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Essential Accounting Tips for Starting an E-commerce Business

Starting an e-commerce business can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to tracking finances and adhering to tax laws. However, with proper accounting for e-commerce, you can keep track of your business's financial health and make informed decisions to grow your business. In this article, we will discuss essential accounting action points for new e-commerce businesses in Australia.

Set up a Separate Business Bank Account

As a new e-commerce business owner, it is essential to maintain a clear distinction between your personal and business finances from the very beginning. By establishing a dedicated business bank account, you can more easily monitor your company's expenses and earnings, while also avoiding any potential confusion between personal and business funds. It also helps simplify your tax reporting process, making it easier to claim deductions and file taxes.

Track Your Revenue and Expenses

To make informed business decisions, you must keep track of your revenue and expenses. E-commerce businesses can have multiple revenue streams, such as sales revenue, subscription revenue, and advertising revenue. You should also track all your expenses, including product costs, shipping costs, website hosting fees, and marketing expenses.

There are several accounting software options available that can help you track your revenue and expenses. Some popular options include Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB. These software solutions can help you automate bookkeeping tasks, generate financial reports, and reconcile bank transactions.

Understand Your Tax Obligations

E-commerce businesses have several tax obligations to fulfil in Australia. If your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 or more, you must register for GST. GST is a 10% tax on most goods and services sold in Australia. You must also report and remit GST to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on a quarterly or annual basis.

Additionally, e-commerce businesses must collect and remit taxes on sales made to customers in other countries. This can be a complex process, as tax laws vary by country. You may need to register for VAT or GST in other countries, depending on your sales volume and the tax laws of the country.

It's important to work with a qualified accountant or tax professional to ensure you are complying with all tax laws and regulations.

Keep Accurate Inventory Records

E-commerce businesses rely heavily on inventory management. Keeping accurate inventory records can help you track your stock levels, avoid stockouts, and identify slow-moving products. It can also help you make informed decisions about purchasing inventory and pricing products.

Accounting software can help you automate inventory management tasks, such as tracking stock levels, creating purchase orders, and generating inventory reports. You can also use inventory management software specifically designed for e-commerce businesses, such as TradeGecko or Stitch Labs.

Plan for Seasonal Sales

Many e-commerce businesses experience seasonal fluctuations in sales volume. Planning for seasonal sales can help you manage your cash flow, ensure you have enough inventory on hand, and take advantage of sales opportunities.

You can use historical sales data to predict future sales trends and adjust your inventory levels accordingly. You can also create a budget and cash flow forecast to ensure you have enough funds to cover expenses during slower sales periods.

Review Your Financial Reports Regularly

Finally, it's essential to review your financial reports regularly. Financial reports can help you understand your business's financial health, identify areas for improvement, and make informed business decisions.

Some essential financial reports for e-commerce businesses include:

  • Profit and Loss Statement: This report shows your business's revenue, expenses, and net income.

  • Balance Sheet: This report shows your business's assets, liabilities, and equity.

  • Cash Flow Statement: This report shows your business's cash inflows and outflows.

Accounting software can generate these reports automatically, making it easy to review your finances regularly.


Accounting for e-commerce is crucial for the success of your business. By implementing these essential accounting action points, you can keep track of your finances, comply with tax laws, and make informed business decisions. Remember to work with a qualified accountant or tax professional to ensure you are meeting all your obligations as an e-commerce business owner.

Need help managing your e-commerce business finances? Let The ECommerce Accountant be your guide! Our team of e-commerce accountants in accounting and bookkeeping for online stores and influencers, providing tailored advice to help you achieve your business goals. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

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