Episode 1: How to Level Up Your Amazon Bookkeepingwith Jeremiah Kovacs from MuseMinded
In this episode of The Thriving Online Retailer Podcast we sat down with Jeremiah Kovacs from MuseMinded to discuss how Amazon sellers can level up their Amazon bookkeeping.
To take advantage of MuseMinded’s recommended free bookkeeping course for Amazon sellers click here.
TRANSCRIPTION (Note, this was transcribed by a robot and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Speaker 1: 00:00
Alex Oxford: 00:06 Hello everyone, and a very warm welcome to another edition of the thriving online retailer podcast coming to you from Denver, Colorado, hanging out here with Jeremiah from museminded who is in a very different part of the country. Jeremiah, where are you from?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 00:21 Yeah I’m down here just outside New Orleans.
Alex Oxford: 00:24 Are you in the swamp?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 00:28 Ah yeah, I got my big white boots and alligator overalls.
Alex Oxford: 00:36 Well, thanks for taking the time today. And for those that don’t know, Jeremiah Jeremiah, he’s the founder of Museminded, a accounting and bookkeeping firm that specializes in Amazon sellers. And His passion is helping Amazon sellers leveraged their financial data in their business and help them scale and grow profitably and eventually exit. So let’s get to it. Our podcast today is how Amazon sellers can level up their bookkeeping. And we’re going to do that in just eight minutes today. So I’m going to start my timer and Jeremiah, let’s just start off with the first question. Who is your ideal client?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 01:17 It’s really simple. We specialize and exclusively work with FBA centric businesses with U.S. Owners. So folks who have multiple sales channels, that’s fine. even Amazon International. Our bread and butter is working with online businesses where the bulk of their inventory is FBA managed.
Alex Oxford: 01:41 Awesome. And what is the problem that you guys solve?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 01:45 Yeah, so basically we help sellers get a solid bookkeeping system, rhythm in place, and then we handle the year end tax returns. That’s our current evolution and the future going into 2019. What we’re looking to build is sort of a coaching and advising program. I’m basically helping install like the top core principles of sound, financial management for Amazon sellers.
Alex Oxford: 02:16 I can imagine that a lot of Amazon sellers don’t have their bookkeeping in order because, you know, as, as a business owner who likes spending time on doing stuff like that. So what are some typical symptoms that people experience, uh, as it pertains to bookkeeping that you run into?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 02:33 There’s really three types of people that we run across the first set, the folks that don’t do it. So I think a big symptom of that is procrastination or anxiety. There’s fear, it’s a little bit of, you know, them, they see their numbers and books as like a little bit of a Pandora’s box and they’re worried about opening it because they don’t want to know what a terrible monsters are inside of their accounting reporting. And, and I think maybe the worst symptom that is ignorance, just not knowing what to do and as a result, they’re not making data backed decisions. They’re making a gut feel decision. Um, so I think that’s one of the bigger ones that we see. Then we have folks that do their bookkeeping or accounting but don’t do it. Right. And so then with those folks are getting bad data or making poor decisions because they’re working with working with bad data.
Jeremiah Kovacs: 03:26 Um, and then, you know, uh, I’m not a fearmonger, but then, you know, there is undoubtedly people that end up running into penalties and different things because they just simply did their accounting wrong. So, but I think the last one is the folks that do, they do take care of it themselves and they do it right, but it takes a really long time. So a lot of Amazon sellers run through there. They’re very much do it yourselfers. And I think for this group of people, unfortunately, by focusing on trying to save a buck, they ended up taking themselves away from those, I guess growth activities, right? Launching new products, optimizing existing products, and, you know, the end result I guess is, is they ended up stepping over dollars to pick up dimes, you know, that old kind of catch phrase. So yeah, I think those are some of the typical symptoms from emotional to just poor decision making or lost lots of money.
