever it was when you, when you purchased it.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:48]                     Welcome to the ecommerce momentum where we focus on the people, the products and the process of income are selling today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             [01:01]                     He just wanted to mention two sponsors today. Solutions Four, ecommerce and sellerlabs scope. For step solutions, four ecommerce, so it solutions the number four e-commerce dot com as Karen lockers group where she manages Amazon accounts for brands and smaller sellers like ourselves. We’ve been with her, I think it’s coming on two years now and been thrilled because, uh, she helps us with creating listings, reconciling shipments. That’s one that we’re working on right now. I’m making sure handling refunds and things like that and making sure that we’re, we get the money that’s due. Was that more than pays for my service and you can save $50 by using the code momentum. So solutions four, forward slash momentum. Use a code momentum. You’re going to save $50 a month and she’s going to do that inventory health reports a new year. You really need to get your account in order.

Stephen:                             [01:53]                     Second up is a seller labs scope. You know, I talk a lot about it because I’m a user period. That’s, that’s what makes it so worthwhile for me is that we use it for all of our private label, but even for our wholesale business and we do more bundling and stuff like that. Then then, then private label, and so it allows us though to really take advantage of those key words and really get them figured out because you have to zone in on the key words and so again, you can use it for your private label business, for your wholesale business. Even if you want to improve a retail art business, sometimes you can get in there and add some keywords and if you can put the right key words and put the ones in there for the number one. Number two, number three sellers.

Stephen:                             [02:37]                     That’s the best part, right? So I’m go to solar, forward slash scope and used to code momentum and save $50. Okay. Save the money and try some key words and see if you see an improvement in sales. And once you see an improvement in sales, you’re saying, hmm, let me try this on other, other, uh, ace and said, I’m selling. And all of a sudden you start to build a pattern. You see the improvement. Then you understand the value of doing it. And more importantly, you’re teaching yourself. You’re learning what to look for. And I think that’s one of the best parts about scope. It just helps make you a smarter seller. Let’s get into the pot and welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 369. And a hell yes. It’s our annual discussion, our nerd speak, where we talk accounting.

Stephen:                             [03:20]                     What, what excites me about these episodes with Anna is a, she’s so smart, she’s so knowledgeable, but she’s also a seller. And so that’s what you want somebody who actually understands the business. And so her advice just really helps. Um, um, and she even says that she sells fabric. Um, so I think that’s a good example of something that’s complicated. Cost of goods, right? You know, think about how much you know, bolts costs, right? I actually know that term, right? Think about all the different pricing models and how many different versions and stuff. Well, that’s a lot of moving pieces and so she’s worked her way through that herself, and then therefore can offer advice on how to do it for yourself. In this episode, we always do a closeout 2000 the year before. In this case it was 2018, and then I think we touched on some pretty important subjects.

Stephen:                             [04:08]                     Um, and one that’s really special to me is planning. Um, so you could start off 2019, really strong. I think that that is what you can do. You could get redemption right now by putting a plan in for 2019, even if it’s only four or five lines. Revenue, cost of goods, a salaries and benefits, um, and other costs, even if he get that far and then profit, you have made a huge improvement in your business. And this is just so easy to do. And I think, um, I think the course that she’s offering for quickbooks is probably the biggest opportunity if you’ve been looking for a way to get control of your business. I’m a nine steps nine modules. There’s a million different videos. How to. It’s how to, like she said, she even tells you how to turn on the computer, right? That is where you want to go.

Stephen:                             [04:58]                     If you’re going that direction, um, you want to get control. This is the year to do it. And I hope you do it. Um, I just want to see some success for everyone this year. What’s going into the podcast and welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest. She’s a repeat guest and it, it’s kind of become our thing. We do an annual kind of close out the year and what a challenging year it was and started the new year. And let me just say this, it’ll be a challenging new year and we’re going to talk about how to do it right. How do you get your books in order? How to start the new year, maybe a little budget. Talk, a little sexy budget. Talk with Anna Hill. Welcome back, Anna. Thank you. I’m excited to be here. And yes, this has become sort of our annual event.

Stephen:                             [05:43]                     Not always look forward to it. It’s funny that we talk about it, but we, it is sexy to talk about a budget or it is a cool to have good looking books. I mean it and it sounds such a nerd speak, but it’s true because your business, I mean you know how your business is doing right up through November, right? Yes. Okay. I’m not quite as good. I’m close. I’m close, but I will file on time this year. I did not file on time last year. I mean we’ve got an extension but I will file on time this year. That is my goal because

Anna:                                    [06:16]                     feel so good that that’s behind you.

Stephen:                             [06:19]                     Yeah, because it does take that, you know, because it weighs on me. That stuff just sits, it sits in my head. I don’t know how you are, but that stuff sits on me and so to be able to have that out and then you’re really executing the plan. Now I do have a 2018 budget in place and like you, we use quickbooks which we’re going to talk about, but that’s very exciting to having that budget kind of gets me ready. But getting rid of the past really allows that.

Anna:                                    [06:46]                     I agree. It’s, it’s like you compete with yourself when you have a budget. At least that’s how I feel. It kind of turns on that competition within me and it makes it fun.

Stephen:                             [06:55]                     All right, well let’s start with talking about closing out 2018. I said it was a challenging year. Was that fair? I mean, we have a lot of clients. I mean, would you say that’s across the board?

Anna:                                    [07:06]                     I think that is fair. Yes. I think so.

Stephen:                             [07:08]                     Yeah. I think there, there’ve been so many changes outside of our control. Um, and the, here’s a hint for 2019 they’re going to continue, they’re not going to get and they’re going to happen to probably more frequent and I think that’s, that’s the hard part. And if you don’t have a solid plan, I don’t think you can adapt as quickly. You agree?

Anna:                                    [07:27]                     I agree. And you know, people say this isn’t fair, they’re charging more for this or they did, they were doing that and I agree it’s not fair, but it’s also unfortunately the nature of working for ourselves. Unfair things happen.

Stephen:                             [07:40]                     Well, you know, if, I guess if you’d sit back and you look at ecommerce, it’s fair because we’re all equally getting treated that way generally. Generally, not everybody, but you know, like I think of the postal increase that’s coming up in in a few weeks in January, pretty significant and one of the, I think one of the fundamental changes they are making is they’re taking a, you are a, a first class package and they’re going to zone it. It’s just as cheap today to send a, you know, fish 15 helps package from my little town in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as it is for me to send it to Hawaii. Now, how does that make sense financially, right? It doesn’t. I agree. So they have to put a structure in place to fix that. Right. And they’re saying, hey wait, now ideally I’d like to see the rate from here to Harrisburg go way down.

