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Shopify and Xero: Integrate for Success

Many small to mid-size businesses utilize Shopify for eCommerce thanks to overall ease of use and a myriad of other high-demand features including inventory tracking, high-security checkout and more. However, inputting data from an online storefront can be time consuming at best and tedious at worst. Thankfully, there is now an easy, automated way to integrate the Shopify eCommerce platform with various types of accounting software, from QuickBooks to Xero.

Establishing Standards

While there are plenty of simple platforms through which retailers can complete all manner of sales and make a great deal of money, running a small business alone brings with it the burden of choosing the right accounting software. The current up and coming contender is Xero, an accounting program that is designed specifically for small businesses. According to Fox Business, Xero offers all the features a small business needs to succeed:

  • Accounts payable and account receivable
  • Banking synchronization and reconciliation
  • Invoicing and payroll
  • Cash flow mapping
  • Billing Management
  • Online accounting

shopify and xero integrationWhile there are plenty of other features, the last in the list is the most important here. Xero is designed to work entirely on the cloud, meaning it’s 100 percent online and can be accessed from a PC, Mac or mobile device with a decent connection to the internet. However, because it’s still fairly new—particularly stateside—being unable to establish Shopify integration with Xero can force many small businesses to rely on the old standby instead of this more user-friendly alternative.

Now, thanks to another up and coming startup, small business owners everywhere can still reach this standard of excellence in accounting by utilizing Pipemonk that offers Shopify integration with Xero to link their online storefront to their online accounting software.

Benefits to Integration

When ZapStitch is used to integrate a Shopify storefront to Xero, the accounts are synchronized according to personalized settings established by the user. The service will sync at a time and date of the user’s choosing, allowing even the smallest businesses to track every sale and purchase online without any of the manual labor or grueling data entry of traditional methods.

The process is simple:

1. Shopify and Xero are linked with a few clicks of a mouse
2. A customer places an order through a small business’ Shopify storefront
3. ZapStitch sends new orders from Shopify to Xero, where they’re converted to invoices

If an order is changed or cancelled at the last minute, the updates are automatically synced to Xero from Shopify, making it easy to get a full and cohesive view of profit and loss, not to mention sales, cancellations and returns.

Invoice updating isn’t all ZapStitch can do for a small business. In 2013, the Sage Small Business Accounting Study found that move small businesses that use an offsite accountant do so because they struggle with the complexity and regulations surrounding sales tax. This can get even more complicated when working online, where it’s often still unclear which state’s sales tax should apply to a given purchase. ZapStitch aims to assist online retailers with this conundrum. While Shopify can establish the right sales tax for each user, ZapStitch syncs the taxes straight to Xero’s invoices, making it a simple process to review which taxes have been paid and when.

Simpler Accounting

According to Accounting Today, 40 percent of all small businesses say that bookkeeping and taxes are the single worst aspect of owning a business. Roughly half of those businesses surveyed say this was thanks to added financial cost, whether from having to hire out a professional bookkeeper or pay steep subscription fees to overly complex accounting software platforms.

Small businesses choose Xero because it makes financial management easier to handle without a professional accountant. ZapStitch works to make this undertaking even easier by automating elements that are traditionally completed manually.

Customers love discounts, but these can be extremely difficult for small business owners to balance properly in accounting. When offering a discount, whether it’s part of a sale, an online coupon or a customer reward, ZapStitch will automatically recognize the information and sync it to a “discount” account in Xero. This is because ZapStitch not only syncs pricing and purchases, but also syncs inventory between platforms. Since the Xero account already knows the standard price of a given item, the invoice sent by ZapStitch automatically lists the discount appropriately and logs it for easy review when it comes time to assemble a report.

Because these features are fully automated, it allows small business owners to focus on running their business instead of running the numbers.

Aim for Ease, Not Fees

Accounting isn’t easy, which means it isn’t cheap either. One out of every three small businesses spends up to $5 thousand every year in bookkeeping fees, while almost half spend five hours or more per month just on their own payroll. With ZapStitch, everything can be easily automated, tracked and updated day by day, saving all this time and money. This could just be the blessing that small businesses need to really succeed in today’s changing economy.

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