Installing accounting software in retail shops is happening at a fast pace in India. Still, there are tens and thousands of retail shops from local hosiery retailers to groceries yet to be computerized. It is either ignorance or cost that holds owners back. They are worried of data loss, backup and think that existing manual system is rather serving purpose well. From sellers of accounting software point of view, important thing then is to convince shop owners how implementing accounting software would be hassle-free bringing efficiency.
Here are the expectations that one can strive to fulfil for retail shop owners:
- Low installation cost.
- Low cost of training.
- Portable, occupies less space in shop.
- Customized billing format.
- Barcoding and stickers facility.
- Can be integrated with final accounts of proprietors.
- Can be integrated with efiling tax returns.
- Local tax rates visible.
- Online updating of software with changes in tax rates and other legal formalities.
- Easy to take and restore backups. Fear of losing data deters new computer users implement accounting software.
Many retailers are already having PC in their shops/homes but not computerized accounting job. So, your unique selling proposal would be automating clients’ accounting system utilizing existing infrastructure of PC and printers. You need to meet retail shop owners and demonstrate how you can computerize their accounting platform by sheer strength of knowhow. Once your expertise is established, you can generate additional revenue from existing clients by offering other value-added products like selling barcoding machine under an affiliate relationship with a barcoding manufacturer going forward.
2017 Update: Until few years back, accounting software in cloud was perhaps not suitable for the target retail shops under discussion as operations like generating sales invoice (essential part of any retail outlet) could not be postponed because of poor internet connection availability at times so frequent in India. The cost of internet connection by itself could not match budget of a section. However, these things have changed with the 2017 launch of Jio and increasing penetration of 4g, bringing into table affordable rate and better speed. According to Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, “Technological advancements, rising integration of accounting software with various online applications such as automated billing features, automated bank feeds, e-commerce websites, etc., coupled with increasing adoption of cloud computing is anticipated to drive accounting software market in the country through 2021. Increasing collaborations of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with e-commerce players is also projected to drive adoption of accounting software in the coming years.”
Also, the good news is that introduction of GST in India from July 1, 2017 wherein business houses need to submit returns online (no offline option) is helping propagation of accounting software in an unprecedented way. There is a big market for professionals who could help implementation of accounting software like Tally and Intuit which come with in-built support for filing GST returns.