Share this content
24

Overload of Amazon purchases

Has anyone found a solution to facilitate easy bookkeeping for hundreds of purchases from Amazon?

Didn't find your answer?

Hi All,

I have seen this posted before, with no real solutions, so I'm asking in case anyone has made a recent discovery that changes the game.

One of my clients - in the commercial photography industry - buys hundreds of items a month from Amazon.  As I'm sure many of you will know, these are a nightmare to account for, as the supply could be from a different supplier each time (merely using Amazon as a seling platform), or Amazon themselves, and,in the case of this business, there is much variety/not much consistency in the type of goods bought, depending on the photography engagement.  The client is under MTD, using Clearbooks.

With the fast development in the Accounting tech shpere, has anyone found a tool or method that would help reliably automate the bookkeeping in such a situation?

Thanks for your responses.

(P.S.  I know of "A2X", but that seems to only deal with sales via Amazon, not purchases, as far as I can see.)

Replies (24)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By johnt27
15th Jan 2020 12:32

Bin off Clearbooks - it's garbage.

Then use any one of the many OCR apps (Receipt Bank etc) that are out there. The good ones all have supplier fetch features, which you can connect to Amazon to pull in and automate processing of the invoices your client is receiving.

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnt27:
avatar
By WhichTyler
15th Jan 2020 12:51

Also make sure they are using an Amazon for Business account rather than a personal one

Thanks (1)
Replying to WhichTyler:
avatar
By Philosophic1
15th Jan 2020 15:41

WhichTyler - yes, thanks. I have highlighted this point to the client, and shall reinforce again. You know how it is getting some clients to change habits.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnt27:
avatar
By Philosophic1
15th Jan 2020 15:46

Thanks, John. Very helpful. ReceiptBank are unresponsive, so talking to AutoEntry now. The do cater for ClearBooks, but I have been thinking of moving the client to Xero (it's their own subscription, though).

Thanks (0)
Replying to Philosophic1:
avatar
By johnt27
15th Jan 2020 16:07

If you're moving to Xero why not use Hubdoc? It's going to be bundled for free in the next couple of months. Their USP is invoice fetch which works well, however, their normal invoice scanning isn't a patch on RB or AE.

Personally, I'd avoid AE until the dust has settled on the Sage acquisition on what the future holds for them.

Thanks (1)
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Jan 2020 12:50

How do you control getting vat invoices would be my other concern? Whilst I do use Amazon re our business (maybe 20-30 purchases a year) at least I do not usually need to worry about vat.

Thanks (1)
Replying to DJKL:
Routemaster image
By tom123
15th Jan 2020 14:45

We recently changed to Amazon for business, which at least seems more consistent.

Similar quantity of invoices, and generally low value.

I can see Amazon moving more and more into the purchase ledger space, though, which will be a blessing and curse.

Thanks (1)
Replying to tom123:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Jan 2020 15:00

I will have a look at that, thanks- given we generally do not opt to tax our properties ,vat mainly leaves me alone ,but two companies I am involved with are vat registered and it can be a pain chasing down vat invoices- we tend to use Amazon for things like office diaries (I am still awaiting these ,Amazon), a tea set, the odd tax textbook and sometimes toners/similar.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Jan 2020 15:49

DJKL wrote:
- we tend to use Amazon for things like office diaries (I am still awaiting these ,Amazon)....

They're not coming from China, are they ?

Still plenty of time for their New Year.

Thanks (0)
Replying to lionofludesch:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Jan 2020 15:52

They could be- to be fair I was late ordering this year and on checking they have now been despatched, so when I come back in on Monday they ought to be here

Thanks (0)
Replying to tom123:
avatar
By bendybod
16th Jan 2020 15:17

Amazon for business is better but I find it a nightmare to navigate their site. Yesterday I was just trying to print an invoice for some coffee that I'd purchased for the office (through my business account) on subscribe and save. I must have wasted nearly an hour and I'm still not sure it would take me less time on the next occasion.
It would also be good to just get a statement telling me how much I owe them as I am on pay by invoice!

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By Philosophic1
15th Jan 2020 15:44

Hi DJKL,
I employ a simple policy of "no VAT invoice, no VAT booked in the purchase transaction", unless it is blindingly obvious that VAT would have been charged by the nature of the transaction and the supplier. I have made that clear to all my clients.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Philosophic1:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Jan 2020 15:49

Mine is not so much clients as my employers and their staff- getting non accounts staff to chase down vat invoices can take up a fair bit of time.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By WhichTyler
15th Jan 2020 17:22

With Amazon for Business you an set a policy that only allows people to buy from suppliers that provide VAT invoices.

Thanks (0)
Replying to WhichTyler:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Jan 2020 17:44

That does sound good- I will start my campaign for it to be implemented across the various business entities we have.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By WhichTyler
15th Jan 2020 17:47

May your empire wax without end...

Thanks (0)
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Jan 2020 15:57

Most of the companies I or clients deal with through Amazon will show VAT if applicable.

I've not bothered to go in to it in depth to check that all the details needed are there but it doesn't look problematical to me.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
avatar
By C Graham
16th Jan 2020 15:34

had an amazon purchase today in fact - invoice shows valid GB vat number (checked)
(supplier originally China) the amount shown as vat bears absolutely no resemblance as 20% of anything on the net amount and the invoice is not broken down. What do you reckon - supplier making it up>
items £20 each (x8) vat shows as £2.90 and total shows as £179.52
How would you deal with this?

Thanks (0)
Replying to C Graham:
avatar
By bendybod
17th Jan 2020 16:07

£2.90 sounds more like P&P than VAT. I wonder whether that is in fact the intention rather than VAT. I would contact the seller and tell them that their invoice makes no sense and ask them to reissue it! Ask them to clarify:
1. Are they registered in the UK for VAT?
2. If so, could they please provide a VAT invoice detailing the net, VAT and gross, since their invoice appears to not even balance.

If all else fails, contact Amazon and inform them of the issues.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By SoL
16th Jan 2020 14:25

If the pourchases are made under an Amazon business account, you can download a monthly csv file with all the transaction details, including VAT status/number for each of the sellers. I don't know if this would strictly be accepted by HMRC without a supporting VAT invoice but it's a good starting point.

Thanks (0)
Replying to SoL:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
16th Jan 2020 14:59

Under MTD HMRC can reconcile your purchase with the seller's sales invoice, so this should not be an issue.

Oh hang on, have I missed something...

Thanks (1)
Replying to Beach Accountancy:
avatar
By johnt27
16th Jan 2020 16:29

Beach Accountancy wrote:

Under MTD HMRC can reconcile your purchase with the seller's sales invoice, so this should not be an issue.

Oh hang on, have I missed something...

Not quite, but it happens in Brazil and Italy with Poland adopting something similar next year. MTD is a drop in the ocean compared to these systems. HMRC might be proud of their digital taxation moniker but we are laggards compared to many other countries.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnt27:
avatar
By bendybod
20th Jan 2020 10:29

The VAT registration thresholds are, generally, much lower in Europe though, so most businesses are registered for VAT. Here, there are many smaller businesses that are not and so don't have to submit their figures to HMRC.

Thanks (0)
Replying to SoL:
avatar
By bendybod
16th Jan 2020 15:19

Ooh, how?
Given that you can use supplier statements to enter purchases under MTD, I can't see why HMRC wouldn't accept it.

Thanks (0)
Share this content

Related posts