Stephen:                             [08:27]                     Right. You know, I’m not certain that’s going to happen. No, it won’t. But it does make sense that it goes up for Hawaii and the challenge is those of us who built her business, I’m just picking on Ebay right now. Um, but those of us who built our business on free shipping or a, or not putting in zone, not setting them up correctly. If you’re old and you have old ebay listings, which I do a couple of thousand, um, you know, we were doing what was right at the time. Well, it’s evolved and I think that that’s one of the more challenging parts is how do you go back and fix that piece of your business? And I’m only talking shipping, but it’s not just shipping. It’s the html language that got changed. Or Amazon are used to allow html. Now they don’t or used a third party and then they’d have an updated their interface. And every one of these are real examples of. This is what I would say, and correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think if you don’t have the cost of the ability to financially make those changes in your business, then your business is nowhere near as profitable as you think it is.

Anna:                                    [09:32]                     I agree. I totally agree. It’s almost like you have to have a mental financial slush fund for surprises that will pop up and if you don’t have that then maybe it’s not as strong or maybe you need to change and have some business savings. And I know people don’t usually think of savings in a business, but it’s important because of these unfunded surprises.

Stephen:                             [09:51]                     Yeah. It’s um, you know, you think about like you’ve worked in corporate America, you think about those companies and we downplay the value of those small administrative positions. Right. You know, it was my full time job was removing them. Any place I could, I can go into a company and squeeze. I was an expert at it. That’s why they moved me up so many times because I can go into a company and say, you done, done, done, done, done. Okay. Seventy percent of the staff is gone. We can do it through technology. It’s awful to think about, but it’s true. That’s what that was my skill set here. We sit there and say hey, we can do it ourselves. Hannah, you’re a one person operation. Right? But Yep. And you’re only focusing on the fun parts of the stuff that you like, that other stuff gets missed and over time it builds up. So I just think that this is one of those things that if you set yourself up, and I like what you described, a little bit of a slush fund, a little bit of a what if in your budget. And that’s painful though because that’s inventory. I can’t Pie Yana

Anna:                                    [10:49]                     and it is painful and you know, it’s kind of the risk reward thing. You can risk not having it and if nothing pops up then you made a good choice and you can have it and be glad you did. If something does pop up, and I’m not talking a lot, but you know, maybe like a month of operating expenses are two weeks worth in case something happens. You want to make sure that you can pay necessary bills and you know, you can also say, well, I personally may need to fund it and kind of planned for that to thinking of yourself and your business as two entities.

Stephen:                             [11:19]                     And so on your balance sheet, what would you call that?

Anna:                                    [11:22]                     Um, you know, you literally could just have a savings account and put some whatever dollar amount in that and you know, you can call it reserve or just savings account, you know, keeping it really simple

Stephen:                             [11:32]                     and it’s kind of one of those, uh, my, my older son uses a thing called you need a budget. And it was a, it was kind of concept. Yeah. It was kind of the concept of accounting for every dime that you get now. Not judging each time, but when you’re accountable, when you see it all right, every single dime, you start to realize, Whoa, I spent that much money in starbucks coffee at $5 a day. Yes, it could add up. But it’s just one of those things where there’s no judgment other than just knowing what you know. And so he would, he would be like, oh, we got to replace our hot water heater, no big deal. We had all that budgeted and so his bank account might show, you know, $7,378, but every dime is spoken for an hour. Just love that. And so we could do that in business.

Stephen:                             [12:17]                     I think it’s very healthy. We have one for um, so we sell finance, right? We don’t borrow money. So for us it’s a sell financing fund where we can put that money aside and then when we need to make a purchase we can just pull it out and make that purchase. Okay. Cool. Alright, well let’s talk about closing out your rent. Um, I think most people by now, if you’ve been in this world for awhile, had been doing quarterly financials, paying your quarterly taxes. I hope so. There’s no big tech surprise coming other than the value of q four being so large, you probably have a large amount. What are the things that you recommend that people need to start thinking about this week? Because this is going to come out real close to your rent. I mean this is just about. And so if you’re a newer seller where if you’re a more seasoned seller, things that you say are the places to start to close out 2018.

Anna:                                    [13:07]                     Love this question. I think the number one thing to consider is inventory. It’s really important to value your unsold inventory at year end. That means both inventory at Amazon, if you’re an Amazon seller and also inventory at your home or your warehouse, make sure first of all that all of that is sellable, are salable. Um, you know, if you have something Valentine’s Day, 2018, it’s probably a good year, a good idea to get rid of something like that because you want to make sure the value that you have of unsold inventory at December 31st is all actually legitimate saleable inventory. You know, nothing damaged or you can no longer sell it because the brand is restricted, dated 2018. Those types of things. You want to remove those from your inventory.

Stephen:                             [13:53]                     Well, let me qualify. I’m a, I do have an accounting degree. I am not a CPA, so I want to make sure I’m clear on that. Um, so my advice is just my experience, not, not giving advice, but one of the things you could do is taking, get rid of that stale inventory. So now when you write it off, right, you write it down, you donate it, you do whatever. It’s going to adjust your cost of goods. Now you cannot write it off. I’ve seen some people say, Hey, I’m selling this for 40 bucks. That means I get to write off 40 bucks. No, you get to write off the value of your cost. However, if you’re doing it at a lost, you can account for that my correct when I say that.

Anna:                                    [14:29]                     Well, yes and no, and I want to be really careful here because that’s you and I both know neither of us are professionals that are engaged to help anyone listening. So run this by your tax professional, but accounting records are denominated, are valued at lower of cost or market. So you want to think about it that way. If something cost you, and I’m going to use round numbers $1, you listed it for 300, but now the market is only 90, you could consider maybe writing it off at market, but the problem is, is if there’s a lot of judgment involved and you know, these adjusting inventory values can get kind of, um, you can expose yourself to question that. You’d have to substantiate. So my professional opinion is leaving the value at cost is probably the wisest thing. So that would be 100, unless you have a really good reason and support documentation for a lower value that you’re writing off, but you’re correct in that case, you certainly can’t write off $300 this fantasy price or whatever it was when you, when you purchased it.

