3 Easy Steps About How To Do Bookkeeping For Your Business

Vova Even Sep 01, 2023
21 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. Expert Advice on Bookkeeping for Amazon Sellers: A Conversation with Mariane Labonete
    1. What is Bookkeeping?
    2. 3 Easy Steps to Start Bookkeeping for Your Business
    3. When Should You Hire a Bookkeeper, and Why?

Disclosure: Hi! It's Vova :) Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I get a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link, this does not cost you more money, and many times I can even get a nice discount for you. This helps me keep the content free forever. For you. Thank you! :) 

Expert Advice on Bookkeeping for Amazon Sellers: A Conversation with Mariane Labonete

Hey, people!

I hope everything’s been good in your life.

As you’re aware, I occasionally invite some guests to discuss new, exciting, and helpful topics here on this blog.

So in today’s article, I will be joined by Mariane Labonete from Accounting PIFOLZ to discuss how to do bookkeeping for your business in three easy steps.

Marianne is going to help us explore this important part of every business and she will guide us through all the details.

As I mentioned above, she represents a group called Accounting PIFOLZ which helps people around the world with their bookkeeping.

She has got a great track record of helping sellers from the Philippines as well, which is her birth country, and she also helps her fellow countrymen to learn about bookkeeping and subsequently convert their learning into earning by helping clients around the world. 

I am Vova Even, and I am an active Amazon seller.

I have been in the trenches here at Amazon since 2016 and got a successful enterprise behind me.

I have not only attracted a fair amount of success from Amazon but also guided a plethora of sellers in their prosperous careers.

I have done so by offering Amazon FBA FREE tutorials and courses on my YouTube and my Udemy, so if you are new to this space of mine, you are welcome to visit my FREE learning platforms. 

You are also welcome to learn about EcomBalance, a service for e-commerce bookkeeping by Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan.

Let’s now bring Mariane in!

Hey Mariane, how are you today?

Please tell our readers about yourself and then we will dive into our topic of the day. 

P.S. Here's a little bonus for you.

Though there are a lot of things for you to learn here, you can now watch our conversation on YouTube as well: 

Mariane: Thank you, Vova, for inviting me to your blog. I love the work you do here!

I'm Mariane Labonete, and I’m an accounting graduate with a specialization in business administration.

In the year 2021, I found the freelancing world as an opportunity for all of us Filipino to use our talent and skills and help clients all over the world in managing their business finances.

Since then, I have not only been helping my clients with their bookkeeping stuff but also teaching newbies about bookkeeping who want to learn how to serve international clients.

We have a Facebook group that now has 13,800 members already where we help each other through some paid courses and free webinars.

The goal of our initiative is to serve clients all over the world who want to have their financial statements ready and taxes and strategies set up. 

Vova: That’s pretty cool! Before we continue, let me say that it is really nice to have you here, Mariane.

mariane labonete vova even

I know this is going to be a fruitful discussion for those who want to learn about it.

Bookkeeping is something many new sellers tend to ignore.

They don’t invest too much time in it and run their business without recording their finances.

They try to sell products and yet don’t know if they’re profitable or not.

They just stay complacent about the fact that they’re getting more and more sales without knowing how to make things right.

So, Mariane, what can you tell me about this?

Also, I would like you to introduce our readers to bookkeeping and explain how they can benefit from it. 

Mariane: Thank you for your kind words, Vova.

I think bookkeeping is one of the most fun and adventurous jobs, as after you become a professional, you are the one responsible for getting books and financial statements done for business owners.

Having a bookkeeper or doing the bookkeeping is essential as it will make your life easier; as a seller, it will allow you sufficient time and space to focus on other important matters such as marketing, inventory management, etc. 

We will come onto the three steps on how to do the bookkeeping.

I will help you explain all things concerning bookkeeping, but let me quickly summarize what bookkeeping actually means. 

What is Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping simply means a process of recording transactions, expenses, and income and ensuring that this process is properly carried out.

Once all the recording is done, we can translate that into the financial statement and let our client know the outcome of his dealings.

The ultimate goal of bookkeeping is to see if a business really has a profit or income at the end of the year or if it’s losing more than earnings.

3 Easy Steps to Start Bookkeeping for Your Business

Now, here are my three tips to get good books in place.

These are basically requirements for the clients that they have to provide a bookkeeper so that he or she can do their work.

By following these steps, you can streamline your finances and focus on what really matters - growing your business.

