Reporting Methodology

By the Numbers' approach to reporting is to capture the amount of money moving between your Store and your Customers.

Total Sales = Gross sales - Discounts + Taxes + Shipping - Total Money Returned to Customers

Shopify's reports don't track money moving between you and your Customers. When a sale is made, the reports show the value of goods included in the sale, not the amount of money that you've received. You can read more about this in Shopify's documentation (Sales vs Payments).

There are a number of other differences between how Shopify and By the Numbers report Sales and Returns:

Report Methodology

Shopify By the Numbers
Cancelled orders Included in Sales reports as sales on the day of the sale, and a return on date of cancellation Not included in reports
Deleted orders and test orders

Not included in reports Not included in reports
Purchased Gift cards Not included in reports when sold
But included in finance reports
Included as part of sales
Gift card used It is included in sales reports on date it was used. The full value of the item is claimed as sales. n/a -- Gift card sales are reported when the Gift card was purchased
Returns Reports show the value of goods returned by a customer, backdated  Reports show the Total Money Returned to Customers, capturing Order adjustments, Restocking fees, etc. Adjusted to store currency for multi-currency refunds.

Gift Cards have complex logic in Shopify's reporting. In By the Numbers reporting, our approach is to include the sale when a Gift card is purchased.

For both Shopify and By the Numbers: canceled, pending, and unpaid orders are included in the reports. Test and deleted orders are  not included. Voided orders -- that is, Orders that have been cancelled before any payments have been made -- are also not included in Reports.

Shopify updates orders with refunds at the original sale date, effectively showing refunds as negative transactions against the original sale. This means that if a customer buys something in January and returns it in February, the refund will be reflected in the January order. However, it's important to note that the Shopify way of handling refunds does not capture your day-to-day expenses.
By the Numbers takes a different approach to refund handling. We monitor cash flow to ensure that the correct value of returns is captured in your store currency. For instance, if a customer buys a product for $100 in January and returns it in February at a Point of Sale location in Japan for 13,478.50 Yen, we will show you the correct negative value of the return in your store currency. It's worth noting that the return value could exceed the sale value due to currency fluctuations, but this is the correct accounting treatment. 

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