Stephen:                             [15:30]                     And so by doing that, you’re basically getting your inventory level accurate because of sellable merchandise, right? The rest of it gets off. You don’t benefit, but you don’t lose in theory, right? You never got the benefit of selling it. There might might’ve been carrying costs if you financed it terribly. Could would be awful. But, but you get it off your books, uh, there’s no revenue and virtually no expense. In essence, they go away if you do it at cost. Now you can also take, if I’m correct, correct me if I’m wrong, you can also take and donate that I’m for, I think that’s market value. Correct. And you need a receipt, um, and most charities will give you a receipt. And I correct when I say that, yes, but it’s cost or market. I mean it’s low, it’s the lower right,

Anna:                                    [16:13]                     right. And also what you cannot do, and I know that you know this, but just to clarify, because this question comes up a lot. What you can do is you can’t write the value. Let’s say you paid $100 and you write that off as cost of goods sold. Well you cannot donate it to charity and then turn around and take an additional $100 deduction on the tax return because that’s double dipping. So it’s kind of either or. Now what you can do is you can write it off and donate it to charity. You’ve taken the $100 as part of your cost of goods sold on your books and then you donate it to charity, but you just cannot take that additional $100 a second time around.

Stephen:                             [16:47]                     And so in essence you really don’t benefit other than you don’t get charged for it. So there is the benefit, right? Does that kind of the way? Right,

Anna:                                    [16:53]                     exactly. And your heart feels good and you know, people always say I need to hurry up and donate these things. Well, not necessarily. If you write it off as of December 31st, then you can certainly go January first and donated because you don’t get any additional benefit on your books from having done that before year end.

Stephen:                             [17:08]                     Right, right. And that’s smart for people to understand. One of the other ones that I think, um, for a year end that people are doing right now is they’re looking at the old, was it, when was it [inaudible]? Seventy nine. Oh my God, I’m this. What’s the cold section one? Section one 79. And that’s, that numbers has moved. Last year it was in 2018. It’s pretty high, right? And so this is a place where I’ve seen some people talking about buying a vehicle and there are different limitations, so against you, they’re giving you advice, but there are different limitations. You do need to talk to your tax professional. Um, however, you know, the negative of buying a vehicle is you do get to write off the cost and stuff like that, but do lose the ability to do certain deductions. Now taking that one 79, you can write the whole value of up to a certain dollar amount. Correct? That is correct. That means then you don’t get to depreciate it over time if you’ve already written it off.

Anna:                                    [18:04]                     Exactly. And there are also restrictions about the use of the vehicle. You can’t do that and say it’s for Your Business and then, you know, run your kids around and go on vacation and only use it for personal use. And I know people know that, but the rules are really clear and it’s always good to get advice and guidance because some vehicles actually have mixed use business and personal. So you just need to be a little bit careful about that.

Stephen:                             [18:26]                     And in today’s social media world, if choose to enforce it and they see, you know, it was in New York last week, they see you in New York with it, uh, you know, sipping champagne on times square. That might not be a good, uh, that might be a way that, that can be used against you. So be cautious about those things. Right? It’s smart. You don’t think about it.

Anna:                                    [18:47]                     It’s true though. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I think a Ferrari is an excellent sourcing vehicle.

Stephen:                             [18:52]                     Yeah. I could fit that pair of shoes in the front seat. Yeah. Want at least one. So when, when we think about other preparation things to close out, cost of goods is the scariest one, right? I mean most of it, like I’m, I’m one of these nerds who still use as a legal pad to track my mileage and everybody looks at me and they laugh at me. There’s apps for that. And there’s, um, I’m, I have legal pads everywhere because that’s what I grew up with. Right? But those kinds of things are relatively easy to close out, do your calculations, that kind of thing. But cost of goods I think is the hardest and probably the most difficult to really understand for people. Would you say that

Anna:                                    [19:31]                     I agree and you know, people gripe and complain and I really do get it and empathize that is it a hassle. But also remember this is an inventory based business. So this is part of the deal of doing this business and I think what’s so difficult for people is it’s really hard to associate the dollar amount spent with each item of inventory when you have a large volume of inventory or you’re sourcing at thrift stores and yard sale. So you just have to have a system. And it’s interesting to me that you say legal pad because if that’s what works, then do it. We all have to, you know, some people want really complicated, complex barcode scanners and software. Other people literally just write it down. So I encourage each of you to not do what someone else is doing, do what’s best for you. But do you have an organized system?

Stephen:                             [20:18]                     Well, it’s defensible, right? I mean if I show, I mean my, my legitimate legal pad and you can see the ink change every time. You could see this coffee stains on it. Yeah, there’s always something but that’s reasonable. That would be a reasonable deduct. And I’m always about reasonable because that’s, I mean anytime you’ve ever dealt with the irs, I mean everybody gets scared, but generally speaking, the reasonable cause you could show this is how we do it because you’re way ahead of most people’s just because you tracked it. And to me that’s fair. A month sander

Anna:                                    [20:44]                     is consistent, diligent effort. That’s their standard.

Stephen:                             [20:48]                     Oh, I like that. That’s emerged shirt. Somebody consistent and diligent effort. There you go. Make the shirt, send me a link and I’ll buy it. That’s awesome. All right. Uh, other things that we need to be thinking, oh, I’m blowing over cost of goods because Anna does such an amazing job explaining how to really do it with real examples, real examples and accounting. We will go group. And um, that’s Anna’s group. It’s a free group to join. She just wants to make sure you’re real. But in there, there are so many examples of real sellers and ecommerce related in that group, that’s where you want to go to look to get your arms around it. And that’s the safe place to ask a question to correct take place. I do not mock, we support even repeat questions. We have a big pin post at the top that are the top 10 questions people ask all the time.

Stephen:                             [21:34]                     So please join it as free and um, you know, it’s a great place to work. And then when you do have questions of the moment, you know, ask or ask for air, quote a friend. And to be fair, and this isn’t meant as a criticism, the best questions don’t come from you and allison generally, right? They come from other people and you’re like, Ooh, I hadn’t thought about that. But that’s a great point. Correct. Absolutely. And you know, if, if a person has a question, this happens sometimes and they’re embarrassed, they can send me a private message and then I won’t name them. But I will say, someone sent me this question via private message and here’s the answer. So that’s certainly an option as well because this is money is personal and there’s an emotional trigger with it and that’s why I like to keep the group really focused on just accounting as many.

Stephen:                             [22:19]                     There are many other things I would love to talk about, but it’s really just about that. So you can get your questions answered and multiple ways. It’s terrifying for somebody who has not filed taxes and all of a sudden they get the 10, 99 right there. You haven’t done it for years. And then they’re like, oh my God, I’ve hit a threshold, which I think is 200 sales and $20,000 I think is the two metrics, right? I believe so, yeah. Enrolled you have to file anyway. Even if you do not get the 10, 99 as you know. But that’s a popular misconception. So I just wanted to wait. If I don’t get a ton of. I don’t have to violent it was. No, no, it’s just like sales tax, right? If you don’t pay sales tax for something that you legitimately should have a right, that’s not using the manufacturing, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, depending on your state.