1 - Provide a Bank Statement

First of all, when a client seeks a bookkeeper’s help, the first thing that he or she needs to get a bookkeeper onboard is a bank statement.

I'm pretty sure ninety percent of all your transactions are carried out through a bank, so undoubtedly, these records will be accurate, including the 10% of fixed assets, loans, or insurances.

As you know, a bank statement has plenty of information on it, but it is always a reliable source because it comes out of a strongly scrutinized process.

Hence, if you appoint me as your bookkeeper, you will be required to provide me with a bank statement so that I can record all the transactions.

And besides bank statements, a client should also give credit card information.

I don’t mean the credit card number and all; of course, you don’t want a stranger to catch a glimpse of that.

But I mean the details of what you buy through it because sometimes, personal and business expenses are mixed so in that case, you will need a bookkeeper to separate your personal and business expenses.

2 - Provide Access to Your Accounting Software

The second a bookkeeper needs is the details of your accounting software.

It is essential to have accounting software because it helps you easily manage your finances.

Therefore, if you are a seller and you haven’t got your software yet, I will recommend you to have one installed as soon as possible. 

I know many clients in the United States prefer to use QuickBooks, and those in the United Kingdom and Australia use Xero, but whatever the software might be, the goal is to have the software just to make your transactions easy and fast.

3 - Use Google Drive

The third and last step to start bookkeeping for your business is using Google Drive.

The client, who hires a bookkeeper, will have to share all their receipts, bills, or expenses on Google Drive so that everything in the bank statement can be verified or supported.

So, these are three basic steps to initiate bookkeeping for your business.

From then on, a bookkeeper would be able to review and record all these transactions and put them into the accounting software.

This entire recording process will help a bookkeeper prepare a financial statement at the end of a year in which you will see how much you earned, how much you lost, what expenses are redundant and need to be cut off, and where you need to invest more.

That’s it.

I hope I have explained everything in a clear and concise manner. 

Vova: You put that in a very comprehensible way, Mariane.

Let me summarize all three steps quickly; Mariane, you can correct me wherever I’m wrong. 

So, first of all, a client has to provide his or her bank statement so that the bookkeeper knows what goes in and what goes out.

Secondly, accounting software will be needed for essential recordkeeping, and lastly, all the record sharing must be carried out on Google Drive so that everything remains safe and transparent for all the parties involved.

That’s cool, I would say because I don’t see any complications, though I would love to know how I am supposed to share the bank statements. 

But first, I wanted to ask why would someone need somebody to help them with bookkeeping. I mean, can’t we do this all on our own?

Take me, for example.

I have been selling on Amazon since 2016 and we get paid about every two weeks from Amazon.

We receive all the information i.e. bills, expenses, reports, etc., in PDF files from the marketplace.

So, why can’t Vova just put them into a single folder and carry out the recordkeeping process on his own?

Why do I need someone else to do it for me?

And let me add another question.

When exactly does anyone need to get a bookkeeper? 

When Should You Hire a Bookkeeper, and Why?

Mariane: That's two good questions, Vova.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding bookkeeping, because of which people tend to ignore this vital part of any business.

I believe hiring a bookkeeper is necessary when you start a business.


Your bookkeeper will really align your goals for the next five or ten years of your business, and you can also verify through the bookkeeper, for example, if you have a budget for next year.

If not, you can put together your bookkeeper's budget forecast for the next year.

The bookkeeper can also help you have the actual expenses in comparison to the forecast, and from then on, you can review together what's happening in your business.

It is important because sometimes, as I mentioned earlier, you have mixed personal and business expenses.

Hence, having that information will give you control over what to bring in and what to cut off your business to make it profitable. 

Let me repeat that the goal of a bookkeeper is to make your business profitable, so you have to make sure everything is accurate, and everything is properly tracked.

Remember, the key to becoming a successful seller or businessperson is the delegation of tasks.

I strongly believe if you're a business owner who wants to grow and focus on business development, you have to hire a bookkeeper because it will exempt you from investing your energy in specific aspects of business development that will later be handed over to a bookkeeper. 

In the meantime, you will have enough time to research your product and subsequently run a strong marketing campaign for it.

When you are done with all these things, you can go out with your family or friends on vacation, enjoying beautiful sunny days on vacation while a bookkeeper compiles a financial statement for you!

Vova: I think I totally agree with you on this!

Mariane, as you mentioned the clients need to share with you the bank and credit card statements.

So how does that work?

Do we have to send these statements in PDFs or is there any other way? 

Mariane: It is very simple.

