API vs. UI Discrepancies

New Member
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Following up from support ticket #23310773.
1. In the API, what field name is "refund_amount" referring to within Shopify UI?
2. In Shopify UI, what is "RETURNS" field called in the API naming documentation? (Screenshot from 4/6/2021 - 4/12/2021 where RETURNS are -$53,134.64. ) but "refund_amount" is $8,212 - looking for clarification on the difference between these two fields. 
3. Can you please provide API names for the following Field Names within Shopify UI?
- Orders
- Gross Sales 
- Discounts
- Returns
- Net Sales
- Shipping
- Tax
- Total Sales
Thank you, 
Sarah Levin


Shopify Expert
4491 45 486

Shopify attaches two streams of info to orders. An order has many refunds or an order has many transactions. If you want to know things like gross, net, discounts, etc, basic accounting, you can easily script that yourself by iterating the fields of interest. Orders offer up all the data for money, albeit in many places. There are currency considerations as well. There is no definitive accounting guide to Shopify, as it has been evolving for the past fifteen years, and at any given moment, the numbers you might think are easy to access, require a bit of spelunking.

Your best bet is to puzzle through an order thoroughly, one that represents for the most part all the info you are interested in. Then and only then think about expanding to include other orders. The trouble with your request is there there is no simple answer to any of it. Taxes, Returns, money spent on shipping, percentages taken by Shopify, etc, all contribute to making "the answer" pretty hard.

Note that even Shopify Report numbers can be off, in some cases in ways that cost the merchant huge money! You'll find things like cancellations contributing to Gross, affecting Net, and other beauties, sometimes with tax too. A lot of merchants use Apps to help them in their day-to-day, and sometimes they don't realize that those Apps are messing their accounting up as they are not being used quite right.

Would be nice if a talented accountant would donate an interpretation of the money aspects of Shopify for the community to use, but so far, no one has stepped up to that plate. I guess it is because it remains a large undertaking that would be constantly under scrutiny and evolving too.

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