Tracking Your Sales and Expenses in South Korea
Alright, so you started to make some sales, awesome! But what will you do when you want to figure out ways to grow your business? Or when a customer asks about an order they made 6 months prior? And most importantly, what about when it comes time to do your taxes?!
In the world of business, keeping track of your sales and expenses is referred to as “Keeping the Books” or “Book Keeping”.
Keeping the books will help you organize your business. You will not only get a head start on your taxes, but you’ll be able to see where money is going out and where money is coming in. It is important to know what types of things are bringing in money into the business so that you can make adjustments to increase your sales. And if you notice something isn’t necessary to have in your business, then it is probably best to get rid of that expense.
*The above image is a screenshot of Paypal sales we received for one of the small businesses I owned. All of the payment gateways you can use to receive sales all have records that you can easily access.
When I was running my English Gyosoopso, I used a simple spreadsheet on my computer to input the sales we made. I wrote down each name of my students, the dates their next payment was due, the payment amount, and some contact info. When you run an English Gyosoopso, you can choose to charge an amount for a month or to charge an amount for a specific amount of weeks. So since we chose to go with the “weeks”method, which I regret doing, every student had a different start and end date for the duration of a payment. However, we never had more than 40 students at one time, so it wasn’t too much work for us. But for Flower Gift Korea, we had thousands of different customers who made a purchase and some of them ordered more than once. It would take a long time to insert the info for each sale into a spreadsheet, but that’s what I did at first.
*The above image is a screenshot of one week of sales for one of the businesses I owned. The online payment system clearly showed how much we made, how many orders were made, and which days were the busiest.
One of the reasons I wrote in the sales into a spreadsheet one by one when running Flower Gift Korea, was that I wanted to get an idea of what kind of sales we were getting, which countries people were placing orders from, and why people were buying what they were buying. So it may be worth it to hustle in your first few years of your business so you can get a good idea of your market. After awhile, it became too much work so we just relied on our E-Commerce platform on our website. We used Woo Commerce, which is a plugin we use on the WordPress platform. And there is an add-on you can buy that allows you to export all of the sales activity on your website in the form of a spreadsheet. So we ended up downloading the information and copying and pasting most of the information we needed to record in our sales records.
And for Flower Gift Korea, I basically kept two types of sales records. One type of sales records was to show me what kinds of sales we were making for marketing purposes (main record) and the other sales record was for tax purposes. I basically just modified the main sales record I had for our accountant. For each sale, your accountant generally needs to know what you sold, what method of payment was used (credit card, cash, etc.), how much you sold it for, what kind of sale it was (VAT or no VAT), and the date you sold it. And it is generally the same info needed when reporting your expenses. Your accountant may require other information, so speak to your accountant about what information she or he requires from you.
The very first year I ran a business I used a simple spreadsheet to keep track of my expenses. I just collected all the receipts I spent on expenses and input the info into the spreadsheet one at a time. After awhile I learned to just copy and paste the info from my credit card statements since my business registration number was connected to one of my credit cards. However, once I became very efficient, I ended up using the “NICE Data System” (www.nicedata.co.kr). The Nice Data System allowed us to keep a record of all of the credit cards we connected to its system. Since we were using two different business credit cards (one for me and one for my wife), we were able to retrieve records of all of our expenses in the form of downloadable spreadsheets.
*The above is a photo of our sales and expenses from the 2nd to the 11th of a month when running my English gyosoopso business in Seoul, South Korea. The first column shows the month, the second column shows the date, the third column shows the type of sale or expense, the fourth column is the amount of the sale, the fifth column is the amount of the expenses, and the sixth column is the difference.