A cloud based online accounting and payroll software for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has been launched in Nigeria. Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software and global champion of small & medium sized businesses, presented the software to the media and a select audience of experts on Wednesday at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
Sage Regional Director West Africa, Magnus Nmonwu, in the company of Director SageOne, East and West Africa, Nikki summers, said, “SageOne payroll is our own cloud solution for administering payroll and payroll taxes for start-ups and small businesses operating in the Nigerian environment. It is a cloud solution from end to end”.
The Nigerian launch which came only after the launch in Kenya, according to Nmonwu, will provide businesses with real-time, fully cloud-based payroll solutions that will effectively support the management of earnings on taxes. According to him, it is a solution which was designed with inputs from the local statutory legislation and oversight of the business environment. He said that the software will empower businesses to connect with their customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways. He assured that the solutions will provide businesses with real-time, fully cloud-based accounting and payroll solutions.
According to him, Sage remains the company to beat in supporting the ease of doing business policy of the Nigerian government. Justifying this claim, he said that Sage has adopted the policy of allowing its products to be purchased in the Nigerian currency. He said that the decision not only removes the burden of sourcing the scarce foreign exchange (forex) from its clients, it also insulates the clients from the fluctuating exchange rate.
Nmonwu also said that Sage has also strengthened the programme of backward integration as a way to increase technology development in Nigeria. According to him, Sage is working hands-in-gloves with the technology hubs for knowledge transfer to Nigerian start-ups and SMEs. With the collaboration, he said that start-ups have been enabled to introduce specialised features on the Sage suites of solutions with the open API on the software.
Relating the benefit of the software to the tax amnesty recently introduced by the Nigerian government, Nmonwu said this solution will enable institutions “ensure that they are able to calculate the right amount of tax which they should have remitted to the tax authorities and they will not then be at the wrong side of the law”.
Speaking on the growing cybersecurity threats and issue of datacentres breaches, he assured that Sage has in place a very strong escalation and security protocols to protect its SageOne Accounting and SageOne Accounting Payroll servers and clients from down time.
While confirming CRM functionality on the software suites, Summers said that Sage places high premium on customer feedback in order to ensure mutually rewarding products. “By September 1, we are going to be launching a chat feature because we want our customers to get immediate response to their queries via a chat. On the SageOne Accounting, we have created adviser community which is made up of book keeping services for businesses within Nigeria to do basically assist the customers. So instead of just launching products and leaving customers out there we have in check features as well as creating a community around the product and support customers. So in that way we are not only growing small businesses, we are also growing small book keeping formats”
Disclosing that Sage already has over 70, 000 clients on its platforms across Africa, Summers noted that the business trajectories is good in Nigeria with 500 companies already hooked on to its Accounting platform, and 68 companies signed up for the Sage Payroll programme.