Once you subscribe to QuickBooks Online, there's a feature that allows you to Sync QuickBooks to your bank.

It's much easier as we don't have to encode everything manually.

However, if I am a bookkeeper, I will still need a hard copy of the PDF file of your statement to verify some transactions.

As bookkeepers, we have to make sure everything is running transparently and accurately.

The features of QuickBooks Online can sync all your transactions from incoming expenses so the only thing that I will do is verify the transactions.

In the eCommerce business, there are a lot of things taking place simultaneously.

There are subscriptions, marketing, payments to your virtual assistants, and the inventory you are buying from the supplier – there’s a tiresome process involved behind all these things, and the numbers coming out of them might not be humble enough to give you time to make important decisions.

That is also why a bookkeeper would be a great asset to your business.

Vova: That makes sense.

As a seller, I would really like to have time to see other crucial parts of the business now that my business has swelled to a bigger one.

In the beginning, I remember I was selling only one product at a time.

I only paid one time to the supplier, so there wasn't much money going around.

I only had to pay around $500 to the supplier, and other expenses were minimal, like payment for the logo, etc.

So, I was of the view that in the beginning, a seller can track it on their own.

However, you're saying that a seller should actually focus on marketing, promotion, and other parts of the business, but not on copy-pasting PDF files here and there and tracking their finances.

They should let the bookkeeper carry out recordkeeping for them.

But, in your opinion Mariane, where do you see sellers’ saving problem?

I mean, when they have more products and more money moving in and out, they tend to forget things! 

Mariane: I understand where that's coming from, Vova.

Now, I will answer that question with a question: Why do you choose eCommerce as your first business, and what is your main goal in it?

Most probably, the answer would be to have profit and long-term businesses, but how can one plan to quantify that if they don't know how much the product costs and what expenses came with that product?

Of course, there will be expenses to cover as there are Amazon fees and other taxes to deal with. 

That’s why before putting something on Amazon, you have to consider all those things first, but you won’t be able to do that if you don’t have the help of a bookkeeper.

He or she will tell you how much profit you earn per product, what the expenses are, and what things you need to do to scale your business and increase your profit.

I hope I explained it well, but let me know if you need me to talk more about this.  

Vova: You did a wonderful job there, Mariane!

I also wanted to ask, if I'm an Amazon seller, should my bookkeeper be an Amazon bookkeeper who understands Amazon business or it can be anyone who is good with numbers?

Mariane: I think you should hire a bookkeeper who understands your business model.

There are a lot of business models out there; there's real estate, cleaning services, etcetera.

So, in Amazon sellers’ specific case, a good bookkeeper should be the one who understands the pain points of the eCommerce sellers.

What pain points could be there?

Reconciliations, because sometimes payout is different from the seller.

Sometimes, sellers think there are sales but when they receive the money, it's already net.

There are also many things to consider like does the bookkeeper have any prior expertise or knowledge in that particular industry, etc.

I have an impressive background in serving e-commerce clients because I have good knowledge of eCommerce bookkeeping.

So if the bookkeeper has a history of serving in the same industry as yours, it's a big advantage. 

Secondly, the sellers should hire a bookkeeper who at least is a finance graduate because then they will be much more competent to perform the job.

The competent person knows what he or she has to do and can be a valuable asset. 

Vova: That’s well-explained.

Now Mariane, I would like you to tell us about your free audit as I remember in our conversation, you had mentioned that you offer free audit.

So please tell us what it is and what your free audit offer includes.

I am sure there are a lot of people here who would be keen to learn that. 

Mariane: The free audit includes forecast and budgeting, as I am a strong believer in these two things.

We can start from that because as a business, you have a vision for your company; you know how much money you want to earn every month, maybe, for example, fifty thousand dollars a month.

So, you have to be distinct and sure about your target income, excluding all the expenses like basic marketing, subscriptions, loans, etc. 

Other than that, we can record your day-to-day transactions, the existing process, and your investment before you create the store.

You might have already hired some VA, invested in marketing, and put some money into the business  – we have to understand how much money you have invested so far.

Then we can see the Return on Investment (ROI) so that you will understand that my business really has potential and I will continue this business because I'm generating income, I already get my ROI. 

That’s what is included in our free audit where we start things from forecasting.

But sellers can avail of different services as well, as per their choice.

Basically, our goal is to help you understand first your goal and the potential profit of your business. 

Vova: That’s great! And then, I guess the process is pretty much automated, right?

