5 digital accounting software vendors helping small businesses and MSMEs go digital


The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of being ‘digital’. While the Digital India program, launched by the Indian government in 2015, has boosted the adoption of technology by Indian businesses, COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown and social distancing norms have shed light on how Indian SMEs and MSMEs were ill-equipped when it came to digitization.

Even as customers moved online and digitalization became an essential part of the “new normal”, SMEs and MSMEs struggled to go digital to survive.

Accounting, for example, is an essential part of running any business. However, for ages, countless SMEs and MSMEs have followed a conventional approach, managing their accounts manually. But, in this era of accelerated digital adoption, it’s time to go digital.

SMBStory met five platforms that help small businesses, MSMEs and even large enterprises digitize their accounting and accelerate their transformation to become true technology-driven businesses.

Tally Solutions, Managing Director, Tejas Goenka

Bharat Goenka co-founded Inasmuch asPointing SolutionsInasmuch as in Bangalore 34 years ago. While he was from a family of textile traders in Kolkata, his love for technology led him to experiment and create accounting software that could help traders move away from traditional accounting.

No one knew that in less than 15 years, Tally would become synonymous with accounting. Today, the company is known as India’s largest accounting software company.

The software major said it aims to help small businesses access critical data anywhere, anytime using remote access technology, and wants to focus on improving the software experience by creating multi-device access. He said he is also investing in the cloud and will make a series of announcements soon.

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Aditi Puri Batra

The lockdown in India has disrupted various industries and crippled the cash flow of the MSME sector. As small businesses consider shutting down production, changing their business model, and deferring payments, they also need to build their financial literacy to better understand their costs.

Technology can play a key role in fostering financial literacy without disrupting business operations.

“With technology solutions aimed at increasing financial literacy, business owners can understand the true cost of running the business. This helps them to decide the price of their products or services. They can also easily manage quotes, customer data, invoices and GST with technology solutions,” says Aditi Puri Batra, Country Manager, Inasmuch asIntuitiveInasmuch as QuickBooks India.

For 15 years, Intuit QuickBooks has worked in India to create financial management solutions for small businesses.

Intuit QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based financial management solution for small businesses launched in 2012. In 2019, the company launched an online practice management solution specifically designed for Chartered Accountants (CAs) to grow their practice and easily manage their customers.

Together, QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant offer an integrated experience for practice management, accounting, and Goods and Services Tax (GST) filing all in one place. Our goal through our products is to make life easier for our customers in India, whether they are small businesses or accountants, and enable them to leverage technology to grow their business. In the era of going digital, we want to help small businesses make that transition smoother.

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Sumit Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO, Vyapar

In the modern era of digital accounting, helping MSMEs adapt is a business opportunity in itself. Entrepreneur based in Bangalore Sumit Agarwal (35) identified this opportunity while working for Intuit’s QuickBooks, an accounting package for small businesses.

With only Rs 8 lakh in savings, Sumit decided to make it their mission to offer MSMEs simplified solutions to do their accounting and inventory management. In 2016 he started Inasmuch asViapar AppInasmuch asa simple accounting and inventory management application for small businesses.

“By using Vyapar, an entrepreneur can stay in control of their finances, collect payments on time, track inventory, generate GST reports, and make smarter business decisions,” Sumit told SMBStory.

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BUSY co-founders Rajesh Gupta (left) and Dinesh Gupta (right)

In the 1990s, a Delhi-based entrepreneur Dinesh Gupta sold computers and accounting software to companies.

The electronics engineer has also undertaken custom software development projects and provided professional IT services as part of his company Digitronics Infosolutions. However, he felt his company was more suited to creating his own product than being a reseller or developing custom software for others.

In 1994, Dinesh and his younger brother Rajesh launched BUSY, an accounting software for MSMEs, at IT Asia ’94 in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. For three years, the product was developed under the software division of Dinesh’s Digitronics company.

In 1997 they started Inasmuch asBusyInasmuch as Infotech, a sister company initiated, to develop and market the BUSY accounting software.

Using the software, the brothers reached out to MSMEs and managed their accounts, business processes and operational controls.

They tried to make the solution useful across geographies, verticals, and customer segments such as FMCG, retail, manufacturing, trade, distribution, and services.

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Logesh Velusamy, Founder and CEO, Effitrac

After the sudden death of his father, Logesh Velusamy struggled to effectively manage his family’s many businesses. The Coimbatore-based entrepreneur had left his high-profile corporate career to run his family’s various businesses.

Working at leading IT solutions and business consulting companies like IBS Software and Accenture had given the electronics engineer a flair for technology. However, he was simply unable to find the right technological tools to manage the various aspects of his family’s businesses.

Logesh realized that the market had no single solution for managing cash flow, understanding revenue leakage and accessing vital business data for his family’s MSMEs in electricity wholesale, poultry, animal feed manufacturing, textile retail and other sectors.

“Without a qualified accountant, I would not be able to identify cash flows between different legal entities. There was no existing solution that solved the various issues I was facing with running multiple businesses. But my experience led me to believe that such problems could be solved with technology, and that it was indeed possible to build such a solution,” he told SMBStory.

First, Logesh interviewed over 100 MSME owners to better understand the challenges they face in running their businesses. “Then I teamed up with Solution Architect Gopinath Nallappan who felt the problem would be worth solving. In 2012 we started Inasmuch asEffitracInasmuch as in Coimbatore. So far, Gopinath, his brother Suresh and I have invested $500,000 in the business,” he says.

Effitrac has built an end-to-end business process management solution that is customizable and caters to over 14 MSME sectors such as food processing, textile manufacturing, general engineering, etc. Logesh has engaged technology partners to customize and implement Effitrac’s solution also in large enterprises.

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Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta
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