Challenge Credit Card Accounting Online Shop
With the increasing success and size of online shops and the increased number of orders, companies are faced with the challenge of how to improve and automate their processes, especially in industries with high cost pressure. Therefore, many merchants ask themselves how the accounting processes of credit cards and other payment methods (PayPal, PostFinance, TWINT) can be automated in their online shop. Today I would like to provide you with some answers to this question.
However, with the progress of digitalisation and the associated opportunities for automation, traders of all sizes can save massive amounts of time and money if they recognise and implement automation potential. I believe that there is massive potential in the area of accounting in particular. For example, the accounting of many means of payment such as credit cards poses great challenges for merchants.we explain why and show possible solutions.
Digitalisation and automation potential
Surveys of companies in German-speaking countries repeatedly show that there is still massive potential for digitisation in various sectors.Digitisation as the creation of digital representations has the purpose of digitally storing information and making it available for electronicdata processing.
Source: Statista, 2019
Digitisation is also often used as a synonym for automation. Exactly this potential for automation also exists in accounting for payments that are processed in online shops of merchants. I am talking specifically about the automation of VAT accounting, the booking of sales and fees that are realised via the various payment methods or the automation of returns processes and the associated payment flows.
For various reasons, the automated booking of credit card transactions poses a great challenge to you as a merchant, which requires a lot of manual work as the order volume grows:
- Credit card payments arrive in your account with a delay and as collective entries. This makes it very difficult for you to establish a link between the money in the account and the transactions / orders responsible for it.
- If you deliver to different markets in different currencies, there will be sales of different VAT classes "hidden" in the collective remittances.You can therefore not simply book the amounts paid out by the acquirers as revenue. All the more so because gross turnover is relevant for VAT. Credit card commissions must be shown as a reduction in income.
- The relevant VAT rates cannot be determined from the incoming payments. It is time-consuming to allocate the payments to the correct VAT rates.
- Payments from the acquirer do not arrive in the bank account until a few days later after the service has been rendered. This leads to accrual problems.
- Depending on the card type, different fees are charged. This problem is all the more accentuated when you settle in the Interchange++ model.The fee structure of the credit card acquirers is highly complex even for seasoned experts.
- Your customers have the option to dispute transactions, so-called charge backs. In the case of a charge back, the money is retained by the acquirer and offset against your payment. This increases the reconciliation effort and you may have an interest in collecting this claim in other ways.
The following realisation certainly results from the above-mentioned reasons. You cannot simply book the deposits on the bank account as turnover. Unless you are guaranteed to have only one VAT rate (and therefore no export) and you recognise the correct commission amount directly from the entry.
Correct booking of credit card transactions
From my point of view, there are two methods for correctly booking credit card sales in your online shop. In each case, you set up a separate account in your accounting for each payment method (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, PostFinance, TWINT, etc.). Alternatively, you can create an account for each acquirer (for example, Debitor Six Payment Services, Debitor Swisscard, PayPal).
This way, each transaction in your webshop is booked individually in the accounting department. When selling, you open a debtor against the corresponding acquirer or the payment method used. In case of a payout on your account, all acquirers provide so-called payout reports. In these reports you will find information about the order and the amount paid out. Based on this information, you close the debtor and book the credit card payment.
SaleDebitor SIX Payment Services / goods revenue CHF (8% VAT)200 CHFVATDebitor SIX Payment Services / VAT to be paid16 CHFPaymentBank ZKB / debtor SIX Payment Services 216 CHFCommissionCommission expense credit card / bank5.94 CHF
This method is time-consuming because at least 4 accounting records are needed for a business transaction. In addition, it leads to a bloating of the journal, since at least the above-mentioned accounting records must be created for each order.
Alternatively, you can consider the web shop as a sub-ledger. In this case, you post the sales broken down by VAT at the end of each period (e.g. a month). In most cases, the turnover data comes from the export of all orders of your online shop or the connection of your shop to your accounting software. Alternatively, you can use a PSP like wallee, which can also give you this information. More information on this below.
