How to Get Started With Amazon Bookkeeping

Selling on Amazon can be a lucrative venture, but it comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to managing your finances. Proper bookkeeping is essential for understanding your business’s profitability, making informed decisions, and ensuring tax compliance. This guide will walk you through the basics of Amazon bookkeeping, helping you establish a solid financial foundation for your business.

Why Bookkeeping Matters for Your Amazon Business

Establishing good bookkeeping practices from the very first sale is crucial for Amazon sellers. Proper bookkeeping provides a clear picture of your business’s financial health, allowing you to understand profitability, track expenses, and identify trends. It also ensures compliance with tax regulations, preventing costly mistakes and penalties. Good bookkeeping helps you make informed decisions about inventory, pricing, and marketing, ultimately contributing to your business’s growth and success.

Understanding Your Amazon Finances

Selling on Amazon involves various financial aspects that you need to track accurately. These include product revenue, Amazon fees, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) costs, and advertising expenses. Familiarizing yourself with Amazon Seller Central reports is essential. Reports such as the Sales Summary, Transaction View, and Fees Report provide valuable insights into your business’s performance, helping you manage your finances more effectively.

Essential Bookkeeping Tasks for Amazon Sellers

Accurate record-keeping is the cornerstone of good bookkeeping. It’s important to record every financial transaction related to your Amazon business, including sales, fees, refunds, and product costs. Capturing relevant details for each transaction, such as date, amount, and category, ensures that your records are comprehensive and accurate.

Categorizing transactions is another critical task. Proper categorization allows you to track income, expenses, and the cost of goods sold (COGS) accurately. Common expense categories for Amazon sellers include product costs, advertising, shipping fees, and business supplies.

Regular reconciliation of your Amazon Seller Central account with your bank statements is necessary to ensure accuracy. This process involves matching transactions in your bookkeeping records with those in your bank statements and identifying any discrepancies. Reconciliation helps maintain the integrity of your financial records and provides a true picture of your business’s financial position.

Choosing the Right Bookkeeping System for Your Amazon Business

There are several options for managing your Amazon bookkeeping, including spreadsheets and dedicated bookkeeping software. While spreadsheets can be a simple and cost-effective solution, they often require significant manual input and are prone to errors.

Dedicated bookkeeping software designed for Amazon sellers offers numerous advantages. These tools can integrate with Amazon Seller Central for automatic data import, reducing manual entry and minimizing errors. They also feature capabilities for tracking inventory, calculating COGS, and generating detailed financial reports. Additionally, some software includes tools for managing sales tax compliance across different states, simplifying a complex aspect of online selling.

Spreadsheets vs. Bookkeeping Software

Using spreadsheets for bookkeeping can be straightforward and flexible, allowing you to customize your records to suit your needs. However, they can become unwieldy as your business grows, and manual entry increases the risk of errors. In contrast, dedicated bookkeeping software offers automation, accuracy, and specific features tailored to Amazon sellers, such as inventory tracking and sales tax management. While software may come with a higher upfront cost, the time savings and reduced risk of errors can make it a worthwhile investment.

Understanding Sales Tax for Amazon Sellers

Sales tax is a complex issue for online businesses, including Amazon sellers. Sales tax nexus, which refers to the requirement to collect tax in states where you have a significant presence, and economic nexus, which involves tax obligations based on sales volume, are key considerations. Given the complexity of sales tax regulations, consulting a tax professional is highly recommended. Many bookkeeping software solutions also offer features to help with sales tax calculations and reporting, easing the burden of compliance.

Streamlining Your Bookkeeping Throughout the Year

Staying organized with your bookkeeping tasks throughout the year is crucial. Setting a regular schedule for these tasks, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, ensures that your financial records are up-to-date and accurate. Consistent organization helps prevent the year-end rush and reduces the risk of errors, making tax filing and financial analysis more manageable.


Establishing a solid bookkeeping routine is essential for Amazon sellers to understand their financial health, make informed decisions, and ensure tax compliance. By implementing good record-keeping practices, choosing the right bookkeeping system, and staying organized throughout the year, you can set your Amazon business up for long-term success. Research different bookkeeping solutions and find a system that works best for your business needs, ensuring a smooth and profitable operation.  

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