Stephen:                             [23:09]                     Do I don’t have to pay it will? Yes you do. You have it. It’s called use tax. That’s why they ask did you use anything? Right? Um, in today’s Day and age with state tech sales tech stuff, that’s complicated too and I don’t want to get into that. Um, because there’s so many changes. Even this week I saw more changed. I mean, it’s crazy to try and keep up with that. I agree. All right, so let’s stay on the easier stuff. Um, okay. So other things that we really need to be thinking about closing out 2018, what else would you say? Well, I think for those that unfortunately haven’t taken the time to separate business and personal bank accounts, this happens

Anna:                                    [23:46]                     all the time. I wish people wouldn’t do this. They make it harder on themselves. But two things. Number one, before your end, please open a separate business account please. It doesn’t necessarily have to be designated business by your bank. Just open a separate account. Obviously you want to run that by your tax professional, but you are going to save yourself so many headaches if you have a separate business and personal account, so that’s the big.

Stephen:                             [24:11]                     That’s a big one. I have a good story about that. My son and my younger son who’s in our working with the center business, he’s still in college, but he’s into a band. He’s their manager and I’m like, Oh God. And he’s like, but they sell some equipment here and there or whatever and they get a little bit of money and it was run through pay pal and he’s like, Dad, they gave me a paypal account so that we can keep track of so everything. So it’s a paypal debit card, which I like. Right. So he’s not borrowing money. There’s no financial risk there, but all expenses then get tracked with there and all revenues kitchen. I’m like, dude, that’s. That’s a business right there. That’s a model because you’re going to see revenues and expenses all given through a free pay pal account. Now pay pal winds because they get to hold the money and not pay any interest on, you know, that’s cool for them, but what a cool on the other side of a small, you know, young guy starting out in business, not really understanding it. To me that is a simple, simple model that you can do is run it through paypal or run it through. I guess Amazon has something similar and you can do that and put all your expenses and all your revenues in there. Right? Simple.

Anna:                                    [25:15]                     I totally agree. It’s very simple and I’m such a fan of keeping things simple. Simple doesn’t mean not sufficient. Simple means what is the best way to handle the tracking of these transactions that don’t drive me insane?

Stephen:                             [25:28]                     Well, it’s one of the. My rule of thumb is if I’m going to use it to make decisions, we should do it. If it’s not going to help me make any better decisions, it’s a waste of time. It’s neat. Be Cool to say, wow, you know, and I’ve got 28 Robynne revenue models. That’s one of my business, you know, and you’d be impressed, right? You know, oh no, no. You’d be like, dude, you got problems, man. What are you going to do with that? Right? Because we all know that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your business, so that’s the place you should focus, not the rest of that nonsense. Just to be able to say, well, I took $2 in adsense revenue this month and is that pretty impressive? But you can get caught up in it because you see others. Um, you know, uh, there’s a gentleman out there who has a, he calls them a rented cfo, but it’s a service you can, you can hire these. That’s what they do. That’s what that level of business requires, that if you’re a, you know, a five or $10,000 a month, a Amazon, or even even better, an etsy seller, you don’t require that kind of stuff. It’s not going to help you make any decisions.

Anna:                                    [26:35]                     No, it’s not there. In fact, there’s one ratio that I encourage everyone to always be aware of. And if you just start with only this one, then you’re in really good shape. And this doesn’t really apply to you because you sell finance, but those of you who have chosen to use credit or debt, hopefully responsibly because it’s a slippery slope. But if you have, it’s really, really important to always keep an eye on the value of your unsold inventory as it compares to debt. Always know that relationship. I love it.

Stephen:                             [27:03]                     Well, what’s a. what’s a good rule of thumb? This is value right here. No, this is not your pin. Well this is your opinion about your business, but we say it that way.

Anna:                                    [27:13]                     You know, actually that’s a really interesting question. I did a lot of research on it and I didn’t really find anything good except what I found out was in retail, brick and mortar 30 percent is the golden golden rule. So that means if you have a $10,000 worth of inventory and you have a brick and mortar store, you never wanted to have debt, have more than $3,000 to acquire the inventory. And it Kinda had to do with the three month cycle of inventory turn for retail. Which I thought was really interesting. So I’m a nerd here, but I hear you like, who? I love it.

Stephen:                             [27:48]                     I do love it because we don’t think about inventory turns you. It’s it, it becomes a buzzword every so often. But you know, now you know, and let’s face it, Amazon with their storage fees and all the goofy stuff that they do is designed for that. They’re saying, Hey, wait a second steve, we’re not your warehouse, right? There’s five in my town, but not for Steve to keep his stuff there. It’s convenient. They’re like, no, we are a fulfillment service. We are here to get your inventory in and hopefully the same day, it never even makes it to the shelves. It just turns away and gets right out. And so if you have inventory that lasts longer than three months, um, and, and I’m guilty of it because I’ve got a warehouse full of inventory that lasted longer than three months. Hannah, let’s be self admitting it, but it’s stuff that I bought because, oh my God, I got it so cheap.

Stephen:                             [28:33]                     That doesn’t mean it’s profitable. It just means it sits on my shelf and collects dust. But it’s the truth, if you’re running a real ecommerce business with debt, you can’t afford to keep it longer than three months because I mean, what’s, what’s, uh, I think here’s another place that people get in trouble. They don’t understand that business debt rates are always going to be higher than personal rates. And that doesn’t make sense. They don’t understand library. They don’t understand, you know, um, those, those financing. We used to use a formula if it was better than a 12 percent because we could, we could float bonds and, and get 12 percent. You hit those math. That math doesn’t work anymore, does it?

Anna:                                    [29:12]                     No, it does not. It certainly doesn’t. And I think again, keeping things simple is best. And what I always tell people when their eyes start to roll back in their head and they think about this, if they think about a home and a mortgage, think about your business a little bit that way. Your home is like the inventory and the mortgages, the debt. So you never, ever, ever, of course, one of more on your home than you do on the home value. And the exact same principle applies, you certainly never want to do that in your business and people would prefer to have their home paid offers, low mortgage as possible, and apply those same principles to the business and think about it, if I feel comfortable having responsible debt, what percent of inventory value do I feel comfortable with because we don’t want to live in a negative environment, but we simply don’t know when things are gonna happen. And so it’s really, really important to keep an eye on those two numbers. And that’s the one takeaway I would encourage everyone to please make sure if you don’t have a way to value unsold inventory regularly, this is exactly why you want to do it. That’s your risk. How much are you exposing if something should happen

Stephen:                             [30:18]                     and you, you’ve got to be honest about your inventory. Is it sellable inventory? So kind of that example we were talking about earlier, you’ve got to get the junk off the book is not going to sell, right? You’re $100 item example. If it’s now, if the market’s $30, you got to get that off or right. The value of it down because then you could sit there and well my percentage of debt versus my inventory, but that’s not sellable inventory. We all know we got that stuff that’s not going to sell. So you got to take that out.

