How to survive Black Friday with a little help from your accountants

Black Friday used to be associated with traffic accidents and violence initiated by the large volume of shoppers. Nowadays, though, it rather means a “profitable Friday” to all retailers out there. With this introduction of Cyber Monday, e-commerce stores now have a valuable opportunity of a day solely dedicated to consumers prioritizing online purchases over store purchases.

In fact, to attract even more customers, many online and brick-and-mortar stores come up with special offers and discounts on that day. Are you taking this opportunity as seriously as they do? In 2022, it’s reported that the approximate total spending for Black Friday shopping was 9.12B USD whereas Cyber Monday had a total of approximately 11.3B USD.

Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are definitely one of the busiest days of the year, many business owners are still struggling to come up with their strategy for it. Don’t make the same mistake – take advantage of the powerful source of knowledge that’s in front of you – your accountants and bookkeepers.

#1 Plan ahead

Whenever you start planning anything, you should first take a closer look at the latest trends and previous financial statements for your business. Compare the results from October and November, both prior and current – this way, it will be easier for you to make predictions about the inventory levels, prices, and employee schedules, just to name a few.

Don’t forget to ask your accountants and bookkeepers for their opinion on that matter. Financial statements contain a lot of relevant information, including how your business did during a specific time frame – and accounting professionals can read those documents like no one else.

When exactly should you consult an accountant or bookkeeper?

There’s no shame in getting advice from expert accountants or bookkeepers. If this is your first time managing your own Black Friday accounting, or if you’re expecting a significant surge in sales and are unsure of which preparations to make, it might be time to consult an accountant.

Actually asking for advice can take a lot of stress off of your shoulders and give you direction into how to prepare your business to maximize the opportunities that lie ahead. Reviewing your finances with accounting experts can make it easier for you to determine how much inventory and potentially extra team members are needed to meet the estimated demands. Your accountants and bookkeepers can also help you decide which promotions make the most sense for your business, and what’s the best schedule for your store during Black Friday.

#2 Stay on top of things

The best way to survive Black Friday (or any busy day, for that matter) is to stay organized and keep track of your sales, inventory, and employees. What makes this much easier is to review your processes, and search for opportunities to streamline them before the shopping craze begins.

Yet again, if you’re not sure what (and how exactly) to optimize – ask your accountants. They should have the relevant data handy to be able to tell what processes could be more efficient in order to help you during times of heavy traffic. If not, they can probably recommend the right software and its integrations to start collecting such data for you and keep an eye on it at all times.

For example, if you already have an e-commerce or POS system in place (as you probably should by now), integrating it with your accounting software can definitely help you access relevant data and take your business decisions from there.

#3 Make sure your team is on board

Payroll is definitely one of the biggest expenses, especially during the holidays. As tempting as it might be to bring lots of new people in and have everyone working on Black Friday – there’s no point to over-staff. This can actually cost you more in the long run, as extra profits will be lost with excessive payroll costs.

Instead, take a look at your payroll expenses from previous years and make data-driven predictions regarding the number of additional staff you might need to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Not only the quantity counts here, though. Your employees should be well-organized and prepared for one of the most profitable days of the year. Manage their tasks and time wisely, and try to keep track of who’s doing what. It will help you maximize the efficiency – if not at this particular moment, then the next Black Friday for sure.

Once again, you can take advantage of advanced reporting and consult accounting specialists to make good use of the available data. What’s slightly more important this time, though, is that you should also have everyone on board, and stay supportive. Don’t forget that it’s a stressful time for all your employees too.

Importance of integration

Having the right automations in place can also assist your team during the busy holiday weekend. Allow accounting integrations to do the heavy lifting for you. Accounting integrations will connect your e-commerce platform or POS system to your accounting software, giving you synced and updated reports in a matter of minutes.

This means access to reports and other valuable information all in one place, ensuring accuracy and eliminating the time-consuming task of manual data entry. Accounting integrations create more time and are a powerful tool to aid you and your team to enter the Black Friday weekend with confidence that you’re able to take on the influx of orders.

Brace yourself – the most profitable days of the year is coming

From determining the best opening hours and staffing plans to choosing the most profitable deals for your business – accountants can truly help you make any data-driven decision this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially those who are equipped with the proper tools. Still, the best results don’t come overnight. The key is to start preparing early, strive to optimize your processes and get your team ready for one of the busiest days of the year.

As accounting integration specialists, we know better than anyone how big of an opportunityBlack Friday and Cyber Monday are for any retailer. Start collecting relevant data now and have everything you need to make the most of it – for years to come.