How cloud-based accounting software AlignBooks simplifies invoicing, GST and compliance for 30K MSME customers
In April 2021, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs extended its deadline by a year for Indian businesses to install accounting software with audit trail features. This move, over the next few months, is aimed at pushing Indian MSMEs towards a digital future.
AlignBooks, a cloud-based accounting software for MSMEs, is poised to tap into the trend and help small businesses simplify their e-invoicing, GST, and other compliance requirements in an automated and digital-first manner.
Anand Jajodia, Co-founder, AlignBooks tells SMBStory:
“MSMEs haven’t had the privilege of having enablers and supporters who could assist them in a manner that they could only focus on their core business strength, rather than worrying about back-office functions. On this backdrop, AlignBooks was conceptualised and launched in 2017.”
Anand, who has experience in developing and deploying ERP products, decided to provide MSMEs with a tech-based, robust accounting solution and also enable them to customise it. This laid the foundation for AlignBooks, which was started with co-founder Samir Garg.
Today, Anand claims the software has over 30,000 MSME customers in India and has processed 15 lakh invoices so far.
AlignBooks is available as a desktop and mobile application
In an exclusive interview with SMBStory, Anand talks about the concept of AlignBooks and explains how and why MSMEs should make use of it.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory [SMBS]: How did you and Samir build AlignBooks? What is the tech behind the hood?
Anand Jajodia [AJ]: We set out to build a cloud-based accounting platform that came with an offline mode and a secure data backup solution.
Noticing the challenges MSMEs faced with poor internet connectivity, we introduced an offline-first solution that would work even without an internet connection. We also launched a desktop application that could work purely in offline mode, with cloud sync functionality.
Then, we constantly upgraded our software by developing and providing several interfaces, including those with online marketplaces, to facilitate ecommerce-centric SMEs to seamlessly operate the product.
Now, AlignBooks’ integrated MIS reports enable inventory management and have built-in operational controls. The software also offers an all-integrated utility for GST through a single dashboard within the accounting and ERP solution.
It also has a unique, built-in audit module and CVSS (Customer Vendor Self Service), which add a differentiating flavour to the product.
SMBS: How can MSMEs start using AlignBooks? What is the process?
AJ: The process to start using AlignBooks is very simple. All a user has to do is visit www.alignbooks.com and start with the free trial. The platform has tried to ensure that anyone from the MSME sector can get started with AlignBooks within a few minutes.
Even though our product is a state-of-the-art, cloud-based technological solution to all accounting problems, we have tried to keep it highly affordable. The software starts at a nominal cost of Rs 2,500 per year.
By using the software, MSMEs can simplify their e-invoicing, GST, and other compliance requirements. The platform also offers a range of features from sales, POS, billing, inventory management, connected banking, receivables and payable management, auto bank reconciliation, multi-currency transactions, management of multi-location accounts, CRM, HR, and more.
SMBS: What makes AlignBooks unique and why should MSMEs use this product?
AJ: We recently identified that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSMEs have restructured their business model, allowing for more digital adoption. We have seen MSMEs moving online and increasing their presence on a daily basis, with major ecommerce channels like Amazon, Flipkart, etc attracting major sales channels for small businesses.
Most MSMEs players are new to the online sales model, which leads to a tedious task in managing such volumes. So, with AlignBooks, we have tried to ensure a great software presentation style with lots of opportunities to ask questions and with realistic examples – which make sessions informative for MSMEs.
We’ve also ensured customers can access sales data from anywhere, and easily while on the move due to the inbuilt mobile facility.
Other unique features such as customised invoices and easy data upload templates etc, make it flexible to implement in any kind of business. Another unique feature is that MSMEs can select items based on groups and generate an invoice in just a click, which simplifies the invoicing process.
SMBS: What targets have you achieved or aim to reach in terms of MSME users? What plans do you have for the future?
AJ: So far, we have 30,000 registered SMEs on our platform, with a decent retention ratio across several industries covering manufacturers, traders, distributors, and other service segments. They have access to customised solutions for 19 industry verticals, with three lakh pre-configured sector-specific SKUs implementing the solution.
We’ve generated over 15 lakh invoices so far. ICICI Bank, Razorpay, PayTm, Amazon, and Shopify are a few of our integration partners and they help us enable seamless operations and payments for MSMEs.
We also cater to corporate clients that have distribution outlets covering over 1,000 stores across India.
Going forward, we will continue to expand our business reach. We recently started a partner sales channel to expand our presence pan India, particularly in Tier II and III cities. Our vision is still focused on providing 360-degree, automated solutions to MSMEs, enabling them to focus on their core business and decision-making, rather than worrying about their back office.
Our goal is to build a partner base of about 500 across India and a customer base of one lakh SMEs by the end of 2022.