Best Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses in India

Did you know that you can save a lot of time and money by adhering to smart accounting? Most small business owners do not always prioritize accounting, as there are other tasks on their to-do list which seem more urgent. However, there is a reason behind accounting being a separate arm of business management, accounting enables efficiency and transparency in business operations.

Nowadays, the integration of IT solutions with business operations means that a small business owner can easily manage cash flow, invoicing and payrolls with automated accounting software.

Here we are sharing a list of best free accounting software for small businesses that you can test and deploy for your enterprise.

ZipBooks

A popular choice among small business owners, ZipBooks simplifies accounting with an easy-to-learn interface and some powerful accounting features. The ZipBooks starter option is free and lets you create unlimited invoices for any number of vendors and customers. You can also connect your bank account to the software and manage your business’s bank account.

Marg

Developed specifically for use in India, the Marg Accounting Software is totally free to use and offers a comprehensive list of accounting features such as ledger management, cash flow control and preparing detailed balance sheets. The software also integrates various forms required by Indian Business Law for e-filing of tax returns online.

Tally ERP 9

Tally remains the most popular accounting software in India. It has a free version which you can utilise to manage accounts and keep track of your finances. There are many institutions offering Tally courses in India, so using this software also gives you ready human capital to invest in.

Profitbooks

It us a cloud based accounting software which can be accessed from any device anytime. The free version of Profitbooks allows bookkeeping and invoicing to give you accurate accounting information. You can also connect to the Profitbooks Live Chat to learn about its advance features.

GnuCash

This is an open-source personal and financial accounting software. Open-source softwares are community managed, hence they receive updates more frequently and a large community of devs means new features are available more frequently and bugs are removed quickly. However, open-source software may sometimes (although it’s rare) crash and cause data loss. The GnuCash is free and available for Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

So that completes our list for free-accounting software for small businesses in India. You can manage your finances and keep your working capital in check by switching to prudent accounting management with this software. Speaking of working capital, if you are having hard time maintaining the daily cash flow, consider getting a short term business loan. To know more about fast business loans in India, visit us at www.lendingkart.com

Why Online Lenders are a Better Choice

Online Lenders – The Better Choice

Small businesses are increasingly moving towards online business loans and finance options for expanding their operations. Online lenders offer several benefits over financing from commercial banks, such as Flexi EMIs and quick short-ticket finance. This has made these non-banking financial institutions the choice of modern MSMEs.

For example, today, non-banking financial companies like Lendingkart Finance are disbursing working capital loans and unsecured business loans across the country whereas banks are limiting their commercial lending activities.

Here are the reasons why you should apply for a business loan from an NBFC –

Quick Turnaround Time

The one element that defines importance of finance is its timely availability. If you fail to get the requisite funds within the time frame available to you, either the opportunity will be lost or the same activity will cost you more.

Since a majority of small business owners are applying with them, banks take their own time in scrutinizing business loan applications. Thus, the process of loan approvals is slow. NBFCs, on the other hand, specifically cater to the MSME finance. Therefore, they are prompt in completing documentation, verification and disbursals.

E.g., Lendingkart Finance promises loan amount disbursal within 72 hours of documentation.

Completely Online Process

The reason why an NBFC like Lendingkart can approve loans faster is the online only loan application process of the company.

Every modern business has access to digital copies of requisite loan verification documents such as PAN, Aadhar Card, Bank Statements and ITR Certifications. An online lender can thus quickly verify the statutory status of your enterprise and disburse loans where traditional banks continue to struggle with filing and manual paperwork.

Minimal Documentation Required

In an online process, the lender can verify your business and personal information through government’s online portals, hence there is no need for excessive paperwork and documents to be submitted. For example, Lendingkart offers business loans by verifying only the essential documents for identity, address, incorporation and tax compliance of your enterprise.

Flexible Payments and More

The completely online business loan process allows lenders to cut costs associated with manual work, and they are more than happy to pass you the benefits. So, expect lower business loan interest rates, flexible EMI options and reduced processing charges when you get a business loan from an online lender like Lendingkart Finance.

If you are planning a business expansion soon or want to streamline your daily operations with a working capital loan, visit our website; www.lendingkart.com, and sign up for a quick quote.

