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Research hinges 70% SMEs failure on poor book-keeping 


SME… As Sage One unveils online software for entrepreneurs

Online accounting platform, Sage One, has hinged the high rate of failure of small businesses especially before the second year of startup, on poor book-keeping as well as inadequate researches and lack of insight by business owners.  

To check such anomalies, the company at the weekend, unveiled an online platform through which small business owners can get the necessary counsel and advice needed for future business growth and prospects. Specifically, the platform seeks to provide software through which entrepreneurs and small business owners in the country will have personal control and manage their records as well as ensure proper book keeping of their ventures using Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Speaking with journalists in Lagos, the Director of Sage One, East-West Africa, Nikki Summers, said statistics has shown that 70-80 per cent of businesses fail in the second year of opening, basically due to lack of insight into their business.

“When you think about it, they have expenses and invoice sitting in a box, in a corner in the office and sometimes they try to run it on excel and that generally does not work. Because of that lack of insight in their second year, they start running into operational troubles due to cash flow. The second problem with the cash flow issues, they need funding to start growing their business but banks are not willing to give them loans because they cannot provide  proper financials to say I am really going to pay back this loans”.

Besides, statistics released by the company indicated that SMEs owners spend 52 hours a week on administrative tasks, which is over two days of distraction rather than from focusing on the core business, as result of running data and book keeping manually.While dwelling on the need to have proper data, she urged business owners to tap into the innovation being introduced through the online platform for proper growth of their ventures. 

According to her, subscription on the platform will enable business owners do their work easily be it in traffic, at home, or even while sitting in front of a customer anywhere outside the shop as long as they are connected to the internet.

Summer stated that with Nigeria now in recession, many people and organisations are now focusing more on Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), due to the continuous slump in oil prices and its effects on the economy, a development that has rekindled greater focus on businesses and idea diversification for entrepreneurs worldwide. She also noted that with proper book keeping, SMEs owners can improve their chances of getting loans from banks in order to move their businesses forward.

Sage One product is in Nigeria specifically to aid business owners as well as to help SME grow on larger scale. Because, as the SME base grows, the tax companies are going to be able to enjoy more because the economy will be better and they are going to be growing into enterprises and enterprises into multinationals. So it feeds that entire food chain in the business world. And because it is so easy to use and cost effective we have seen a great uptake in Nigeria specifically. We are already sitting on over 250 small companies using this product in the country and we hope more users will come on board soonest”.

“We have made the product affordable at N2, 000 a month, one company and two users, in other to make it user friendly and to help grow the SMESs, owners just need little financial training, thus eradicating the need for an accountant especially in a situation where one can’t be afforded on a full time basis, as well as cutting off services of big audit firms due to paucity of funds,” she said.

Also speaking a beneficiary of the software service, Jay Osbie said the accounting online platform has really helped in growing his business decisions and streamlining the way his business is driven.

“It a good platform for growing businesses.It also helps owners to untilise their time due to the ease it provides”.The company, specialising in trendy menswear and celebrity merchandise, has implemented the software to replace an older server-based software package that was no longer meeting its needs.

The Chief Executive Officer, Adejuwon Isola-Osobu said: “Our previous sofware wasn’t dynamic enough to keep up with our growing and changing business. We were also concerned about the risk of losing all of our financial data if our server got damaged or stolen.” Modernising by moving to the cloud-based Sage One accounting solution enabled Jay Osbie to address both of these challenges with a simple and cost-effective solution.

Sage One is a online accounting software with dashboards, graphs and drill-downs to any transaction that you can access, 24/7 via the internet.For Isola-Osobu, Sage’s strong presence in Nigeria and its list of happy customers were key reasons to choose Sage One. A Sage One certified trainer helped the team to learn how to use the software and the Sage team was also on hand to help resolve any challenges the company had in its move to the new softwar

According to him, “The ease of use is amazing. The fact that we can decide how much access and control to give particular users of the software has also been great. The coolest feature, however, is the ability to use it on-the-go which means you never miss out on anything.” He also praises the insight the software gives him into business data and transactions, enabling better decision-making.

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