Gurugram-based bootstrapped startup promises to make GST headaches disappear for businesses.
Most of us may have grudgingly gotten acquainted with GST a couple of years ago, but for Rshmi Khetrapal, the Founder of CountMagic, GST has been a familiar term since 2012. She started working on it when there was instability in states around the implementation of the new tax system.
With 17 years of experience in accounting and taxation, Rshmi is well aware of the challenges and the impact that GST will bring to small traders, retailers, distributors and educational institutes.
The biggest challenge for all SMEs was to understand Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and incorporate GST compliance requirements in their systems.
Rshmi, 44, is a chartered accountant and felt the need to develop a solution to address the problems. She eventually decided to develop software solutions that would help businesses, SMEs, retailers and shopkeepers meet their GST compliance requirements. And CountMagic came into existence in June 2017.
Rshmi didn’t balk when she shelled out all her savings for the seed capital of Count Magic. She did not even shy away from showing her gratitude to her family who cut down on their expenses to make her dream come true.
Rshmi, a student of Apeejay School, Faridabad, went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) at Delhi University. During her childhood, she had aspired to become a fighter pilot but destiny had other plans. She ended up completing CA from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. She was offered a job with the Finance Department in Air Force which she did not want. Then she joined Aditya Agarwal and Company, a chartered accountant firm in Delhi, from where I pursued my articleship.
“Being a mother to two young boys requires equal attention from a parent’s perspective. Taking the decision of this new venture was a little difficult for me, but as I mentioned, they are the strongest pillars of my life,” Rshmi says.
Acquiring the first customer was not that difficult for Rshmi because of the trust she built in the ecosystem as a chartered accountant. However, she had her own share of challenges, the main being educating people about GST for till now all businesses were used to manual and cash accounting.
Cloud-based CountMagic offers uninterrupted access, a simple interface and intuitive menus, making it extremely easy to use. The software can be integrated with SAP, Tally or any other accounting software. It allows businesses to generate GST compliant invoices, manage purchases, create inventory, make payments, monitor expenses and generate returns. CountMagic is barcode-ready and helps users digitise inventory, read vendor codes and generate barcodes. It also integrates BHIM payments for cashless transactions with customers.
The company offers three different products - CountMagic BIZ, CountMagic PRO and CountMagic EZY, which focus on businesses, professionals and salaried individuals respectively. Count Magic BIZ is a cloud-based billing software that provides ease in billing/invoicing with automatic calculation of GST. CountMagic PRO provides ease in managing daily tasks, appointments, team management and payments. CountMagic EZY provides expert advice in case of taxation problems.
CountMagic is offered at Rs 9,999 per year for a single organisation, and allows up to 10 users, 100 customers, 5GB of E-locker space, mobile app and free upgrades. The software is available for free trials till September 2017.
The startup also offers customisation, based on the requirement of different sectors by building separate GST billing software.
An SME can deploy the model in a three-step procedure. They need to visit the website, start the free trial and upload their stocks. After this, they will need to download the excel utility, fill in all stocks and then upload it in the system. The system will automatically calculate the GST for each stock. The master sheet can be used in Windows and Macintosh operating systems; it is also mobile responsive which makes the billing process even more easy.
CountMagic claimed that the company has, since its launch, helped 17,692 small businesses and professionals get GST compliant. Thirty-five percent of them are retailers, 20 percent are CAs and accountants, while 15 percent of them are businesses below Rs 20 lakh.
With an employee strength of 15, Gurgaon-based CountMagic is initially focusing on Delhi-NCR and then plans to spread its presence across India. The startup is also offering referral discounts/commissions to chartered accountants, tax advocates and people who recommend the startup’s services to friends and family.
To spread the word, CountMagic is also conducting seminars, road shows, conferences, training and workshops across North-Indian states.
By the next fiscal year, it aims to achieve Rs 100 crore. That may well be possible.
Alok Patnia, Founder, Taxmantra.com, says: “GST will enhance the taxpayer base by bringing more SMEs under its ambit, and will definitely pass on the burden of compliance and associated costs to them. Eventually GST will turn these SMEs more competitive, and level the playing field between them and large enterprises.”
CountMagic is counting on it.