Greenback has been designed from the ground up with the eCommerce professional in mind. We started down this path because while simple Import/Export automation might work in yesteryear’s simple circumstances, today’s sophisticated payment processing, tax, and billing arrangements demand more.
In order to help our partners be successful in this complex marketplace, we created an intelligent purpose built platform that marries the leading edge in machine learning with unsurpassed human expertise within the overall eCommerce space. Whether large or small, all smart eCommerce players partner with Greenback.
Today’s eCommerce companies need more comprehensive solutions than the simple copy/paste products supported by many of the data sync providers today.
Greenback was built differently. We’re a pre-accounting platform that goes well beyond simply transferring your data from point A to point B.
What is a pre-accounting platform? It’s a centralized, well-tested data model that ensures comprehensive aggregation of your company’s financial data from each of the supported partner integrations. With Greenback, your Shopify data is structured the same as your Amazon data. While this may sound trivial, our centralized data model is critical to our ability to identify and transform data inaccuracies, resulting in GAAP compliant data ready for publication to your accounting system.
Most data syncing providers are focused solely on moving your data from point A to point B with little regard for whether the original data is adequate or accurate enough for use within your accounting system.
Because of its sheer size in the eCommerce space, many sync products have made a tactical decision to build their systems exclusively around the Amazon settlement file. On the surface this makes tremendous sense for a resource-limited startup seeking to get their biggest bang for their development buck, or in other words, taking a smaller piece of a larger pie.
But here’s the rub: When you develop around one form of settlement file you make it cumbersome to expand support for the vast number of other e-commerce marketplaces or payment platforms in the market.
Let me explain: While Amazon consolidates all sales and fees within their settlement files, other providers such as Shopify do not utilize settlement reports due to their support for multiple forms of payment such as Paypal, Stripe or Affirm. Now, this is key: Each of these payment providers has its own methods for settling transactions and “netting out” transaction fees.
Choosing a service provider that does not aggregate your financial data to a single data model will make managing your e-commerce accounting data inefficient, error-prone and potentially costly..
This brings us to point Number two:
Given the centralized design of Greenback, our customers can access their Shopify, Amazon, Walmart and eBay transaction data from a single Greenback subscription.
This is counter to many of the data sync providers in the market today. Remember, since they have to segment their supported integrations, this often means that their subscribers are paying for each and every single integration they wish to collect data from.
Greenback is real-time accounting. We acquire itemized transactions from the source in real-time so we can support a range of products and services from accounting automation to inventory management. All designed to help you run your business.
On the other hand, most data sync providers support payout accounting only. Payout accounting providers will sync your transaction data based only on when payouts are deposited. Payout accounting providers will create a consolidated sales invoice that include the aggregate total of sales and expenses for all transactions that correlate to a payout from the marketplace.
So why should we care? Well, let’s go through some of the differences between Real Time Accounting and Payout Accounting and find out if any of this should matter to you.
If so, you’re out of luck with payout accounting providers. Without access to real time sales data you will be unable to rely on the inventory controls of your provider or your accounting system.
With real-time data from Greenback, you can ensure your tracking inventory levels accurately.
With Payout accounting providers you will have no flexibility to apply tax rates based on the details of each transaction. Without access to the detailed transaction data for each sale, you have no way of knowing how to properly allocate VAT rates based on the origin or destination of an order. For example, sales made within the UK and shipped outside of the UK are subject to zero rated VAT, whereas sales shipped within the UK are subject to 20% VAT.
Payout accounting providers are not privy to the payment method used on a transaction. Accounting for gift card sales, pre-orders and back-orders require accrual based accounting methods that are only supported by real-time accounting providers like Greenback.
If you need to track deferred revenues, unpaid and partially paid invoices, you’ll need accrual based support.
Because Payout accounting providers rely on the payout, they are by nature limited to a cash basis model.
If your business relies on deferred revenues, unpaid and partially sales invoices, you’ll need a real-time accounting provider like Greenback.
If so, you’ll need a real-time accounting provider. Payout accounting providers will only recognize your sales upon payout by the provider, which can take weeks and in some cases an entire month.
Most marketplaces have T&Cs that surround when and how they may hold back portions of your sales. Payout accounting providers will recognize revenue only when a payout hits your bank account. If you are subject to marketplace holdbacks, you will inaccurately recognize your revenues because a portion of your sales will remain within the ledger of the marketplace.
With Greenback, you will recreate the ledger of each marketplace within your accounting system, including real-time sales, expenses, refunds, reimbursements and holdbacks.
Closing out your accounting periods becomes difficult if you’re tracking your sales based on payouts.
If you rely on recognizing your sales revenue and selling related costs only when a payout occurs, you’ll find it difficult to cleanly close out your accounting file.
For example, let’s assume you want to close out the month of February. If you’re relying on a vendor that only recognizes your sales when a payout occurs, you will be forced to wait until all payouts associated with the month of february have been included in a payout.
Greenback takes a different approach by recreating each e-commerce provider's ledger within your accounting file. This ensures your treating your e-commerce providers like any other business bank account, with detailed records associated with your sales and expenses, regardless of when payouts are deposited.
For high volume sellers, publishing itemized sales transactions to your accounting file may not be preferred or supported due to the sheer volume of transactions. Greenback rollup exports are perfect for those who prefer a consolidated sales invoice that includes the aggregate total of sales and expenses for all transactions in a given time period.
In order to provide a better experience, Greenback rollup exports work differently than other payout providers. Greenback will still acquire itemized real-time data from each of your ecommerce providers. However, instead of presenting you with a giant mass of standalone transactions, Rollups give you the simplicity of consolidated transactions. The Rollups are presented similar to what a payout provider would offer, however we present you with the added benefit of exporting your transactions on a schedule independent of when you actually happen to receive a given payout.