Alex Oxford: 04:21 You mentioned a few of the things like penalties which are never good and trust me, I know that feeling especially about Pandora’s box, you know, what you don’t know, can’t hurt you. Right? But what are some common mistakes that people make when they’re trying to handle bookkeeping themselves that might bite them in the rear, you know, months or years down the road?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 04:42 Yeah. You know, when, when the people come to it, there’s really four main issues that kind of have to get addressed. I think one of the common mistakes is people don’t address their mindset. So a lot, a lot, a lot of accountants don’t realize they’re bringing negative mindsets to their finances. Like they, there’s a lot of negative self talk around. I’m not an accountant, I’m not a numbers person. I just don’t get it. And so they end up like checking out of that area of their business or they say, I’ll take care of that one day when I can hire someone good. And I think so a common mistake is people not addressing their mindset early and just sort of taking responsibility for this corner of Your Business and saying, you know, what, not about. It’s not something that needs to be innate.
Jeremiah Kovacs: 05:29 Something I can learn, I can get better at. The second thing I think is people put the wrong automation in place. Sometimes they put two little automation in place and then sometimes they put too much, you know, and they ended up over automating and that they actually ended up costing more money, more time because the systems are way too advanced for their needs. I think the third common problem I see is owners end up putting the wrong people in the wrong seat. So a lot of times that the biggest one that is the owner puts himself in the seat of a bookkeeper or an accountant when that should be someone else. Another common problem. A lot of folks that come to us, they were quick to delegate it to the cheapest or most familiar person that they knew could actually do bookkeeping and they ended up kind of cutting corners and working with someone that just wasn’t an expert and an Amazon and ecommerce and inventory based businesses. So I’m just not having the right person in that seat can be a real challenge. I think the last big problem is having poor processes in place and usually that stems from the third issue. If you have the wrong person in the wrong seat, they tend to have around profit and play.
Alex Oxford: 06:41 Yeah, all of that makes sense. So what is one free valuable action item that a listener as Amazon sellers can begin to implementing that will help them with their bookkeeping today?
Jeremia Kovacsh: 06:52 Yep. I think the valuable action I would suggest it to get done what we call a map analysis m, a p, p. So that was actually the four things I just mentioned. Mindset, automation, people and process. Not unlike a swot analysis for those had been in business. With a map analysis, you just analyze your mindset, thinking about where you’re at in that level. Rank yourself out of 10 and maybe identify some bottlenecks in that area. Do the same thing with automation and analyze the automation, the tech stack. Do you have too much? What’s not working, what is working? And then analyze the people aspect of this problem. And the process, so a quick map analysis, takes 10, 15 minutes. I think a lot of problems in this area of business just comes from inattention just comes from being intimidated. So taking a little bit of time to dig down deep. Um, yeah, we’ll get you on the right path.
Jeremiah Kovacs: 07:51 Yeah. And being intentional about that business that you want to create, you want to grow and having the, the numbers to back it up because it’s so easy to forget about these things and just assume it’s being taken care of, you know, the bookkeepers handling it or the, you know, the automation is taking care of it by really being intentional about it. It makes a lot of sense. So, uh, what’s, what’s one free resource that you’d recommend for Amazon sellers to help solve all of these issues that come up with bookkeeping?
Jeremiah Kovacs: 08:20 Yep, it’s a great free Resource. So we have a bookkeeping automation course where you go over our text back, the one that we use for all our clients, how to spell it out for yourself, how to run the processes. So kind of solving the automation problem and the profits. So that URL is Museminded.com/get-started-free. There’s a dash between each of those words though. Get Dash started, dash free. Um, and yeah, we went from there. We used to sell those for 300 bucks we give those away for free now.
Alex Oxford: 08:55 That’s awesome.
Alex Oxford: 08:56 What’s one question that I should have asked that would be great value to Amazon sellers, but I neglected to ask.
Jeremiah: 09:12 Yeah, one question we get a lot is what’s the most important reports you’re running your business. So if you want to make better choices,
Jeremiah: 09:14 decisions with data, what, what should I be looking for? And one of the things that we strongly recommend is an income statement or some people got profit and loss and what you need to do is he needed to start tracking all those line items as a percentage of revenue. So we call it a percentage of revenue and l and you analyze month over month and what that does is allows … your inventory businesses are all about margin and how much margin are you keeping until you can see I’m at different levels of your business, how much margin is being that business? I can see that trend up and down month, over month. It really helps if you dial in specific areas, your business that you need to address to take it to the next level.
Alex Oxford: 10:00 Well, awesome. Thank you so much for your time today, Jeremiah, and uh, looking forward to hanging out with you again in the future. Thanks Alex. cheers.