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Why E-commerce Merchants Must Do a Financial Check-Up Right Now

By MarksNelson on November 6, 2017 in Articles, Entrepreneurial Services, Jennifer Katrulya

How are your online storefront’s finances? Things may seem “fine.” Your sales are at least steady, if not growing. Your web presence is fairly problem-free. You’re shipping on time and keeping up with demand.

But like physical disorders, financial problems don’t always jump out and scream for attention. Your fiscal health, in fact, may be suffering silently. You may be focusing too much on tweaking your website and checking your sales total multiple times a day. Beneath it all, though, trouble could be looming. You may, for example:

  • Need to catch up on your estimated taxes.
  • Be nearing a crisis that will force you to find emergency funds.
  • Owe more than you should to suppliers and other business support systems.
  • Falling behind on your budget projections.
  • Spending too much.
  • Way behind your income compared to last year.
  • Remiss in meeting your financial goals for 2017.

Time to Look Deeper

A financial checkup can uncover any and all of those problems – while there’s still time to make corrections before the end of the year. Maybe you’re actually doing OK. Sales are up and expenses are under control — so much so that you should defer some income or buy some new equipment or make some charitable donations to lighten your 2017 tax obligation.

On the other hand, you might discover that your checkup caught some ticking time bombs that were about to blow up. You’re spending too much and/or not bringing in enough revenue — and you’re not sticking to the plans you made at the beginning of the year.

There Are Solutions

Before you can begin to solve whatever problems you’re facing, you need more information — the kind you can get by generating reports. This won’t be so simple if you’re still doing your e-commerce operations’ accounting on paper. If you’re using an online accounting application, you know that you can run them in seconds. Here’s some of what you need to know:

  • How much have you paid the IRS and state agencies in 2017 estimated taxes?
  • What are your real income and expenses compared to what’s in your budget?
  • Where exactly is your money going?
  • How long could you survive if you faced a downturn in business?
  • Will you be facing a seasonal rush? Do you have enough inventory (but not too much)?

What were your financial goals for 2017? A checkup can help you evaluate your progress. What do you want to accomplish before 2018?  Do you need to make any major purchases before year’s end? What do you anticipate in terms of income and expenses before New Year’s Day? Will you be hiring holiday help?

No More Waiting

There’s little more than two months left in this year. You need a financial checkup now.  You’ll need time to make corrections once you’ve settled on a course of action. 2017 will soon become 2018, and it’ll be time to look ahead. Questions? Contact your MarksNelson professional at 816-743-7700.


Jennifer Katrulya

Practice Leader