Anna:                                    [30:46]                     It’s again, it’s like the house. Everyone thinks their house is worth more than it is. Well, you know, and then you talked to the realtor when you want to sell it. Oh sorry. It’s actually worth blah blah blah. You have to be very realistic. Even be conservative about it just so that you’re, you’re really safe and careful because I don’t want anyone to start a business and then ended up tricking themselves into thinking that they have something that’s worth more than it isn’t, you know, it’s just like the scale you got to get on the scale and like you to go there. I didn’t. Yeah, I know. But you know, you can’t manage what you don’t measure and I know that’s kind of an overused expression, but it really is true. And while there is some joy and not knowing your numbers or your weight, especially after vacation, that’s not a constant permanent state that safe to live in. It just isn’t.

Stephen:                             [31:28]                     It’s denial. And I’m guilty of it just after eating my way to New York City. I’m in denial. Well wait until next year, next year. You know what the, uh, um, the new year’s resolutions coming next week. Uh, and so, uh, or maybe this week when this comes out and people can start. But again, this is a, I think what I get excited about this, and I know you do too, is this is a chance at redemption for anybody. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how messed up your businesses. This is a chance, that chance at redemption, this is your chance to say, put a line in the sand and say, I’m not going to do it again, right? I’m not going to eat a four pounds of twizzlers. Andy Slam and stopped bringing them to the warehouse. I’m not eating them. Darn it. And I haven’t, I haven’t. I have lived through that.

Stephen:                             [32:13]                     But it’s, it’s a line in the sand and you got to do that with your business too. You’ve got to sit back and say, okay, I didn’t do a good job. Okay, make the next right decision. Then make the next right decision. And you make the next right is all of a sudden you have a pattern. Right. You know, this week there’s some news about the stock market really taken a dive and I think if they are in Bitcoin, two good examples where people scarily pulled money out of their house or their big equity or their inventory against their and invested in these hot things. Well both are good examples and the stock market and it was real this year. It looks like everything, every industry. I think I read that if you kept your money in cash, he would have gotten one that was the best return. If you kept your money in cash and money market, that’s pretty sad. Right? But, but if, if you don’t build that risk into your model, you’re asking for trouble.

Anna:                                    [33:03]                     I agree. I totally agree.

Stephen:                             [33:05]                     Hmm. Okay. So anything else to close out? Two Thousand and 18 that you think are real pain points and pinch points that people need to be looking at.

Anna:                                    [33:14]                     You know, I think if people can start with those items, everything else kind of follows behind that.

Stephen:                             [33:19]                     Okay. Yeah, and I think like payroll and stuff like that, that that’s where we use an outside service to do orange and it’s just they give you the journal entries and if you use, and we’re going to talk about quickbooks in a minute, but quickbooks, our accountant has access to it and they go in and make any correcting entries. There were adjustments and stuff like that and so that’s a very smart, very powerful tool to use. So let’s jump to 2019 planning. So me and Mr. nerd creates my plan in excel because that’s how I know how to do it because that’s the way I’ve always done it. I create this masterful excel planning worksheet. Do 12 month allocations for somethings or 52 week allocations and then percentages for cost of goods. If you know your cost of goods cost is 33 percent, you could reasonably bring that forward, right? This isn’t complicated modeling, but that’s how you can kind of see. And so if you operated at a loss and you change nothing, you’re likely to operate at a loss, right? So by doing a plan and literally now we break it down by because we sell in so many different places, each one individually and um, it is nerdy, but I really, really love it when it’s seen and you can kind of know how you’re going to do, do, do your outlier clients, the successful ones really put in that effort and time. Would you say,

Anna:                                    [34:40]                     you know, it’s, it’s interesting. I have, I’m probably a smaller percentage that do not. I think that there’s just a little bit of luck involved and then one or two who have a niche they just excel in. But in general it does take that kind of planning and I think it takes a positive money mindset. And I like to talk about this, especially this time of year and you already touched on it. For those who haven’t done the things that they know that they should have or things didn’t work out, that happens to everyone. There’s not a single person in this entire universe who hasn’t made money. Mistakes that in retrospect they wish that they hadn’t done so forgive yourself for that move on and yes, do some planning and if you don’t know where to start, start picking targets. Say, okay, I’ve heard a third is a rule of thumb, so I’m going to say 30 percent cost, a good soul. Just get some stuff down on paper and you can adjust it. This isn’t, you know, to live and die by. This is just information and feedback.

Stephen:                             [35:33]                     Well, what would that example you just gave is a perfect example. When you measure against that 30 percent, you now see a delta. I always called it delta. The difference, right? And then is that difference? Make sense? If you slice that, we used to peel back the onion, right? You slice it a little bit deeper and all of a sudden you see that the reason your cost of goods is higher, it’s because of the category you sell in. You know you’re selling Rolex watches, right? You can’t get it below 50 percent and you can’t get it. The market’s so tight on the other end, you can’t get it a higher than that. Okay. That explains it. Now. You could stay in that category of live with that, but you don’t want to unfairly measure yourself against that third and beat yourself up and say, oh my God, my models terrible. No, that might be the model that you’re with. You just want to narrow then and say, okay, cost of goods to sell rolex watches or 52 percent or something like that. By knowing that though, to me that’s the power because otherwise you just sit back and you know, when somebody like my Alana, you know, how you doing? How’s your cost of goods minus 30 percent, what’s your church? Right? And then you’re like, oh crap. You know, you feel bad. Right?

Anna:                                    [36:38]                     You and I are the only nerds who would have that conversation. That’s true. But you know, I want to say something about that and I always, I love this expression. It’s not about profession per perfection. It’s about resilience and recovery. That’s where the growth happens and the resilience and the recovery. It’s not about getting the estimates in the budget. Perfect. It’s just a measurement. Yeah,

Stephen:                             [37:00]                     it’s a guess. Right. You know, I saw somebody posted and they were disappointed they didn’t hit a million dollars in sales. However, he also said that a whole bunch of the sales he was trying to get to get to his million. We’re not profitable sales. Ooh. Now there’s the lesson, right? There’s the lesson right there. Alright, so, so, you know, basic budgeting would be, you know, revenue expense and then really where you want to be really, really kind of exact. Do you want to really break it down is I think you’re, you’re outside of cost of goods because those are controllable, you know, a cost of goods is a variable cost, meaning that it, it ebbs and flows with your sales or at least it should in theory, correct? Correct. Correct. Then you have your fixed expenses, so in our case we have a little bit of staff, family, but staff, we have a warehouse.

