How Do I Use Profits to Track My Amazon Financial Records?

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Sales. Gross Revenue. Net Profits. Expenses. Inventory Levels. Refunds. Advertising costs. Amazon fees. COGS. Operating a business on Amazon means tracking and managing a lot of data, 24-7. All of Helium 10's tools are developed to make selling on Amazon easier. But in the end, we hope using the tools leads to Profits.

Profits' dashboard tracks a lot of information to help you monitor the financial aspects of your Amazon business. Profits is not specifically accounting software. Instead, the software gathers, organizes and displays important financial data from your Amazon Seller Account into one tool for easy viewing and monitoring.

All of the data in Profits comes directly from Amazon. Helium 10 scans for and imports Amazon data to your Profits account every five minutes for Diamond and Elite members, and every 30 minutes for Platinum members. It's important to keep in mind that since the data in Amazon is updating frequently, the numbers and charts in Profits are also changing frequently.

Let's take a tour through the basic features of the tool.

1. To open Profits, sign into Helium 10's main tool dashboard. Click on the Profits tool link either in the top toolbar or using the drop-down menu in the top right corner.

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2. The first time you sign into Profits, you'll see a green notification banner at the top of the screen. The green banner signals that you are previewing a demo version of what your data will look like once you've been using the tool for awhile. In the demo version, you can see the various tabs and windows to orient yourself to the tool's elements before clicking the demo data away. Once you click on the white Enable button in the green banner, the demo data disappears (forever). 

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3. After you enable Profits, it takes up to 12 hours for Helium 10 to gather and load all your Amazon data from the previous two months. After 3-4 days though, you'll see some data included going back as far as the start of the previous year. PPC data can only be collected and reported from the two months prior to activation of the Profits tool though, due to the way Amazon's API works.

Notice that the sidebar menu shows five tabs. The top tab, Profits, displays an overview of all your data. The other tabs are Products, Inventory Levels, Expenses and Refunds. We'll tour through Profits opening page first.

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4. Profits' main dashboard scrolls through a lot of key data. At the top, Profits begins with an overview of gross revenue and net profits for the day, the previous day and a total for the previous seven days. 

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5. You can also review a specific time range by changing the dates in the Custom section on the right side of the dashboard.

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6. To see how the total net is determined, click on the blue explain amount text to open pop-up windows with a breakdown of the individual components.

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7. The explain amount link pops out a card showing the specific Amazon fees included in Profits' reports, as well as a breakdown of which PPC costs are Sponsored Products and which are Sponsored Brands. Amazon has dozens and dozens of various fees. It's important to note which ones are included in Profits automatically, and which ones you'll need to type in yourself. Different types of products can incur different kinds of fees, so Profits only incorporates the most common fees in its automatic reports. 

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8. Taxes are not collected identically in different marketplaces. For the American market, Profits displays the tax below the line. In markets with VAT, Profits shows taxes above the line.

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9. The red and green buttons signal the changes in revenue, red for declining, green for increasing. If you click on the buttons, a small card pops up with the previous and current totals.

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10. If you want to see the details for active promotions, click on the blue PROMOS text at the bottom of each column.

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11. The Promotional details page shows you specific data on the products for which you have promotions running. At the top is a chart detailing the number of products that have been purchased using each promotion, and below that is a list of promotional sales for each product, including the cost of that promotion.

Because Amazon does not delineate its Prime member promotional discounts from the merchant or seller promotional discounts, that API data imports into Profits together.

Consequently, the Promo data in Profits can appear conflicting. On the main dashboard, the Gross Revenue should be accurate because Prime promotions, like free shipping, do not incur a cost to sellers (unless the seller actively participates in free shipping), but inside Profits, the Promotion details report includes both merchant and Amazon promotions, appearing to increase both the number of promotions and the promotional costs for the seller.

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12. The next section, as you scroll down, is titled Favorite Items. You must choose which products appear as favorites. Helium 10 shows the top three selling 'favorite' items on the main dashboard, but if you click on Show more, a window opens with all your favorite items in a list. 

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13. The Favorite Items list contains all the tagged products and their specific data: gross and net revenue, cost, margin, number of promos, refunds and unit sales. For sellers who have a large inventory, this feature allows them to track important products easily. The window also contains a link to the product page where you can manage which products to include in this list. Click on the blue Manage Favorites button in the top right corner.

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14. Profits lets you 'star' the products you want to see easily. When you click on the blue Manage Favorites button, it takes you to the Inventory Levels page where you can see a list of all your products. There, you can click on the stars next to the product images. A gold star means that you've made the product a favorite. 

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15. Back on the main dashboard, the next section breaks down the Sales Trends of all your products. It shows the three products whose sales declined the most and the top three products whose sales increased the most. The Performance Matrix reports the trends of all your products, collectively, and the final bar graphs visualize the changes in unit sales and estimated net profit.

