Cloud-based software offers suite of solutions for SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been able to tap a new cloud-based software platform for their accounting, human resource and compliance solutions.

The SME Cloud Exchange Network Software (SMECEN) is an integrated suite of solutions, offered on a software-as-a-service basis.

It was launched on July 20 by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme) and supported by Enterprise Singapore, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

Asme worked with statutory boards to understand SMEs' challenges and needs before investing in this cloud-based software.

In a media statement yesterday, Asme said firms adopting the software "will see an increase in overall productivity and lowered costs, and be well placed to develop management competencies powered by digitalisation of administration".

Asme noted that SMEs have faced rising compliance costs, having to stay in line with legislative and statutory requirements such as the filing of financial statements via XBRL (extensible business reporting language), mandatory annual returns and tax forms, and the issuing of itemised payslips and proper employment contracts.

The software facilitates compliance, while also giving SMEs oversight of their finance and tax positions.

Using the software, firms can generate financial statements and corporate tax computations, as well as goods and services tax and corporate tax returns using standard report templates that draw on existing accounting data.

When filing financial statements with Acra, firms can also generate financial statement highlights in the required XBRL format.

"We are looking at further reducing the regulatory burden for companies in the next phase when we enable companies to file directly to Acra from SMECEN... without the need to log into our filing portal," said Acra's divisional director for customer experience Mohamed Farouk.

Asme's first strategic partner in the software is OCBC Bank, which has worked with the association for many years in the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Said Asme president Kurt Wee: "We have been approached by a number of potential partners who have reviewed the platform, and there is substantial excitement about what we've built. We expect more strategic partners to be coming on board."

OCBC's head of global commercial banking Linus Goh said the solution designed by Asme "will help to address many of the pain points and challenges in today's processes".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2018, with the headline 'Cloud-based software offers suite of solutions for SMEs'. Print Edition | Subscribe