Safaricom has unveiled software that are expected to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) cut costs of hiring book-keepers as it seeks to grow revenue.
The telco launched the payroll and accounting tool, which will be available through 3G-enabled phones. Through the payroll software, statutory deductions like the National Social Security Fund and National Hospital Insurance Fund monthly contributions will be tabulated.
Users will pay a monthly fee of Sh870 for the payroll service accessible through Safaricom’s cloud.
Sage Pastel will allow the SMEs to generate professional financial reports through the accounting tool, which can be used to access loans. It will cost Sh1,740. Web-hosting will cost Sh999 for a full-year subscription.
Sylvia Mulinge, the Safaricom’s business general manager, said the offers target affordability and professionalise data management for small firms.
“The software will provide SMEs with an affordable, safe and secure method of storing and managing their data. Many SMEs find the cost of data management such as the purchase of genuine software and servers as well as the hire of professionals prohibitive,” she said, adding that individual firms will choose services based on need.
Hosting the web at Sh999 is expected to eat into the core market of most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that charge between Sh1,500 to Sh4,000 per annum.
Safaricom will provide the three online solutions through its cloud services. Cloud computing uses multiple server computers to store data and allow secure access to applications and data from network devices.
Its use is gaining traction among companies that want to lower capital and operational expenses. Another firm, Biashara Cloud Ltd, offers an enterprise resource planning accessed remotely through cloud computing.
The system offers applications supporting activities such as sale, stock management, banking, and purchasing — meaning subscribers can generate a balance sheet or profit and loss account by feeding transaction data into the software.