Stephen:                             [37:53]                     We going to have an electric bill and we’re going to have a heat bill. That’s going to be pretty brutal this year because it’s been pretty cold. Right. But you start breaking them down. So we get nerdy enough in our little business here where we break down all those examples. We do a lot of merchant fulfilling, so buying boxes. This q four, I bought more boxes. I literally. There’s a company called associated bags which is similar to you live a little bit smaller. I bought every single box for a certain size from their location. They’re like, Steve, what do you do? And I’m like, can you restock? She goes, not until January because I. We bought everything because it was such a weird year for a merchant fulfilling, but it’s just an example that I paid a premium for those because I wasn’t smart enough to buy them in advance at a better, but there’s the opportunity, right, right. I can kind of predict that’s going to happen again next year, so there is a place I can squeeze a little more margin out of our business versus 2018 and I can plan for it. So that to me, that’s. That’s where I get so excited about this stuff. It’s like, oh, I can’t wait until that happens. I’m going to win this time.

Anna:                                    [38:55]                     Yes. It really does instill a sense of competition against ourselves that makes it a lot of fun and it’s so rewarding when we meet those goals and then again, when we don’t meet them, okay, what can I learn from this? How can I really get it next time?

Stephen:                             [39:08]                     So, so we’re going to talk about a quickbooks in a moment, but I want to make sure people are clear that when you’re starting out in this business, you do not have to get this complicated. As Anna mentioned, simple is better, right? Just a checkbook with an excel spreadsheet showing a profit and loss is. It is something you could bring your tax professional that would be better than half the people that give them, you know, you’ve got support for everything. It makes sense. It’s in these categories that is very helpful and that’s a great place to start. But when you want to get to that next level, when you want to start really getting to work on your business as the guy says, instead of instead of in your business, work on it. I think quickbooks, um, and I know there’s fresh books and there’s a couple other ones, but I’m a quickbooks fan myself and using it for ever in some of the businesses we’ve had.

Stephen:                             [39:56]                     And it allows you to do all the things that we were just talking about, to get a good clean income statement and get a good clean balance sheet to put a planet. We actually put our plan in there and we even use it for a personal, for our personal. I’m a famous too. We do that is fancy. I’m well it’s another listed his, our company it, it’s true. It’s just because we’ve been using them for years and I’m so comfortable in it and I can put a budget because we go through this. This is the month my wife and I do our budget for next year for personal, the same thing. And so it’s just a great way to apply just to take vacations. You want to do this. So for me, with my podcast for example, I travel a lot while I have to budget for all these trips. And so by knowing that, I think that’s where quickbooks shines above and beyond and wait to hear this. I even went to quickbooks online and I got rid of the software off my desktop. Oh

Anna:                                    [40:48]                     yes. I’m so happy to hear that.

Stephen:                             [40:49]                     That’s true. That was this year and I’ve been doing it forever, but now we actually went online and my God, I can work from here. I could work from across the warehouse, I could work from my home, I could go on my phone. It’s pretty cool. Yeah, that’s cool. So talk to me about why you recommend quickbooks. It has a course on quickbooks, right? Very specific, uh, for ecommerce though. Um, why, why was quick books the one that you chose versus some of the others?

Anna:                                    [41:20]                     What’s interesting is at first I didn’t choose it. I tested out several different softwares because there are many options and over and over and over again, people gave me feedback that they learned quickbooks more easily or I noticed that I wasn’t having as many questions or people would actually start to get joy out of doing their books instead of frustration and irritation. And that’s like a small miracle as you know. So it just kind of self selected as it being the easiest to learn. It has really great import functions for historical data. Um, and I just really like it. They are always updating and making changes, but you never wake up one day and the whole thing’s different. They’re just constantly evolving it slowly and I think it’s a really great tool. I think it’s easy to use. It’s easy to teach and easy to learn.

Stephen:                             [42:06]                     The other thing I think is really, really important is that, you know, your tax professional. I’m almost probably, that’s what they use. That’s what they’re so used to for. I don’t care what other kinds of tax they do. So if they represent plumbers where I have a friend who’s a tax guy and he represents dentists, that’s one of his things. They are so used to quickbooks. It gives them the ability to get in and get things done. I think that’s critical. Like I said, my art are the guy who does our taxes. They literally sign into our system now that it’s on. He was thrilled to death to now that it’s out in the cloud and he just literally signs it because, and they’re not only doing ecommerce stuff, they, they represent, you know, all different kinds of, um, uh, companies. That’s to me very important that they understand the system because they have coached me through some different things like, hey, you could do this if this might help or do it this way. Steve,

Anna:                                    [43:00]                     I think that’s great. I agree. I love that that tax professionals can log in. They can even take a peek midyear. It’s always good to do some planning if you’re at that point and just having the ability to be able to share instantly, automatically instead of emailing the file or saving it and dropbox and transferring it or sending in actual papers. It’s just so much better. It’s a better use of time than fiddling around with all that other stuff.

Stephen:                             [43:25]                     I think what you just said is really powerful to have those midyear conversations or quarterly conversations. It’s only going to enhance your business, right? It’s going to rear ugly. It could. Yeah. Great News and the great news is great. If you have to put a lot of tax aside and it’s a surprise, that’s not great. That’s never great. When he’s like, Hey, Whoa, here’s your quarterly deposit, this woo. I didn’t expect that. I was just, don’t forget who I said is just within. They were like, oh my God, I got this thing. Um, and it’s, it’s scary. I mean, it really is scary.

Anna:                                    [43:57]                     I agree. And you know, I just want to say real quickly, you mentioned having a conversation with your wife about your budget as a, as a family. And you know, the whole purpose of having a business is to meet your personal financial goals. That’s my opinion. I mean, it’s great to have a business and there’s other reasons. You know, quit your day job, all of these wonderful things, but ultimately it’s your business can meet your personal financial goals. So if you’re not at the point of doing these quick books, budgets and all of these other things we’ve talked about, make sure that you sit down yourself, your significant other or you know, have a talk with yourself as nerdy as that and make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve personally because then you have something that’s, that suits your why. I’m doing this because I want to save for a vacation. I want to quit my day job. I want to send my kids to college. I want to pay my house off. Those are a lot more fun to reach for. Then I want a million dollars in sales.

