These days, if you have or are looking to take on eCommerce-based clients there is a dizzying amount of compliance and technical information you need to know at the state and local level in order to be successful.
One may even be intimidated by taking on clientele of this nature, however there is guidance available to you. Firms like Catching Clouds, run by Scott and Patti Scharf, have been able to build a successful niche from providing compliance and advisory services to eCommerce clients.
In May, Scott will be hosting a session entitled Helping Your Clients with eCommerce and Selling in an Omni-channel Environment at the Avalara Crush event. This session will provide, among other things, an overview of the eCommerce world and focus on the accounting, sales tax management processes and technologies needed to support eCommerce businesses.
We recently spoke with Scott about the common questions and challenges firms may face when dealing with eCommerce clients and potentially establishing themselves in this niche.
AW: What is some basic advice/first steps to establishing an eCommerce practice?
Scharf: Deciding that you are interested in ecommerce businesses, the owners, an inventory based business, lots and lots of technology to deal with. If this interests you, then Ecommerce Accounting might be the niche for you.
If you want to niche in ecommerce, you should be all in. You can’t effectively work in this one niche and attempt to “specialize” in many different practice areas (professional services, non-profit, restaurants, creatives, legal, etc.). The time requirements are significant when it comes to learning and maintaining an expertise in this space.