You then post the payments received directly to the customer accounts. As a rule, you will also find the commission amounts in the posting record for the transfer.
Domestic salesDebitor SIX Payment Services / goods revenue CHF (8% VAT)20'000 CHFExport salesDebitor SIX Payment Services / goods revenue CHF (0% VAT)45'000 CHFVATDebitor SIX Payment Services / VAT payable1'600 CHFIncoming payments*Bank ZKB / debtor SIX Payment Services756 CHFCommissionCommission expense credit card / bank15.94 CHF* During the month, the individual payments from the acquirer are received and booked directly against the transit account of the debtor SIX Payment Services.
The big problem with this method is that you have no control at the individual transaction level and therefore no information about chargebacks.In addition, these are pass-through accounts which are very difficult to reconcile. There are also still a relatively large number of manual bookings and the associated reconciliation effort. You can, of course, set the number of payouts by the acquirer to as high a limit as possible, as long as liquidity permits.This will allow you to reduce the number of bookings.
Automate credit card accounting in the webshop
No matter which method you finally choose. A relatively large amount of manual work remains or you have to reckon with a loss of transparency. I am therefore of the opinion that in the digital age, there must be an automated solution to this problem of automated booking of credit cards, PayPal transactions, etc.
wallee now offers the option of activating the Reconciliation feature and thus fully automating everything we have described above.when processing transactions via wallee, we have all the information about your order at line item level, including the VAT rate. So we know exactly what your customers are buying at what tax rate and gross amount. If you process the transactions via wallee, we can also automatically read in the payout data of the credit card acquirer and assign it to the transactions.
In other words: You save yourself the manual booking of sales and you have also directly realised a simple integration of your accounting for your web shop.
We show you for each transaction individually whether it has been paid. In wallee you will find information on when and to which account the money was transferred and at what fees. Everything happens completely automatically, as we read and process the reconciliation files of the credit card acquirers, PayPal, PostFinance, TWINT, invoice providers, CAMT files, etc. completely automatically.
In each transaction you can see when and how much has already been paid to which account.
We keep a fully automated sub-ledger for you. Process your transactions through us and we will provide you with a detailed statement at the end of the period, which you can hand over to your accountant or transfer to your accounting programme yourself. This reduces the effort and costs massively and gives you time for more important things. The integration of your shop into the financial accounting / ERP software is no longer necessary.
In the sub-ledger, all turnover is shown according to tax rates. You can transfer this book entry record to your general ledger at the end of the period.
We are of course aware that this is sensitive financial information. All data is stored in encrypted form and is PCI certified.
I hope you have followed me this far.Activating the automated accounting is very simple and can be activated by pressing a button. As soon as the reconciliation is active, the corresponding accounting records are automatically generated by wallee.If you process credit cards via a direct wallee acquirer, payouts should be automatically read into your Space. We are working diligently on integrating further means of payment and acquirers. We currently support the following payment methods:
- Credit card via SIX ACQUIRING
- ISR Invoice
- Invoice via MF Group
- PostFinance e-finance and card (mid-February 2019)
- TWINT (end of February 2019)
- More on request
No integration of your webshop into the accounting is necessary. You can simply transfer the sub-ledger to your accounting at regular intervals. We will show you this in the next blog post using the example of Bexio.
Enormous savings potential
In the above explanations we have shown you two methods for posting credit card sales. Let's assume that you or your accountant need about 5 minutes to create a booking record. At an hourly rate of approx. 50 CHF, the cost of a booking is therefore approx. 4.10 CHF. If you process the payment via wallee, we automatically take over the booking of the turnover as well as the account reconciliation in the sub-ledger of the individual payment types for 2 centimes per booking. Find out how we can help you solve the problem.
Multichannel / Terminals
To be honest, it has to be said that the above solution only works if you do not already book the turnover via the connection of your webshop. Moreover, currently only e-commerce transactions can be booked. However, we are already working with partners with whom we can also solve such challenges and thus help you holistically.
In case of questions, our support team is always at your disposal.