Inventory management and eCommerce accounting can be very challenging for the small business owner.  Tracking products using a spreadsheet usually suffices at first, but can become burdensome as a business grows.  As experienced eCommerce accountants, Basis 365, recommends DEAR Systems because it provides several advantages over tracking inventory using spreadsheets.  

Here are 5 of our favorite features of DEAR:

1.Purchase Orders

Purchase orders can be created in DEAR and can be emailed from DEAR to the supplier. The POs may be for components or finished goods. There is also a receiving function in DEAR that adds the cost of the goods to the inventory balance. If components are purchased, finished goods can be assembled in DEAR. DEAR calculates the average unit cost throughout the purchase/assembly cycle so that cost of goods sold is accurate when a product is sold

2.Purchase Invoices

Supplier invoices can be processed in DEAR by your eCommerce accountant.  They are matched to open POs, and any quantity or unit cost adjustments can be made.  At this time, any additional shipping costs, duties, etc. can also be added to the purchase.  These additional costs increase the total purchase and equate to the landed cost of the purchased goods.

The final step in the supplier invoice process is payment.  The order in DEAR will show as unpaid until payment is made.  Once the payment is recorded, the purchase is marked complete.  

DEAR has filters, so that the status of all purchases can be tracked.  The most common states that a purchase may be in are, ordered, pending fulfillment, pending payment.

3.Location Tracking

eCommerce businesses usually sell their products in multiple ways, and inventory may be located in several different places.  Some may be at an Amazon warehouse when FBA is used.  A local storage site or 3PL may also hold inventory.  DEAR has the capability to provide inventory levels at each separate location.  The number of units available and their cost is easily accessible.

Sales are either processed manually or fed in automatically, and reduce the inventory at the applicable location.  If sufficient inventory is not available at a given location, DEAR will prevent the sale from completing.  A business owner or eCommerce accountant can easily transfer inventory between locations. Once there is enough inventory, a sale can be completed.

Shipping charges and sales tax can be added to a sales order.  DEAR also has a customer database that allows for quicker processing of repeat customers.

DEAR also has sales fulfillment and payment functionality so that the status of a sale is readily available.  Sales orders and invoices can be emailed to a customer directly out of the system.

Key metrics, like top selling SKUs and SKU profit margin are readily available.  DEAR has a customizable dashboard that allows business owners and eCommerce accountants to track key performance indicators.

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DEAR allows for manual processing, but a beneficial feature is the ability to integrate with other systems.  Most importantly, DEAR can be connected to other large eCommerce systems.  Amazon, ebay, Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce are just some of the sites.  This integration allows sales to be automatically loaded into DEAR.  As a result, the financial reporting discussed below is accurate and timely.  Your eCommerce accountant can spend time reviewing financial statements instead of processing manual transactions.

Almost as important as linking to where your products are sold, is connecting to your accounting system.  DEAR integrates with both QuickBooks Online and Xero.  Your eCommerce accountant can load purchases, sales, and adjustments, into your accounting system, with a click of a button.

There are other integrations made available by DEAR.  These include shipping applications, payment processors, point of sale software, and tax management tools.

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5.Financial Reporting

Accurate financial statements are critical for effective eCommerce accounting.  Ending inventory amounts are reported on the balance sheet and cost of goods sold is reported on the income statement.  All inventory purchases and sales can be processed in DEAR, so these amounts may be easily obtained from the system. 

DEAR has good reporting capabilities.  An eCommerce accountant can use the reports to ensure that the accounting system is in agreement with DEAR.  If a difference is identified, it can be quickly corrected.

eCommerce accountants use DEAR to ensure that your financial statements are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and provide the information for your tax returns to be accurately prepared.

eCommerce accounting can be time consuming and complicated.  Using manual processes sacrifices both accuracy and efficiency.  DEAR Systems is a solution to both problems.  It allows business owners and eCommerce accountants to manage purchases, inventory, sales, and produce reliable financial reports.  The ability to integrate with other systems also significantly improves the efficiency of eCommerce accounting.

Paul Burke