The Future of Accounting is now Here

Date:   Monday , July 01, 2013

Challenges are versatile when it comes to desktop accounting. Data synchronization, portability, simplicity, frequent upgrades and integration of the applications are a few of them. Several companies strive to get the perfect score in their accounting and payroll management, but to vain. Take for instance a mobile app development company and provider of software development to U.S. based clients, Deem Infotech, who was struggling to generate professional invoices and manage payroll process. Checking for the accounting products available in the market, they found them not to be of double entry accounting systems. ProfitBooks, a cloud-based accounting and payroll management application, was a perfect fit for them as it helped them manage not only invoicing but also other finances of the office.

Alike Deemed Infotech, ProfitBooks served several other clients who were chasing for a better, more reliable and portable accounting solutions. ProfitBooks is the flagship product of The Nextwave Technologies, a Pune-based company incepted in 2010 by three friends Harshal Katre, Mohnish Katre and Naveen. Initially, The Nextwave Technologies used to develop web based applications for Small, Medium and Large Enterprises (SML). But while developing an application for one of their FMCG clients, The Nextwave Technologies realized that the existing chain of softwares available were not good enough to help their client grow or manage the business effectively due to multi-location presence. Thus the team came up with the idea and that was the birth of Ever since its launch in 2012, ProfitBooks has taken a steep upward growth trajectory.

“Real time data availability across multiple locations, data security, and continuously updated software are key concerns of customers in our initial survey. Existing available applications in market are complicated more than the requirements of SML enterprises and they are tremendously expensive. Hence, we decided to come up with a product which will make business operations simpler yet provides them the features of which increases their efficiency,” says Harshal Katre, Co-Founder & CEO, ProfitBooks.

“I have always got inspired by Apple’s mantra, ‘Simplicity is complexity placed in order’. Accounting & Payroll always remains complex affairs but our inspiration is to make it work even for person having no accounting background,” adds Harshal.

ProfitBooks provides features like accounting, inventory management, payroll management, branch accounting, document management, task management and contact management. Built on the “Ruby on Rail” platform, the one which Twitter uses, simplicity, automation and integration are the USP of ProfitBooks. It aims to replace multiple applications used by an organization with single powerful cloud-based secure application. A person with naďve knowledge of accounting can easily handle the application, sync data, create an invoice and sent it directly to the client. Being hosted at central location, the data in ProfitBooks is always synchronized reducing errors in calculations helping to take faster decisions. The data is stored on highly guarded data centers with four levels of security (256 bite encryption) and regular backups are taken.

Understanding the cruxes of software maintenances and upgrades, the application does not require any installations thus reducing dependency on technical people. Being centrally hosted, the upgrades are pushed for all users by ProfitBooks team. The app comes with several extensions that make it easy to integrate with other apps like Dropbox.
Team at ProfitBooks is its most interesting aspect and an important part of their rapid growth. Harshal has over 10 years of experience in software development and implementation while working with various MNCs. He was instrumental in implementation of financial products in Europe and North America. Naveen is from early batch of dot com boom and has over 14 years of rich experience in data architecture working with MNCs. Apart from these technocrats the team also includes Mohnish who is Chartered Accountant with over 8 years of experience working in the field of financial research and corporate advisory. His practical experience and understanding on client's needs helped in initial framework of ProfitBooks. Further, Amit Mahalle, who is a CA & a post graduate in Actuarial Science, brings strong analytical skills matured for more than 6 yrs of experience. The in-house CA talent enables efficient product development and addressing client's needs.

“It is difficult for Software Engineers and CA’s to agree on one point. But we wanted to build the application which will pamper users. We wanted to design awesomeness; this sweet friction allows us to align towards our aim,” complains Harshal happily.

Convergence of mindset, the biggest challenge
In India, internet penetration has geared up in last few years. With current Internet penetration of 12 percent, India has close to 15 crore internet users which are expected to double in next four years. There will be a time which is not far where SML's will be selling their items on Amazon, Flipkart and even to Facebook users. This will change the way people do business. Businesses will need collaborative applications with real time data.
Though cloud based applications are new to Indian businesses, it is well accepted platform for business in the west because of jillions of benefits cloud computing provide. SML enterprises have started understanding the cloud application and India is poised to adopt this change.

Way Ahead

ProfitBooks is working on enhancement of Auditor’s module which will help accountant community to save time and offer better services to their clients. In addition to this, multi-currency accounting, dedicated mobile apps, development of APIs are few of the features which will be updated in coming months.

The company has started reaching PAN-India with the help of its Partner Channel and it is continuously growing its network of accountants and partners across India.

“When accounting will come online, we cannot look it as just stand alone desktop application moved to cloud. Its success lies in naturally linking it to every other system that business uses. It’s high time we have to take Accounting from that typical desktop application to the Future where it belongs. That's what we are doing at ProfitBooks,” concludes Harshal.