After a decade of debates, amendments, discussions, and varied opinions, India is all set for the implementation of GST Laws, which is a historic move by the government of India. The “One Nation, One Tax” is the core reason for the GST rollout. It is a simplified, yet mechanical system of taxation which always requires a professional’s assistance to let you maintain your account books in a better, efficient and streamlined way.
But, letting yourself visit different people for assistance, travel here and there and paying high fees to professionals for every little support is not very viable and stress-free. The current ongoing scenario is all about mobile and desktop applications, web assistance, softwares, etc. and therefore, there are a lot of softwares that help you maintain your account books in accordance with GST Laws in a more simplified way.
Choose A Good GST Accounting Software
There are varied reasons for the failure of a business unit and its operations. One of them is the unsystematic way of bookkeeping their financial records and cash flow; one should always maintain their account books regularly to be well prepared for the worst situations such as going bankrupt or indebted to a great extent.
There are different ways to manage financials, such as doing it manually (writing down the transactions in a book), Electronic (via spreadsheet) or an accounting software.
How To Find The Best GST Software?
Like every person, every business unit is different. Every firm has its own different expectations from any accounting software. Based on your business, you should check following points:
- Whether the software includes all requirements relating to payroll.
- Whether the system tracks available stock, work in progress, orders, jobs and other task management requirements
- Whether there is a provision to handle more than one bank account.
- Whether the software handles foreign exchange.
- Whether there is a system to keep records of each business or various departments under one business unit.
- Whether the software provides you with an online platform for different activities such as online payments, verifying records,
- Whether the system keeps a managed record on what do customers buy, how much they buy, tax charged on it, etc
Top factors to consider while selecting a GST software
ONLINE or OFFLINE ?
Both online and offline based software have their own distinct advantages. One has to choose between the two according to their
The offline software will need you to save your transactions, maintain the database, have a regular backup, and manually update it, Yet, using offline software is advantageous to people who indulge in bulk transactions and need a faster way to record them on software, as online software tends to go slow a little depending on the speed of the internet connection.
Using online based software has its own advantages. Like, you don’t have to install anything and just sign-up online and start entering your transactions, Synchronising data across the office on different computer systems is easy, No fear of losing data as it will store and backup everything on an online server as and when you enter the transaction.
You can access the software from any device having an internet connection at any point of the day.
Read about how cloud accounting can benefit your business.
In the business fraternity, not everyone is well acquainted with accounting technicalities or procedures. So, if the software provided is stuffed with every possible feature, then it may become a little more complex for the user to use it.
Even if the software is used by a professional for the business unit, every other member of that unit should know how to use the Therefore it has to be user-friendly and not at all mechanical.
Every user of the business unit should be able to sign in and use it as per their requirement at any point of the day without any procedural technicality.
Its the most important part of decision making process. Online softwares have a recurring cost but they are inexpensive. Most offline software come up with a one-time purchase option but are often expensive and you might have to pay annually for updates.
If the firm knows how much they need to spend on softwares and have a fixed budget, then most of the options will itself filter out.
Features to look for in a GST accounting software:
- It should generate GST invoices and should be able to customise the look and feel according to the business.
- Should be able to categorise the expenses into different categories.
- The software must be able to manage inventory, inward-outward stock movements, and wastage.
- Generate Bank Reconciliation Statement (BRS) by importing the bank transactions.
- Keep a record of inventory purchases and purchase orders (PO).
- Create and manage GST taxes (SGST, CGST & IGST).
- Record Journal Voucher entries.
- Managing database of customer and vendors.
- Updated information about accounts payable and accounts receivables so that the user is well aware.
- Help generate Balance Sheet, Trial balance reports, and Profit and Loss statements as for and when required.
- Give platform for different users to use it in a business unit at the same point in time as at times there are different users in one business unit.
Good to have Features:
- Support for multi-currency transactions.
- Option to manage employees and process payroll.
- Categorize transactions according to projects.
- Access control for every team member.
List Of Top 5 GST Softwares In India
ProfitBooks is a popular and widespread GST accounting software in India. Launched in 2012, ProfitBooks has managed to get thousands of businesses on their platform.
This is the once of the early online accounting softwares that was launched in India. It has matured over a time and now includes lot of GST compliant features.
ProfitBooks offers 3 simple pricing plans.
