Poor business management and lack of access to capital are the most common factors. as money is one of the reasons many small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) fail in their first years
The rejection rate of MSME loan applications by commercial banks is way over 50% for most banks and as high as 90% in a few. Most business owners struggle with starting and maintaining proper record keeping and accounting practices and even when they choose to expand or scale up operations, they are hardly able to meet up with financier’s requirement for a statement of accounts, liquidity reports and the likes. Businesses like these are the reason iKooba technologies exist.
Speaking during the Nairametrics Business Half Hour show, co-founder and CEO of ikooba technologies, Sam Afemikhe, explained that the iKooba is out to build reliable and cost-effective web solutions for businesses in Nigeria and across West Africa.
According to Afemikhe, most small and medium scale businesses do not even realize they have a bookkeeping problem until they need to access some sort of funding and are asked to present their financial records for a period. Some others realize the importance and get started with their recordkeeping, but after a while, they begin to get lax on it and stop updating it regularly.
“Our dedication is to build businesses that last. Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business. There is a general problem businesses have with recordkeeping, and it is understandable because it could be quite overwhelming trying to get the business off the ground. But no financier will see that as a valid reason or excuse when you come in search of funding, either as loans or investments. They will want to see your records to know your business direction, profitability and liquidity and this is where we come in,” he stated.
iKooba technologies started in 2016 and launched its flagship product – the BMAC accounting – a product built to support businesses. BMAC was made for the business owner, the business owners accountant, and the business financier (investor or lender), and plays the role of an accountant for the business, creating financial records that are true and fair.
The cloud accounting solution allows business owners, their accountants and their financiers such as Banks or Angel Investors, to collaborate from anywhere, and conduct business smartly and transparently.
With a background that cuts across chartered accounting, investment banking, tech and consulting, Afemikhe leads a team of diverse talents, combining all of these to solve accounting problems for small, medium and large businesses cut across different sectors.
Businesses that use the products range from the small one-man business owner who is trying to keep track of business growth and cash flow to the big firm that needs an easy to use accounting tool.
“We have been running for over 5 years, and so, we have built capacity to take on big businesses whose turnover is in billions of naira annually, as well as small businesses that turn over hundreds of thousands of naira, and we also have a good mix in terms of business size, and industry.”
Using the product is as simple as downloading the BMAC assistant app from play store, uploading the relevant information (assets, liabilities, debits, credits, revenue, expenditure), and updating it regularly. With this BMAC assistant, you can generate financial records like profits and loss reports, debt and credit reports, liquidity reports on a regular basis.
Other products include the BMAC inventory management system helping businesses with their inventories, BMAC invoicing to help with invoicing for customers, ikOOba Human Resources Management (HRM) system and the Document Management System (DMS) and a few others. This creates a robust system for business management.
Afemikhe noted that the products can help a business track profits per product, profit per day, per week, per product line, and so make informed business decisions. The products are affordable and also have a free trial period for business owners that want to first get a feel before deciding which package to opt for.
Through the products, iKooba technologies also help small and medium businesses engage with the Federal and state revenue agencies, and operates within the ambits of the law as far as their finances go, while also remaining profitable.
It is now a digital dispensation even for conventional businesses, and embracing technology will open more doors for small, micro and medium scale businesses, and improve the statistics of business survival, growth and sustainability.