What do I need to notify my accountant about? A guide for e-commerce entrepreneurs

Andrea Piacquadio
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For many business owners, communication with accountants is limited to the essentials. We believe in a more free-flowing and friendly line of communications with our e-commerce entrepreneurs, but there are still some changes that you should mention to your accountant straight away.

E-commerce entrepreneurs should have regular contact with an e-commerce accountant to help scale their business and help them succeed. Regular catch-up video calls and emails are a great way to make sure you are doing all you can to grow your e-commerce business. Here’s a handy list to make sure you never find yourself wondering, “should I notify my accountant?”.

General Changes

  • When changing your entity structure – if you are planning on bringing in a partner, removing a partner, or becoming a limited company, be sure to discuss the implications for your business with your accountant first and notify them as soon as the change is made.
  • When opening/changing bank account – if you are switching account or opening a new debit or credit account, make sure your accountant is in the loop. They may even be able to make a recommendation if you ask them before you commit.
  • When taking out a loan – you should never take out a business loan without discussing it with your accountant. There may be additional ways to free up capital, defer payments or another creative solution. If you do take out a loan, alert your accountant immediately as it can have dramatic effects on your cash flow forecast.
  • When you believe you will exceed the VAT threshold – it is a legal requirement to sign up for VAT once you exceed the VAT threshold or when you realise you are going to. If you think your e-commerce business will exceed the threshold soon, discuss it with your accountant to see if they agree with your assessment.

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E-commerce Changes

  • When you are looking to sell in a new country – there will be VAT implications depending on the country you are selling into, so you should always notify your accountant before you start selling there.
  • When you are looking to bring in goods from a new country – the dust is still settling in a post-Brexit world with many areas not having clear guidance. There have been several changes to import VAT so discuss your path before you commit.
  • When storing goods in a new country – even storing goods in a new country can have major ramifications for an e-commerce business. It may make you liable for VAT in that country so discuss it with your accountant ahead of time.
  • When changing your marketplace – whether you are adding in a new marketplace or removing one, they all have very specific guidance on how to deal with their charges and they all feed into your accounting software in different ways.

As a general rule of thumb, if you ever get as far as “should I notify my accountant…” as an e-commerce entrepreneur, the answer is likely yes. With so many regulations and international requirements, it is better to be safe than sorry to avoid a costly misstep.

Next Steps

If the idea of regular conversation with your accountant makes you feel uneasy, you’re not with the right firm. We are a team of specialist e-commerce accountants with a proven track record of great support and help to grow your business. Get in touch today to find out more.

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The best time to act is now.

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