Business Loan Index – What You Need to Know

Business Loan Index – Terms used by Lenders

The rapid growth of MSME sector in India means there is a lot of financial lending activity going on right now. While applying for these unsecured business loans and working capital loans, entrepreneurs are often left asking for explanation of certain banking terms used by the lenders.

In this post, we are covering the commonly used terms by an online lender or an offline commercial institution, when granting business loans. An understanding of these terms will not only help you make an informed decision in the future but will also help you get loan approvals faster, as you explain your business loan preferences to the lender from the very outset.

Fixed Obligations to Income Ratio (FOIR)

The cumulative total of instalments of loans already availed by you and still due in relation to your income.

Annual Reducing Interest Rates

The principal amount on which you are paying interest is reduced at the end of every year.

Monthly Reducing Interest Rates

The principal amount on which you are paying interest is reduced at the end of every month.

Daily Reducing Interest Rates

The principal amount on which you are paying interest is reduced at the end of every day.

*The EMI you pay for a daily reducing rate is less than the one you will pay under a monthly reducing rate. Similarly, annual reducing rates will have the highest EMI.

 

Amortization Schedule

A monthly installment has 2 components; the Interest component and the Principal. Amortization schedule shows the amount of interest and principal you will be repaying with each payment.

Prepayment

It means making an early repayment of the loan to reduce the tenure as well as the interest of the loan. Non-banking financial companies like Lendingkart, do not charge pre-closure fees.

EMI

An equated monthly installment is a fixed payment from the borrower to a lender on a specified date of each calendar month. EMIs are used to pay off both interest and principal (see Amortisation Schedule).

If you are looking for a quick business loan, visit us at www.lendingkart.com or download our app on your smartphone.

Working Capital Management for Small Business Owners

Working Capital Management for Small Business Owners

Any business can have different sources of income and efficient management of the same can work wonders in the running of the business. While startup capital and fixed assets are typically long term, for the day-to-day running of any business, an efficient cash flow structure is necessary. In the light of the same, working capital becomes quite crucial for small business owners.

What is Working Capital Management all about

Working capital management is the relationship between a company’s short term assets and short term liabilities. In simpler terms, it is the way in which a company handles its income generation and expenses. For example, if your company deals in a lot of paperwork and you need prints of documents every second hour, that is an active expense happening almost every day. Getting an office printer would make the expenses considerably less, over the course of time.

Efficient working capital management ensures that any company can run smoothly while being able to repay maturing short-term debt and expenses that might rise in the near future. In working capital management, the most basic tasks revolve around managing inventories, accounts receivable and payable and cash. Inventories in our example can be ink cartridges, blank paper that can be used in the future. While your sales on credit can be a part of accounts receivable, if the printer was bought through a loan, the EMI would be part of the accounts payable. Cash is pretty self-explanatory and is basically used for expenses that can’t happen on credit or are quite diminutive.

Importance of Working Capital Management

Efficient working capital management is an important component of sustainable growth. If a company runs out of money for running its day-to-day expenses, the production of wares and services will eventually stop. In such instance, the business will fail to cater to its existing customers and henceforth fail to acquire new ones as well. To restart production, the company will then tap into the company capital. While this step may offer a temporary respite, it will affect long-term stability by jeopardising asset and equipment acquisition and manintenance. Therefore, it is important to have a working capital management system in place, which can realisitically assess the company’s working capital requirements, hence giving the managers and business owners, enough time to come up with a solution. Working capital management also helps businesses in streamline processes, cutting down sundry expenses and reduce the cases of theft and fraud.

Ways in which Working Capital is used

The importance of cash for companies can never be expressed in enough words. Cash in hand is majorly used for three purposes, namely – Speculation, Precaution and Transaction. All the three are quite pivotal in deciding the growth of a small business.

Speculation

Speculation is the scenario where having appropriate cash in hand can aid in taking benefits of special opportunities related to purchase. Suppose a small business is dealing in fireworks. They would normally have stock left from the past year Diwali in their inventory. Let’s presume the business is paying a monthly fee of INR 20000 for storing its stock in a warehouse. The annual fees come to INR 2.4 lakhs. During September, the business gets an offer to receive an amount of new stock (equal to the old stock) at a seasonal discounted price of INR 1.8 lakhs. Here, the cost of the new inventory is less than the carrying costs of the old stock. But it is actually more profitable for the business since the old stock has a depleted value now along with the carrying cost of 2.4 lakhs. The business will do much better if it purchases the new stock at a discount and disposes the old inventory at a discount to small retailers. That way, the business will be ready for the festive months ahead with a new stock that has a much higher chance of being sold out fast.