- Professional Plan (Good for service based businesses): Rs. 5,999/year
- SMB Plan (Good for resellers & traders) : Rs. 8,999/year
- GST Company plan (Good for busy business owners who want to outsource) : Rs. 1,999/month
- Very simple interface
- GST Invoicing with payment gateways integration
- Easy expense management
- Inventory management features
- Warehouse management
- Multi-currency support
- Multi-user support
- Payroll processing
- Facility to invite and accountant
2) TALLY ERP 9
Tally ERP 9 is a popular accounting software that is used by resellers and manufacturers. It was primarily designed for accountants and hence business owners might find it very complex to use. It boasts of lot of features which makes it even more complex.
Tally works offline and doesn’t require an internet connection. So, GST return filing process becomes little tedious with Tally as you have to manually import and export the data in it’s tax filing utility.
- Single User – Rs. 21,780
- Multi-user – Rs. 65,340
- Annual Renewal is 25%
- Manages HR and Payroll.
- Multiple company support.
- Financial management.
- Inventory management.
- Invoicing and billing.
- Product database.
- Supplier and purchase order management.
- Taxation management.
- Accountant Friendly.
- Independent of an internet connection to operate, as it is an offline software
- Needs LAN to operate multi-user.
- Needs Tally.net and Static IP to operate multiple locations.
- Data is not real-time which results in delay.
- Susceptible to Hard-disk crashes.
- Chances of easy data theft.
- Susceptible to Virus Attacks.
- Version upgrades are charged every time.
- No business specific features available.
- Expensive for multi-user systems.
Read about comparison between Tally and ProfitBooks
3) ZOHO Books
Zoho is around since past few years and mainly catered to International markets. Recently they have introduced Zoho Books in the Indian market.
Its cloud based accounting software and comes with easy to use features. As Zoho is relatively new in the industry, lot of India specific features are still missing. However, its good for early stage business.
- Rs. 2500/- per year.
- Rs. 20,000/ per year for Finance Plus package.
- Simple invoicing and billing.
- Simple accounting.
- Cloud based system.
- Fully Cloud based System.
- Even if the hard disk crashes, it doesn’t affect data.
- No Anti-virus software is needed for it.
- High control over data is present.
- The updates are free.
- Can be customised.
- Low pricing.
- Doesn’t allow more than 7 users/ account.
- Branch consolidation is not possible.
- Lacks key features required by Indian businesses.
- Very basic Inventory management.
- Limited support.
4) Clear Tax
Clear Tax started as an IT return filing software and services company and now they have come up with GST return filing software.
It is more focused on the Accounting Fraternity and can be a good option for the Accountants who require a platform to prepare accounts according to GST for their clients. Clear Tax works as a useful app which can be used for filing only after extracting data from any other accounting software and ERP Systems.
- Rs. 10,000/- per year
- Online GST Course is available.
- Assists accountants to find clients.
- Preparation for GST.
- Filing of GST.
- Store data and imports/exports.
- It helps an accountant get listed under GST.
- Provides free e-learning solution.
- Not an Accounting Software.
- No business features available.
- It is only a disjointed tax preparation tool.
- It is not a business specific tool.
- It can solely be used only by accountants.
5) Intuit Quickbooks
This again is an online accounting software initially developed for International market. Quickbooks is trying very hard to comply with the Indian accounting standards. Currently, its suitable for service providers who basically want a good invoicing tool.
- Rs. 5,000/- per year
- Expense management.
- Basic inventory management.
- Web-based, can be accessed from anywhere.
- Good for micro businesses.
- Good set of financial reports.
- Does not offer GST return filing as of now.
- No business specific features available.
- Little complex for Indian businesses.
- Lacks few GST related features.
Final Verdict – Which GST Software You Should Buy?
With the onset of GST in India, the businesses that comply the rules of GST is made to operate under various regulations. This means that there should be regular filings of financial records and auditing. When you own medium-sized business, all these tasks can cause a huge headache. With the listed softwares you can easily take control of your financial record and welcome GST well prepared.
Selecting a good GST software is crucial for your business as you won’t be changing your software more often. A good accounting software can help you save time and money lost in complying with the GST law.
So, if you want an offline accounting software and have an accountant to operate it, go for Tally. You’ll easily get someone to operate it. But it might prove little expensive if you have multiple users accessing it.
If you want an easy to use GST software, go for ProfitBooks. Its a complete accounting software which is fully complies with GST law. Its designed in India and or Indian businesses. It has the most simple interface among all the softwares available in the market.
Most importantly, ProfitBook is known to offer very fast and friendly support. They even answer accounting related queries. You can try ProfitBooks for free.
Which one is your favourite GST software? Please feel free to post your views in comments.