Stephen:                             [44:51]                     Yeah. Yeah, because it doesn’t really mean anything. I just saw somebody in one of my other groups who just paid off their home. I love it. Literally paid off their home. They had planned. They figured out a way to do it and they did it through reselling, but they are so far ahead in their life now because that takes away the biggest fear that in healthcare I think are the two big fears. They got rid of the 80 pound gorilla right off their back. It’s gone.

Anna:                                    [45:16]                     Oh my gosh. I just got chills. That is awesome. How about you?

Stephen:                             [45:19]                     And that’s what my comment was. That’s so much better than seeing somebody higher sales figures because that’s. That’s, that’s. Oh yeah. I get the chills thinking about it too. Okay, so let’s talk about the course. What, what is the course and what isn’t your course?

Anna:                                    [45:33]                     Well, the course is really cool. What it does is it allows ecommerce sellers, inventory sellers to go from a pile of receipts to results, and if you’re already using quickbooks or you want to start using quick books, it’s a great resource to make sure you’re doing things as efficiently as possible. You know, I have clients who I do bookkeeping for this exact same system we use for them and it works. We know what is the best way to go about doing it, the most efficient way to do things, the most painless way to do things, and if you just follow step by step and our nine units from beginning to end, you’re going to have your books in order. You’ll be able to have all of these cool measurements we’re talking about and once it’s all caught up, it should just require several hours a month of maintenance either a couple times a month or a big marathon Friday, whatever. You want to always know your numbers and that is my goal.

Stephen:                             [46:22]                     Well, that’s very powerful. So no matter what, you’re still going to have to put some time in, but a couple of hours a month or a couple of hours twice a month to keep it up because I think that’s one of the things that gets away. It’s q four and I don’t have time, I don’t have time, but when you break it down into those couple hour increments, you can manage that time because again, as we said, this is important. This is this, this is, uh, one of the best ways to know how your q four is going rather than just looking at sales. Is it profitable? If it’s not, let’s deal with it.

Anna:                                    [46:54]                     Sure. Exactly. Exactly. And you know, I, I have noticed that people spend more time stressing and worrying about accounting than if they would just do it. And I wanted to leave that stress and make it go away. This is a solution.

Stephen:                             [47:07]                     Yeah, it is. The other thing that’s cool is that you fine tune this over how many years with how many clients? To me, you’re figuring out best practice, right? You started this. I am assuming this is Steve Assumption, which could get me in trouble, but it’s like, hey, this is the way we, the way I did it, you know, you around this and this is what you guys did your books and then therefore you brought Steve’s on and you, oh, he’s doing it better, not Steve, me, somebody else, and and it was like, oh, okay, let’s tweak. And then you change everybody to that model and you just keep fine tuning it over time. I think that’s very exciting.

Anna:                                    [47:41]                     Exactly. And I do it for, you know, have a very small ecommerce business where I sell home textiles from India and I use it for mine and that’s Kinda how it grew and started eating people through my group and I realized people wanted step-by-step spoonfed. They didn’t want to go in the group and fish around for all of the parts and pieces. So I have it laid out beginning to end, like literally log onto the quickbooks website and set up an account to hear your financial statements. This is how you read them and understand them.

Stephen:                             [48:08]                     It’s building blocks foundational to me. That’s very exciting because when you start with a strong founder, it’s just like life. When you start with a strong foundation, guess what? When you fall and everybody falls or stumbles, you don’t fall very far when you have no foundation and when you fall, it’s a long lonely way down.

Anna:                                    [48:25]                     Oh, it sure is. And it can be painful and have negative consequences, you know, personally and in your business. So I really, really encourage people to have some kind of system and this is certainly an option for them.

Stephen:                             [48:37]                     Yeah. And, and again, I’m qualifying this. I’m not benefiting. She’s not paying me anything to say this. I’m telling you that you could stay simple, if that makes sense. You use my example of my son with his paypal card. There’s another group scavenger life. I think that’s how they do theirs. It’s all your expenses and all your revenue’s come right through that card and you can do that. Or your example even better is a checkbook. Just a simple separate checking account where all your revenue, all your deposits go in there, your Amazon accounts linked. They are your Ebay or etsy or whatever. Our lead there, so therefore all your revenue’s going in and then every time you have an expense it comes out of that checkbook. That’s the basis for a good set of books, right? Revenues and expenses,

Anna:                                    [49:18]                     that’s all you need at a minimum. And it kind of mirrors the tax return. Think about the tax return. Are Your records enabling you to do that? And if so, then that certainly inadequate start.

Stephen:                             [49:29]                     You know, it’s funny, I was thinking about our own business. We write so few checks, I mean anymore because almost everything’s done digitally and that’s one of the great values of using quickbooks because I get nerdy enough when they took the account or a credit card statement. Now I don’t interface my credit card statement. Some people do. Uh, we got a lot of moving pieces and so I’ll give you all the reasons I don’t, but we just do it manually. But I’m an old dude who highlights, you know, you would love it. I literally printed out and I highlight it color coded so I could use the same colors every month because it’s this weird. I just, you know, it’s like I drive the same way to get to my warehouse every single day, every stop sign, I wait the same amount of time. I just, that’s the way, but it, it’s, it’s consistent and I think that was one of the key things you said.

Stephen:                             [50:15]                     Okay, so to find out about this course, it’s called amz accounting simplified, but it really, the place to go is a accounting. We will go, that’s the place you want to go join. It’s free, 100 percent free. You can ask him questions, poke around, lurk, watch, pay attention and hopefully you’re going to see somebody else, you know in that group I’m in that group asked me, yeah, we have almost 10,000 members now. Can you believe that? That’s crazy. You guys are good, but you know what? Consistently you’re consistent. That’s what it is, but you go in there and safely look around and probably answer some of the questions that have been burning that you just don’t know where to ask. That’s the place to go. It’s 100 percent free if that you connect with that and you were looking to get to that next level and you just don’t know how to start this. Just the place to start again, it’s, what’d you say? Nine modules.

Anna:                                    [51:06]                     It’s nine modules literally from turn on the computer. That’s step one. Everyone can do that and build from there

Stephen:                             [51:13]                     and build from there. AMZ accounting, simplify. But again, that you can find the link in her group, her link in her group, and that’s a place you can ask questions. Um, is there a trial or is there anything that they get to peek at where they can actually look a little bit to see a little bit in there?

