How ClearTax’s ClearOne helps SMEs generate e-invoices and become GST-compliant
As Indian SMEs undergo digital transformation, they require professional invoicing, e-invoicing, export invoicing and e-way bill generation services that can accommodate regulatory changes at scale.
ClearTax, a provider of GST filing software, believes that ‘ClearOne’ – its new GST-compliant billing and e-invoicing product – can meet these requirements.
In April 2021, it launched ClearOne and said in a statement that it is an “easy to set up and easy to use invoicing product, which enables SMEs to generate professional invoices for their business.”
Using the product, SMEs can make bills/invoices, customise them as per requirements, raise and monitor their invoices on the go and be fully compliant with regulatory requirements.
In an interview with SMBStory, Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO of ClearTax, describes how ClearOne was built and explains how SMEs can use it.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory [SMBS]: How did you conceptualise the idea of ClearOne?
Archit Gupta [AG]: Indian SMEs are extremely wide and varied, with their size close to the population of some European countries. India is a country where innovation has achieved tremendous speed in consumer products but the same convenience is yet to reach the business world.
It has resulted in new-age entrepreneurs accomplishing tasks at a click of a button in an awesome app, yet they still use pen/paper/offline tools to manage their business.
The government has laid out a clear mandate for digitisation and is keen on driving the digitisation agenda in business. These businesses need tools that are user-friendly but powerful to drive their business. ClearOne was born out of the opportunity to fill this gap.
SMBS: How was it built? What is the technology used in the platform?
AG: ClearTax has several years of experience in the technologies required to build scalable and reliable systems.
The capabilities acquired while catering to complex integration use cases such as government systems (GST, ITR, NIC), ERPs (SAP), and users (ITR/Black, CAs, enterprises), etc have given us confidence in our endeavour.
ClearOne has its base on the system architecture which drives ClearTax’s GST, E-invoicing, and ITR products.
SMBS: What is the process for an SME to start using it?
AG: A small business that does B2B transactions has an involved sales and post-sales process. This typically lasts more than 30 days. Invoices act as keys that bridge the entire journey until revenue gets realised as money.
Further, it's the invoice that culminates in GST filing and payment of taxes. So a billing tool that can help in this journey from estimate to invoice to e-invoice to EWB to credit/debit notes to collecting payments is beneficial for an SME.
This is where ClearOne comes into play. It is simple and intuitive to use. SMEs can learn more about the software at cleartax.in/clearone. The product is currently available for free for a limited period.
SMBS: What are the advantages of using ClearOne?
AG: It is a comprehensive billing tool that supports all kinds of invoices and other related documents like credit notes, delivery challans etc.
It is quick to set up and is configurable to make the documents as per the need of the business. This software is intuitive for first-time users and people with basic internet knowledge will also be able to use it.
It is also future-ready, and it will always have full compliance to the current and future government regulations as and when they are announced.
SMBS: What are the challenges of working in the SME space?
AG: The market has been under-served for too long, such that the users have set their basic processes to align to the inefficiency. Like all digitisation efforts, this requires customer education to make them realise that a better way of doing business is possible.
As such, ClearTax is looking to onboard about one million small businesses in the first year of ClearOne’s launch.
In a statement last month, ClearTax claimed it caters to more than 2,000 of India’s biggest brands and corporations as well as five million individual taxpayers. It processes around 10 percent of the country’s overall B2B invoices, cumulatively contributing to a trade value of over $300 billion every year, it added.