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16. If you click on Show more at the bottom of the Declining sales box, your list of products will sort with the products showing the biggest drop in sales at the top.

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17. If you click on Show more at the bottom of the Increasing sales box, your list of products will sort with the products showing the biggest gain in sales at the top.dashboardsalestrendsdecreasingexpand.png

18. Performance Matrix expands the data from the top of the dashboard to show the number of orders, units sold, ROI, the margin, refunds and the ASIN count. Click on the blue Explain text to open the pop-up card with more details.

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19. In the third area of Sales Trends, you'll find two bar charts. The first graph compares the Units Sold for the current and the previous months. The second chart displays the Estimated Net Profits for the current and previous months.

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20. The next section of data on the main dashboard displays critical data for Inventory Levels. It shows which products have the most and least days of remaining inventory in stock. If inventory runs out, your product could lose rank, and if inventory is overstocked, it can cost you excessive storage fees. Successful sellers monitor and manage inventory as efficiently as possible.

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21. The last section of data, titled Bestsellers, located at the bottom of the main dashboard displays the top five best selling products' data. From this screen you can download the current month's data, or click on the Show more text at the bottom of the screen to open the complete Product Performance page.

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22. When you click on Show more, Helium 10 opens the Product Performance page, which can also be accessed by clicking on the second tab in the left side toolbar. All of the data can be sorted top to bottom or bottom to top. Simply click on the column heading to sort the products for that data. The default setting for the data is based on the current month, but you can change the date range using the drop-down menu in the top right corner of the window. You can also search for specific ASINs, SKUs or titles using the field and blue Filter button. Finally, you can export the data as a csv file by clicking the white Export button in the upper right corner.

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23. The third tab on the left side menu opens the Inventory page. This section of Profits lets you quickly and efficiently review which products are selling, which need restocked, and which are candidates for clearance sales.

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24. You can download the data for your personal records, or you can upload product sales data from records predating your use of Profits.

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25. Importing COGS data that existed before you started using Profits requires special conditions. Be sure to read carefully through the requirements before you attempt to upload your existing data. When you have the csv file ready to upload, click on the white Import COGS button in the upper right corner. Follow the instructions carefully.

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26. Downloading data is much easier. Simply click on the white Export COGS button in the upper right corner of the dashboard and Helium 10 will download it to your computer.

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27. The Expenses tab, located as the fourth tab in the left side menu, works independently of the rest of the tool. This window allows you to enter and track specific costs outside of Amazon's general fees, including standard business expenses like software subscriptions, office supplies, and third-party advertising. 

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28. Expenses stores your monthly records by year, so you can go back and review data from the previous years you've been using Profits. Click on the data range button to select the year you want to view.

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29. To add in new and recurring costs, you can click on the white New Expense button in the top right corner of the page. A New Expense window will open, allowing you to enter the date, service, product, cost, and currency for the expense. You can also click the Expense type for Monthly (Recurring) or One Time, depending on the nature of the expense. If you select Monthly, Profits will automatically add the expense to subsequent month's costs from that date forward. When you've entered the required data, click the green Add button in the bottom right corner. If you want to cancel the New Expense data, click on the white Close button in the bottom left corner.

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30. The only cost that Helium 10 adds automatically into the the Expenses records are FBA Storage Fees. That data is collected from Amazon and added for your convenience.

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31. If you click on the Storage Fees link, Profits opens a Monthly Storage Fees Details page, which breaks down the storage fees by product and marketplace.

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32.  The third button in the top right corner allows you to Export your Expenses records as either an Excel or CSV file.dashboardexpenseexport.png

33. The last tab in the left side menu opens the Refunds page. Profits displays the data, by date, for the five products with the most refunds. On the left is a pie chart showing the number of refunds for these five products compared to the number of refunds for the rest of your products. On the right, a bar graph shows the rate of refunds compared to total sales for those five products.

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34. Below the charts, all your products are listed with the number of Refunds and the number of Returns. The data defaults to the current month unless you select and filter for a different date range. The last column on the right contains linked icons to expand the data for each product specifically.

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35. Click on the mini pie chart graphic to expand a product's return data. The first bar graph shows the Reasons for Returns, and the second shows the Quantity of Returns, and notes whether the return was accompanied by customer comments.

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36. Clicking on the mini dialogue icon will prompt Profits to display any available customer comments regarding the reasons for the return.

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37. Reviewing customer comments about why they returned a product can help you quickly respond and troubleshoot recurring issues.

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38. Finally, all of the charts and the customer comments can be downloaded and stored locally on your computer.

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Now that you've toured through the Profits tool, it's time to click on the white Enable button on the green banner at the top of the main dashboard and let Profits begin migrating your Amazon data into the tool. Depending on the number of products you sell in Amazon, populating Profits with your data may take 12 hours or more.

 

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