Anna:                                    [51:28]                     Well, what we’re doing is we’re having multiple emails that outline the nine, the nine, eight. There’s over 50 videos and bits and pieces. And um, as long as you request a refund by February 11th, we’re happy to refund. You know, sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know when they get in and think, oh my gosh, this is too much. I just need to pay someone to do it or make another choice. And I’m not about trapping people,

Stephen:                             [51:50]                     so. And that makes sense though. Sometimes it does make sense to pay somebody else. This is your, this isn’t your land. You look in there and you’re like, oh my God, this looks like a Picasso. Right. Makes it. Makes as much sense as a Picasso painting. So it guess what? That might make sense that you do hire somebody else and then you don’t have that. Okay. I, I, I appreciate it because again, I think your heart’s in the right place. You’re trying to teach people. You’re trying to help them get stronger in their business. But to be honest with you, here’s the mistake. A lot of companies asked the Enron guys, they have other people do their stuff and then they think that moves the accountability to them. Oh No, no, no, no, no. When the, when the irs comes knocking at your door, they’re not looking for them, although there could be in trouble, but you’re guilty, right? And so you’re responsible to know your numbers. And again, your business is only as valuable as that. So really, really important. I agree. Okay, so one more thing because you’re not busy enough, you are getting ready to launch a podcast, which I’m very, very excited about the Amazon accounting podcast. What’s your goal of, uh, creating a you, you’re on my show. So darn often, I mean, you know. Hey, why? Why your own podcast? Why, why do you want to get out there and talk to people?

Anna:                                    [53:02]                     Oh my gosh. Because it’s fun and I liked demystifying accounting and making people realize if I just have the proper guidance, I can do this. I want to answer all of the commonly struggled with topics and I want to get it out there and just be another way to reach people. Um, I’m very excited.

Stephen:                             [53:19]                     I’m excited too because I think the other thing that happens is the world will change next year, just like a change in 2018 and you can get a chance to talk about it while it’s current, while people are buzzing, because there’s always a panic. Anytime there’s a change, I don’t care what happens. Hey, they stopped putting big t’s on that page. They’re all small teas. I think that’s a subtle hint that they’re going to do. You know what I mean? That’s what happens. Right, and so when you start saying, no, wait a second, you know, fees are going up, but, or they, they eliminated six months storage fees, how does that affect your books? What about my inventory value? What about blah blah, blah, blah, blah. You could start parsing those, breaking them down and people just when they asked the question, when it’s current, they can, you know, it makes a lot more sense and so that I think is going to be the biggest benefit to those of us who listen and follow you so much because you’re going to be able to help demystify like that term, demystify some of that stuff and break it down for us.

Anna:                                    [54:13]                     I agree. I’m very, very excited about it and there’s so many frustrations people have and hearing about it versus reading about it. I’m hoping to reach other people in a different manner.

Stephen:                             [54:23]                     Well, new sellers coming in who asked the silly questions, hopefully that this will give them again, a a, a place to hear some of the answers that they’re afraid to ask and then you can lead them into accounting. We will go and so they can get into safe space where they’re not. You know, again, you’re a council is always look, talk to your tax professional, but when you go in with the right question, because if you don’t give them enough information, you’re going to get an answer. That doesn’t mean it’s the right answer. So when you’re informed and then you go in and you can have a real discussion, that’s when growth. What did you say? That’s when growth happens.

Anna:                                    [54:54]                     Exactly. It’s at, it’s in that moment. And also, you know, it’ll save a little bit on your bill if you’re a little bit more prepared to ask a focused question.

Stephen:                             [55:03]                     Yeah, they, they do bill by the hour, even though there’s sometimes a flat charge, not when you’re in business, it is a hourly billing and so they’ll number of hours, they’re gonna take. They’re gonna mark it up way too much. And you can negotiate that however you’re still, like you said, if you bring in a good. If you bring in the shoe box, right? Remember those old images where people brought it a shoe box. Here you go, here you go. And have a good time. Let me know when you’re done. That’s going to be expensive. But if you bring in a, uh, my opinion, again, I don’t even bring it into them anymore. I just share with quickbooks now and ready to go and then they just take care of it’s done and done. I love it. Yeah. And, and we do get a real return and you have to go sit and listen to him talk you through.

Stephen:                             [55:44]                     But that’s the place when you have those conversations because you’ve prepared it well, they then took it to the next level and then you can sit back and say, okay, where do you see opportunities? That’s a totally different conversation than, hey, you didn’t pay enough in estimates or whatever. You know what I mean? That’s the conversation. So much more enjoyable. Okay. Okay. Sorry, that’s the end. It’s also more valuable to. Oh yeah, everyone’s time. Okay. So we mentioned a couple of different things. So first off, accounting, we will go free group, please go join. Let’s make it 100,000. I’m amz. Accounting. Simplified is the quickbooks course, which again is what we use here in our business is quickbooks because it’s the standard and again, we went to the cloud model and I am thrilled to death bed. I don’t have to worry about having my computer stolen out of my warehouse. Broken hard, drive, fail. Don’t do backups as often as I should, like everybody else because we’re busy and that took it away and it’s so inexpensive. I mean, it’s pennies and uh, it’s just great. Okay. Any advice to close out this episode to really inspire people for 2019?

Anna:                                    [56:58]                     Oh Gosh. Please make this year. The year you commit to having a regular accounting routine. You may not know what that is right now and that’s okay, but please commit to doing it. Don’t spend more time worrying about it than just taking care of the problem.

Stephen:                             [57:13]                     Sage advice from our leader and Adel, man, I, I, I always look forward to this discussion. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success.

Anna:                                    [57:21]                     Thank you for having me. I loved it. As always, I appreciate your time.

Stephen:                             [57:26]                     How cool is that? She’s so cool. I mean it’s just so, so neat to hear somebody who so enthusiastic and so honest and open about what she does. And again, remember you don’t need to buy this course. Okay? But you might want to buy this course if it makes sense for you. Okay. But if it doesn’t, just do the paypal version like my son or just do your checkbook, whatever it is, just get a separate business account and start measuring and monitoring. Use Excel if that’s where you need to start. Get on that. Whatever it takes. Um, and then if you want to go to the next level, I’m like, she said there were lots of other options out there, but it does seem like this one just seems like the easiest one, the most consistent one. And, and this is the one where you only want to help.

Stephen:                             [58:05]                     How sexy is that? Only putting a couple of hours a month and to get a good set of financial statements all year long. Right? That sounds awesome. So ecommerce is how you find me. I’m accounting. You will. Accounting, we will go is an analysis group out on facebook, um, amz accounting, is a website where you can go and put in your email and you can get some stuff for free. Um, and then get ready for Anna’s Amazon accounting podcast. I’m going to be a little part of it and I’m very excited about that. Amazon accounting podcast coming soon. Take care.

Cool voice guy:                  [58:43]                     Thanks for listening to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at ecommerce momentum. Doug, come under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and the lake us on itunes.



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