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Today we are featuring a guest blog from McKayla Humbert from Ledger Gurus. They specialize in ecommerce accounting services to help you understand the cost of your products and how well your business is performing. Their service is designed to support profitable growth so that you can make better decisions for your business.

A Way to Better Understand Your Business

Ecommerce reports can up your business game. You might think you know your business pretty well. You were there when it was just a wee thing and felt a surge of pride as it grew and developed into something more than you could have imagined. Hey, it’s probably still growing and sometimes it might feel like a bit of a ride. 

It’s like when you bought a new car and you thought you knew a thing or two about cars. Except this car has a lot of new gadgets and buttons and you’re not sure if you’ll ever know exactly what they all do. You’ve thought about looking at the manual, but nobody has time for that, am I right? So, you just drive the darn thing and in the back of your head know you aren’t taking advantage of its full potential. It’s like a sad romance novel except replace lover with car.

This is similar to a company that may have grown to a point where you honestly just don’t know what buttons to press or what they even do. There are a lot of gadgets and capabilities and a lot of untapped potential. In order to get a good grasp on all that, you need to better understand your company as a whole. Now that it’s got a lot of moving parts understanding them all may seem like it would take a lifetime. Luckily there are tools that can help you do this.

One of these tools is Ecommerce reports.  You can use reports in a number of programs that help consolidate data and use them to improve your company. 

Why Are Reports Important?

Reports accomplish three main objectives. 1. They give us answers by going beyond financial statements and into data from other systems. 2. They provide details that help explain the simple answers to complex problems, and 3. They offer much needed guidance by using the details and answers from reports to help guide future business decisions.

Ecommerce Reports can also help businesses qualify for funding. Providing investors with financial reporting is in many instances essential to getting approved for a loan or investment in your business. These reports can demonstrate your companies’ potential earnings and value.

Ask the Right Questions

One of the most important things to bring to the table in regard to reports are good questions. In order to generate useful reports, it is crucial that you know which questions you should be asking. An example of this is being able to find high-level trends for sales in your financial statements. Digging deeper with more specific questions requires data from other systems, such as Customer Relationship Management systems, payment systems, inventory systems, etc. A few examples of these types of questions include:

Who are the most productive salespeople in relation to salary?

Which channel will maximize sales for my highest margin product?

For more information on reports and asking the right questions click here.

Incorporating Quality Data

Another thing to consider is the quality of your data. If you don’t have good quality data to populate your reports, then this creates all sorts of issues. You need to know what kind of data matters for your business. It may be beneficial to seek outside guidance on how to best do this for your company. Consulting with a professional can help you determine how to best collect your data and what programs are best suited to your needs. Click here for more information on how to do this on your own.

Reporting Tools

Once you know what data matters for your business, and what questions you should be asking. It’s time to start figuring out which software/tools you want to use to generate reports that will be most beneficial to your company.

Excel

Excel has a few different options that make it easier to create reports. These include but aren’t limited to, basic chart and table creation, PivotTables, Dashboards, and Timelines/Slicers.

Charts/Tables

In order to create in-depth reports, it is useful to first know how to generate the visual elements that aid in reporting such as charts and tables. They can assist you in creating a basic forecasting report, or a hierarchical chart.

For a step by step breakdown of how to do this click here.

PivotTables

Excel also has the option to create pivot tables using large amounts of data. If you already have Excel through Microsoft Office, then this is an inexpensive way to look at data you may already have in Excel spreadsheets. You can also download Excel spreadsheet files from QuickBooks and choose what data you want. You can use those specific groupings of data to make a pivot table. A PivotTable enables users to focus on specific data. You can use them to reorganize data into columns and rows. This helps you focus on your data in a more effective way, especially when you have a lot of data to sort through.

Click herefor a step-by-step breakdown of how to create a PivotTable in Excel.

Dashboards 

The Dashboard in Microsoft Excel is a way to exhibit your data in a more attractive format. It is a more informative and comprehensive view of your data. It allows your audience to quickly see and analyze data trends. This helps make more informed decisions. You can use this along with PivotTables. For more information on how to do so click here.

Timelines/Slicers

Timelines and Slicers are useful when you have multiple PivotTables and Pivot Charts. They help you filter through data more easily. You can filter through the details you wish to share on the Dashboard. Timelines help you filter by time to find a certain period. Slicers help filter PivotTables. For more information and a step-by-step breakdown of how to incorporate Timelines/Slicers click here.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks allows you to run reports using data entered about your business. If you already have QuickBooks this is super convenient. QuickBooks includes over 50 built-in accounting and business reports. They include profit and Loss reports. Customer balance summaries which show a customer’s open balance. And cash flow statements which help you to know if you have enough cash on hand to pay your bills. There are also settings to create custom reports more tailored to your company’s needs.

For more information on creating reports with QuickBooks click here.

Shopify

For ecommerce companies Shopify also has the option of creating reports. The reports are divided into different categories based on what data you want to show. Your Shopify plan decides which reports you can create. If you want access to more reports and decide to change your plan to do so, then you can still use those reports on data you entered before upgrading your plan.

For more information on Shopify reports click here

Reporting ToolCustomer CostNon-Customer CostAdditional Information
ExcelIncluded$129.99 /yr.Deals Available
  (separately)Office Bundle
QuickBooksIncludedBasic $10-$20/mCan Upgrade
  Adv. $35-$60/m 
ShopifyIncludedBasic $29-$79/mAdv: $299/mCan Upgrade

*Cost Analysis for Reporting Tools

Ecommerce Reports: A Valuable Tool

In conclusion, reports can be a very valuable tool for any business. They help you get answers. They provide details. They also offer guidance. They accomplish these three objectives in many ways, like to secure funding, analyze company potential and growth, and create a dynamic way to answer your companies’ most important questions. If you need help with knowing what data matters most for your business and how to best organize it, it may be worthwhile to consult with an outside firm/professional (Click here