When setting up Tradebox One you'll need to choose a stock control method; telling the system where to look for product details (and the quantities available if you're a physical goods business). Your inventory choice is intrinsic to how the software will operate and will also have an impact on the features the software can perform now and in the future.
How it works
In the initial Tradebox setup wizard, you'll choose an accounts package (Sage 50, Xero or None) and a stock control method (Accounts, Tradebox or None).
Regardless which method you choose, Tradebox will always:
- Download orders from your online marketplace.
- Take the price of items on the order from the online marketplace.
- This is never read from your accounts package or from a value stored in Tradebox. It means the order in Tradebox will always show the amount your customer actually paid online. And when you change any prices, you don't need to worry about doing it anywhere else, just in your online marketplace or webstore.
- Use your regional VAT preferences to calculate the VAT due on an order based on whether the shipping address is UK, EU or Rest of World.
Your choice of stock control method will determine:
- Whether Tradebox can determine the VAT rule to apply based on what's being sold
- If you sell a mix of VAT and non-VAT items within the UK, you'll need to use a stock control method of some kind; None isn't a valid stock control option for a mix of VAT treatments within-region.
- Whether any per-product reporting is available to you
- If inventory adjustments out should occur to reflect an item being sold
- Whether a free stock quantity is tracked and available to upload back to your online marketplaces
Note - in an existing Tradebox One dataset, you can check your inventory choice at any time in Configuration > Preferences > Stock Control Method: dropdown.
The above flowchart shows your appropriate inventory settings in Tradebox based on your situation. Note that VATable status applies only to UK sales in this case; sales to the EU or Rest of World are handled by other regional settings you'll choose within Tradebox.
Click the thumbnail above to open fullscreen, or click here to download as PDF.
The inventory choices in detail:
If you choose None there will be no requirement to set up products in Tradebox. Any features associated with products will not be available. In effect you will have a system that will provide order management and financial integration with your Accounts software. These are the main points to consider if you choose no inventory:
- No list of products or stock levels
- No ability to perform different VAT calculation based on what has been sold
- No ability to adjust stock levels and pass these back to the sales channels
- No product-based analysis
- Ability to create Service Invoices or summary entry batch invoices (straight to the audit trail) in Sage 50.
- Ability to create Invoices without Inventory Items in Xero; these can either be individual or summary entries
If you are looking for a simple solution, financial integration only, or you use another system already for products and stock control, then this may be the best option for you. This is only applicable if you're not VAT registered, or if everything you sell has the same tax treatment within the UK.
This option should be used if you're running Tradebox standalone with no accounts integration, and you require stock control. It may also be used if you want financials-only summary entries into your accounts package.
If you are integrating Sage 50/Xero and need a stock control system, you would generally choose Accounts rather than Tradebox as your stock control method; your accounts package has a purchase ledger which will impact on your product reporting and stock control when you raise supplier invoices or sales orders, this won't be reflected if you choose Tradebox stock control.
If you choose Tradebox you will need to set up your products and stock levels in Tradebox. This can be done manually, via a spreadsheet import, from Sage or (where there is an API integration) from the online sales channel. Any upload of stock levels will take their quantities from the stock level in Tradebox. These are the main points to consider if you choose 'Tradebox':
- Stock levels can be passed to sales channels from Tradebox if desired
- Product VAT status included in VAT calculations
- Ability to create Service Invoices, Product Invoices, Sales Orders or summary entry batch invoices in Sage
- Can sell a mix of vatable/non-vatable in Sage without using Sage stock control
- Ability to create individual invoices with or without inventory items in Xero, or summary entry invoices
- Some product-based reporting from within Tradebox e.g. top selling SKUs
- No purchase ledger or reading of purchases from your accounts package. Use the Adjustment In or Stocktake function to reflect an increase in free stock in Tradebox.
Accounts Software (Sage)
If you choose Accounts Software your product list in Tradebox will be subservient to your Sage product list. Stock will adjust out in Sage once it's sold, and stock levels can be taken from your accounts software and passed to the sales channels you are integrated with, if desired.
If your online SKUs are exact matches of your Sage Product Codes then the relationships between these will be formed automatically; if your SKUs don't match your Sage products then you'll use Tradebox's Product Mapping features to forge a relationship between your online items and your Sage products. These are the main points to consider if you choose 'Accounts Software':
- Stock levels can be passed to sales channels from the accounts software if desired
- Product VAT status included in VAT calculations
- Ability to create Service/Product Invoices or Sales Orders in Sage
- Stock movements available in Sage
- Product-based reporting in both Tradebox and in Sage
A fairly common query is from customers who don't want or require stock control or a product list, but do sell a mixture of VAT and non-VAT goods. In this instance, we advise users to process with generic products.
If you're a Sage user, you'd first set up a handful of generic product records; one for each tax code that you'll be selling (by default that's T0 for zero-rated, T1 for standard etc.). Then import these into Tradebox either at the end of channel setup or via Products > Import > Products > Source: Sage. If you're not a Sage user, create these generic products directly in Tradebox. In either instance, the tax code is the only important part; best practice is to set the product description as something like 'Standard VAT product' and the product type as Nonstock.
Next, you'll set up your sales channels. Once your channels are in place, you'll need to map your products. Tradebox's normal Product Mapping routine is used but in this case you'll be mapping all online SKUs to your handful of generic products. It's normally easiest to do this in bulk by importing your product mappings from spreadsheet; click here for a guide to that process and a template file you can amend. Set up your spreadsheet as in the example below with Multiplier populated as 1 and Direct To Customer populated as False.
Orders in Tradebox itself will ignore your generic description on the product record and use the online description/name instead. If you're connecting to Sage though, you'll also need to override the default behaviour of using the description from the Sage product record. In each Sales Channel > Accounts > Postings, tick 'Use Online Product Name' then Save your channel.