Technology

Techie makes a name creating SME solutions

abok

Daniel Abok explains how his accounting solution works at Sips and Taps wine and spirit joint at Ongata Rongai. PHOTO | FAUSTINE NGILA | NMG

After a string of frustrations in employment, Daniel Abok began thinking of how to unchain himself from the shackles that held back his dream of owning a tech company.

And that is how his startup, Kidaftari Accounting was born. The tech enterprise seeks to create a Kenyan brand in the global software market by building solutions tailored to address the numerous constraints SMEs face in integrating with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications

Mr Abok had undertaken several successful accounting projects and he was convinced he was ready to go on his own. Although he was not a modern programmer at the time, he took the time to learn various programming languages with the help of his friend.

His experience in the field helped him cut costs of hiring expensive software engineers who would even demand as much as Sh2 million to create the solution.

“That is how Kidaftari Accounting was born. I seek to help Silicon Savannah minimise the overdependence on expensive foreign software. It is time we believed in our own tech talent,” says the Ongata Rongai resident.

He set out to create a solution to help SMEs that cannot afford foreign software.

Since its launch last year, Kidaftari Accounting now boasts 50 active clients. From sole proprietors, beer distributors, non-profits, retail shops, sports clubs, manufacturers, processors and recently Saccos.

The app and web-based software come with Kilipo, an in-built M-Pesa integrated digital wallet for every account that can be used to not only receive cash but also do payments from the balance.

It is also programmed to do project costing, especially in assessing the financial performance of various business areas.

“It is the perfect solution for group invoicing where one operation is used to post similar invoices to many clients seamlessly,” he adds, saying users only part with Sh1,000 per month or Sh11,000 per year to use the service compared to Sh28,000 per month when using foreign applications such as Sage and Quickbooks.

The Impala Rugby Club has used the application for player expense management for individual sports players while manufacturers such as Eldoret Ice Cream, Puremix Premium Foods and Sweet De Laat use it to manage inventories in its production operations, from input to output.

Users can also load transaction documents to various master data required in payment processing, such as invoices while also helping design critical accounting books such as balance sheets, trial balances and profit and loss computation.

“I just released a module to help Saccos manage membership finances, balances and loans of their members,” says the mathematics and computer science graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He also did ACCA accounting from Strathmore University reveals.

When Digital Business visited Sips and Taps, a wine and spirit joint at Ongata Rongai, customers were placing orders for various brands of beer, brandy, wine, whisky and spirits, some as take-aways while others sat to enjoy their booze. At the order counter was the manager, Lynne Kibet who disclosed that she has been using the Kidaftari software since April this year.

“I use this application for stocktaking and inventories. I can trace all digital receipts in the system while it also helps me in clientele maintenance because it is M-Pesa integrated,” she says, as she processed payments from a customer on a desktop computer.

Ms Kibet said since she began using the software, it has been easier to monitor sales. In the case of restocking, the system alerts her via SMS and email about the quantity and name of liquor brands landing on the shelves.

“It has minimal maintenance costs. You only need the internet and this reduces the human effort of tallying and noting down everything manually. I handle at least 50 customers daily so it records sales instantaneously,” she explained.

But more critical for her business and all other retail ventures is that the software comes with Big Data analytics so users can know which brands are moving fast during which days and recommend scheduled restocking.

For Felix Otieno, who runs a posho mill and cereals shop at Rongai’s Chapchap area, the software helps him key in voluminous sales data on his smartphone’ lauding its cloud-based data management.

“Even if my phone gets lost, I can access my account from a laptop or the cybercafé. Initially, I used to record everything in a book. At the end of the month, I would take the book to the store owner to check the figures. But nowadays, he can track all daily sales from wherever he is,” he said.

Mr Peter Mbuga, treasurer of Positive Psychologists Association of Kenya told Digital Business he uses it to compute quarterly debit and credit accounts, adding that it helps him avoid errors of double-entry while saving him time and energy.

“It is flexible while it leaves an audit trail of all entries. It gives me all the reports I need for the organization. Am pretty impressed by the talent in Silicon Savannah,” he said during the interview at his office in Ngumo.

Despite the triumph, Mr Abok calls on Kenyans to trust locally created brands as that’s the only way to decolonize the African brain in the current tech revolution.

“Africa needs to believe in itself. So much that the rest of the world can trust African innovations,” says the Cisco cyber security certified professional.

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