I mean, let's say people choose to work with you or maybe with other people who are part of your group of bookkeepers.

Then, after all these initial phases are done and we have an understanding of what you need from us at the beginning or at the end of each month; for example, the bank and the credit card statement.

Also, we have to give you access to our bookkeeping software – that’s it.

That’s the complete process which, I think, will only take a few minutes every month.

Now imagine the time it will save us! I know people spend half and sometimes full days copying this file and that file and that list and this report to prepare their informal financial statements.

As Amazon sellers, getting PDFs quickly should not be a tough task as we get automated invoices from software like Helium 10 that we use.

The only thing we have to do is put these files in the right folder on Google Drive, and that’s it!

Mariane: Exactly! And then you will have a record where you can see every month what expenses have increased or decreased.

This is called financial analysis, where you can analyze which things you need to cut.

As you know, cost-cutting will also increase your income so you will have to reconsider any particular subscription that you may not want to continue. With a bookkeeper in place, you won’t have to worry about anything.

Vova: That’s right. Now, before we wrap it up, Mariane, is there anything you would like to tell us that I didn't ask about bookkeeping, or maybe there’s something that you would like to advise people?

Mariane: I think we have covered everything so far.

I would just repeat that we're helping business owners all over the world, and helping business owners means job opportunities for us.

That's why we're here to help our fellow Filipinos and to manage your profits so that you can spend time with your family and enjoy traveling the world or doing whatever you want.

You can do that only if you delegate.

That's what business delegations are there for; they make your business grow while you are away enjoying yourself with your loved ones.

Lastly, we're doing this free audit with Vova so if you want to have one, we can really help you to assess your business whether it is a start-up or neem running for two to three years.

Vova: That’s pretty cool! Yes, I am going to provide all the important links so that you can contact Mariane for a free audit and maybe for seeking any advice.

Not to mention, you can also join Mariane’s Facebook group which is now a well-grown community of 7,000 bookkeepers who are helping people all around the world.

What is impressive about the group is they have grown it in just a year.

So, thank you so much Mariane for being with us today and sharing your precious insights on bookkeeping!

Mariane: You are welcome, Vova! I hope my views help your readers out there.

Vova: Yeah, I can tell you that it will definitely help many!

I had a conversation with two of my friends recently who were running a business on Amazon, and they generated $2,000 in sales.

I asked them how much profit they were making but they could tell me nothing about it!

Please bear in mind that they were in the business for a few years.

That’s what I think is not good.

Mariane: You raised a very important point, Vova. Sellers have to understand that just because they are generating more and more sales doesn’t mean they are generating profit as well.

These are two different things. 

Vova: Exactly! That’s why I said this article is going to be very informational for all those who want to learn about bookkeeping.

Maybe my friends are reading this article too, and who knows, maybe after reading this, they will finally realize that they have to get a bookkeeper!  

Anyways, Mariane, can you please tell us what the price is for your bookkeeping services? 

Mariane: Well, for starters, we do not have a specific price set, but it rather varies from the needs and wants of the client.

Our only goal is to work to grow the business of our client because, with its growth, our business will also grow. 

Vova: But in your case, when do you tell your quotation? Is it after you see transactions and other information or you have various packages set out for yourself?

I suppose it is difficult to tell the price before seeing any information about the business, right? 

Mariane: Absolutely, Vova. As there are usually bulk transactions, we see all the statements first and then tell our price.

With retainers, we generally cost $300, but that also depends upon the magnitude of the transactions and how much work we will have to do exactly. 

Vova: I think that sums it up! Thank you so much, Mariane, for being with us today.

It was really a thought-provoking conversation, and I am sure many would have got substantial information about bookkeeping and its significance for their business.

You can reach out to Mariane if you want a free audit of your business.

I have provided the contact information so don’t miss the opportunity!

It’s goodbye from both of us.

Thank you for joining us today.

Please don’t forget to explore more informational gems on this blog, and if you want to learn Amazon FBA directly under my supervision, you have my free Udemy courses to start with!

Take care!


Vova :)

Table of Contents
  1. Expert Advice on Bookkeeping for Amazon Sellers: A Conversation with Mariane Labonete
    1. What is Bookkeeping?
    2. 3 Easy Steps to Start Bookkeeping for Your Business
    3. When Should You Hire a Bookkeeper, and Why?

Disclosure:  Hi! It's Vova :) Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I get a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link, this does not cost you more money, and many times I can even get a nice discount for you. This helps me keep the content free forever. For you. Thank you! :)