Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become two of the biggest annual shopping events, with billions in sales up for grabs. However, the massive spikes in traffic and orders during these holidays can overwhelm unprepared retailers. Thorough planning and analysis is crucial to fully capitalize on these high-volume sales days. This is an opportunity where you as an accountant can provide invaluable guidance and direction.
Although these two major shopping holidays can cause retailers to be overwhelmed, accountants have knowledge and expertise to provide strategy and insight. By leveraging sales data, evaluating processes, and mapping out inventory needs, you are able to help e-commerce businesses effectively manage the incoming wave of holiday shopping. In this article, we’ll explore the key ways top accountants work with clients to help them feel confident, organized, and ready to seize the many opportunities these two major retail holidays present.
Strategies for sales management
One of the most valuable ways accountants can assist clients in preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is by looking at your client’s current promotions to identify ways you can enhance their strategies. This is done by looking into historical data and current trends, to suggest discount pricing and limited-time deals that align with the overall profitability goals.
The financial modeling and forecasting knowledge that you have allows you to predict customer demand around top-selling and trending items. Next, you can then recommend the ideal inventory volumes retailers should stock up on for these products. This insight ensures stores have ample stock of all in-demand items to capture the full sales potential during the incoming shopping rush.
Ahead of the holiday shopping crush, accountants can help clients streamline back-end operations to efficiently handle the influx of orders and traffic. They may recommend specific e-commerce systems or inventory management solutions to prevent overselling stock from large volumes of customers.
Accountants should review fulfillment and shipping procedures with an eye on acceleration, identifying process tweaks that will enable swift delivery despite the high demand. With an accountant’s operational advice, retailers can fulfill purchases smoothly, ship promptly, and keep customers satisfied throughout the holidays’ buying surge.
Utilizing accounting integrations
One of the best ways to streamline client operations ahead of Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend is to utilize accounting integrations. This is especially helpful for accountants with multiple clients. With a high volume of orders anticipated, business owners tend to feel an added pressure in the lead up to this holiday weekend.
Accountants can play a part in easing some of the added stress their clients face, as Peter McCarroll, director at Fuel Accountants puts it:
“Black Friday should really be just another day from an accounting perspective. If you’ve got the right integrations between your sales system and your accounting system in place it shouldn’t be a nightmare. But if you are still manually posting transactions or payments then a really heavy day, like Black Friday, could mean days of extra work for your bookkeeping team.
“So get those accounting integrations setup and working seamlessly well in advance. We look for integrations that post in bulk, rather than posting individual transactions – this makes the difference between a normal day and a bookkeeping nightmare.”
Amaka accounting integrations
Through the right integrations, accountants bring a great deal of ease to their clients and to their own processes. Amaka’s accounting integration connects e-commerce platforms to accounting software such as Xero, QuickBooks Online, MYOB providing access to synced and up-to-date data, allowing accountants and their clients to have access to timely reports.
Accounting integration becomes an invaluable asset because data would otherwise need to be transferred manually, leaving more room for error and creating a lengthy task to condense information in one place. Ahead of Black Friday weekend, prepare by implementing and updating integrations adequately.
Leverage data insights
One way to help clients maximize the sales opportunities of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is through uncovering actionable insights from historical and current data. Analyzing sales patterns from prior years guides everything from staffing to inventory planning for the upcoming holiday events.
Digging into product-level data enables identifying the most profitable segments to promote or discount during the shopping days. Providing clients with customer demographics data insights assists clients in crafting targeted Black Friday campaigns and offers tailored to their buyers. In an interview with Amaka, Nick Dorogavtstev of aVers Cloud Solutions said,
“My big message is you don’t need to be an IT specialist, you don’t need to be a programmer, you don’t need to be a data engineer, but you need to learn a little bit about data engineering. And learn how that data flows through because when a client asks you or why on your cash flow prediction, there is a little bump here and you need to be able to explain that it’s the seasonality and it uses the data in this particular way from the previous period.”
With this in mind, consider your own understanding of the data in front of you and be prepared to receive questions from your clients surounding changes and clarifications. With insights built on data from various sources, accountants are equipped to help e-commerce businesses base their holiday preparations and strategies on up-to-date data rather than guesswork. This data-driven approach leads to well-informed decisions that directly translate to holiday sales and profit boosts.
While the holiday shopping season brings lucrative opportunities, the influx of orders can bring about potential risks. Ahead of Black Friday weekend, accountants should develop a game plan for aiding their clients in minimizing these risks. One way to do this is by double-checking that all promotional pricing and discounts comply with sales tax laws, which avoids issues down the line.
Another step to take is to develop plans to handle possible fulfillment delays or inventory shortages, so disruptions in service do not completely derail holiday sales. By advising your clients in advance through identifying and addressing what could go wrong, retailers can head into the Black Friday and Cyber Monday periods with their bases covered.
Key takeaways on preparing clients for Black Friday
Providing sellers with your advisory services around each of these areas allows you toadd value to e-commerce clients. By beginning preparation early and working closely together, retailers and accountants can implement data-backed strategies and avoid pitfalls. With the fast approaching holidays, now is the time for accountants to get ready and aid clients in taking full advantage of the upcoming holiday rush.