Precaution

Precaution is when a business holds cash in hand to safeguard against unforeseen situations. Let’s consider our old example of the small business selling fireworks. Speculating on a booming sale in the festive months ahead, the business had bought in new stock on credit, hoping to settle the dues after the sales are done. But due to some state-wide problems, people didn’t celebrate as much and thus, didn’t buy much fireworks. But the business still has to honor its promise of repaying the dues, so it uses the cash in hand to do that.

Transaction

Transaction is perhaps the simplest of the reasons why small businesses should have access to cash in hand. Every small item needed in a day-to-day operation of a business can’t be settled through online transactions. Cash in hand is required for sundry purchases that are then added up at the month end for the expenses.

Working Capital Finance or Loan

These days, working capital requirements can be met with a working capital loan. The working capital finance industry offers short-term small-ticket loans for small and medium business owners to help them cope with the rigours of workong capital management. Working capital loans also allow business owners in streamlining their finances through flexible EMI schedules, instead of constantly worrying about invoice clearances and various due dates.

Non-banking financial institutions are leading the race when it comes to working capital loans and  financing.  There is a simple reason for this, NBFCs have developed products and services which cater exclusively to the needs of small businesses; meaning, it is easier than ever to apply for a business loan, the verification process is quick and hassle-free, and the loans are approved faster. NBFCs like Lendingkart Finance promise credit of funds within 3 days of loan application submission and verification, and that’s what a small business, struggling with working capital management, needs.

Tips to Improve upon Aspects of Working Capital

Accounts receivables, cash in hand, inventories, marketable securities and prepayments are current assets that will become cash within 12 months and likewise, account payables, wages to be paid and unearned revenues are current liabilities that need to be settled within 12 months of time. Good working capital management involves keeping the current assets consistently higher than the current liabilities to avoid financial complications or operational problems. Here are some small tips that can help you manage your working capital in your company more effectively. Keeping an eye on these can allow your small business to prosper –

1. Take advantage of float – Float or floating capital is basically the difference between book balance and bank balance. Let’s suppose you have dues of INR 3 lakhs to settle by the 31st of October. However, only INR 1 lakh is supposed to be paid by the 5th of October. Considering that you have INR 3 lakhs cash in hand by September 27, you could use INR 2 lakhs as a short-term deposit if you have no other assured profitable short-term business venture that can pay within a month. The return could be less than INR 1000, but it’s better than nothing. If you like investments, you can check the market and invest in equities for a short term for getting better returns, but this is a riskier approach

2. JIT Inventory – Just-In-Time inventory allows a business to cut down on costs involved in storing stock. Materials are purchased and received in time for the production line or for sales. Though this is quite difficult to achieve, if your relationship with the supplier is good, you can manage this effectively

3. Sales on Credit – Here, your sales play a crucial role. The goal is to shorten the amount of time your customers can take to pay their bills. You could offer a period of 30 days till their bill is due and offer a promotion of 3% discount if the same bill is cleared in maybe, 10 days or less. This allows you to sell more in a short time and pushes your customers to pay earlier to get a discount of 3%

4. Alternative Funding – This method can include availing working capital from banks, NBFCs, asset-based lenders, crowdfunding. In most cases, a genuine business idea, long term efficiency and good revenue generation can get you access to alternative funding rather quickly

5. Timely payments to suppliers – This is the easiest and simplest rule to follow. It goes without saying that if you pay your suppliers their dues on time, you can negotiate better deals and get discounts on your purchases

6. Group Purchase – As a small business, you might not always have access to funds to buy stock at a discounted quantity, or you might not have the available storage to accommodate a bulk of material that you get at a discount. It is always a good idea to look for other small businesses in the state or region who do the same trade as you and pool in resources to get the stock from your supplier. That way, you don’t have to spend a lot and still get to avail the discount

7. Learn the benefits of e-procurement – If you are into electronics, electrical equipment, garments, gift items and the like, you can look into sites like mytradebox.com where you could find interesting items with heavy discounts on bulk orders. These can help you source items quickly at very affordable rates

Working Capital Management and your Small Business

Small businesses aren’t much different from regular, established business giants. They just have a smaller market footprint. While larger businesses have to deal with multiple rules and regulations that they have set for themselves, as a small business owner, you will be much more flexible in making changes to the processes that are followed in your business. Taking working capital management seriously and handling the details through which your cash flows are dealt will definitely make your business a more profitable one. This, combined with social media, ecommerce and data science can work wonders for your small business. But those are topics that will have their own articles. Follow our Lendingkart blog to be regularly updated about the same.

750% Growth – This is How Success is Defined!

The Curtain Call of Coir – G Sindhu’s Entrepreneurial Story

In 2007, a remote area of Modakupatti in Tirupur saw the emergence of Evergreen Enterprises. As a company that dealt in coconut and coconut products primarily, it wasn’t much of a contrasting setup in the locale. The defining trait in the company was that it was being spearheaded by a woman, being in an industry that is mostly male dominated.

A graduate from the University of Warwick, G Sindhu made a bold move of taking over her husband’s family business. While keen business acumen and dedication were the keys to turning the tables in her favor, this woman entrepreneur opines that having a sharp lookout for the relevant opportunity can go miles in making the best of any situation. While the initial challenge was convincing the family to let her take control of the business that comprises 99% men as suppliers and buyers, there were further business challenges as well.

The challenge of coping with the shortage of human resource was handled in a very smart way. Locals of Modakupatti were trained and recruited to serve as the manpower for the startup. This has resulted in the employment of over 100 uneducated people and now they have a steady livelihood thanks to the company. Evergreen Enterprises works mainly out of Modakupatti, and has a business office in Coimbatore.

For the problems concerning funding, G Sindhu tried approaching banks. But unnecessarily long processes and requirements of collaterals made the entire situation too muddy to cope with. Another bold move on her part was approaching an alternative lender, Lendingkart. The business had taken up all of the pooled capital and she was looking for cash flow. “The speed of processing the loan was very fast, compared to public sector banks”, says G Sindhu. An avid supporter of the role of technology in furthering a business, a fintech company like Lendingkart made more sense to her than traditional banks.

In just a year of taking over the business, G Sindhu has made the company increase its turnover by 750 percent. In the past 2.5 years, the number of clients for Evergreen Enterprises has shot up from 10 to a considerable 140.
Citing a few words on accountability and goal-setting from the successful entrepreneur herself – “(We) follow a system to measure the progress and set the goals every day, every fortnight and every 45 days. This fosters accountability among team members.” Working alongside farmers, clients and team members, she suggests that an amiable environment for all of them is the key to growing a business.

Small Business Loans – The Working Capital Angle

Ever since I started off in a retail lending team at HDFC Bank and even now, as a decision-maker in one of the leading fintech lenders of the nation, I have always been asked by clients about the kind of business loan that would be the best for every situation. Simply put, there is no single loan that comes with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ feature. But when it comes to which business loan can be used in many situations, if not all, I could lead you through my insights and let you decide for yourself why working capital loans offer the best advantages. The current market scenario is rife with financial options to help in the smooth running of any business, small or big. These options could include multiple banks and NBFCs or even new age fintech firms like us, the Lendingkart Group. Though the sources are a dime a dozen, availing business finance through official channels is always bound by regulations and people resort to borrowing from friends and family or the local moneylender. Continue reading

Small Business Loans – Why and Why Not

When it comes to financials that concern your organization’s growth and prosperity, you would never want to take a chance, would you? Additionally, when it comes to your personal life, you’d always want a steady flow of income and a safety net to secure your and your family’s future as well. This brings us to a rather peculiar scenario of growth prospects. Addressing the elephant in the room, we would need to look at the importance of business loans and the ways in which one should be using them best. Business loans, if taken at the right point of time can further an organization’s reach and scope in a broad manner. On the flipside, taking a business loan without having a plan for progress in mind can be more of a liability than an asset. So, what points should you focus on, as a small business owner, before going in for a working capital loan? There are a few key questions that you should ask yourself before you decide on a business loan – Continue reading