A digital accountant service was designed to help startups and small businesses manage their daily operations, tax and registration matters, which change as they grow, says digital accountant company Osidon cofounder and CEO Hennie Ferreira.
The Osidon service comprises an automated accounting service that manages invoices, tax and payroll records, and the company provides consulting accountants who advise small businesses on specific accounting and business compliance problems.
Regulations and complex and parallel registration processes often trip up startups, and noncompliance contributes to the closure of small businesses, as the penalties and administrative overheads pile up over time, he says.
The service also assists companies in becoming compliant from the start, which supports their sustainability and growth. Osidon provides business-registration guidance that helps to formalise small businesses, which is often particularly difficult for business owners, says Ferreira.
“We help them to manage red tape and compliance and small and medium-sized businesses can focus on developing and growing.”
Ferreira says that starting and registering Osidon demonstrated the difficulties facing new and small businesses. This prompted the team to broaden the services that it offers beyond digital accounting to include labour and small-business banking services.The
National Employer Association of South Africa (Neasa) and financial services and business bank Sasfin have partnered with Osidon to provide legal and business banking services for the small businesses that make use of Osidon’s services, says Ferreira.
Sasfin offers bank accounts for Osidon clients during the business registration process, and small businesses can sign up digitally for a long-term account and still meet Financial Intelligence Centre Act requirements, says Sasfin CEO Michael Sassoon.
He highlights that digital financial services must reduce costs and difficulties for users, including the submission of documentation and information only once.
Sasfin’s digital business banking platform, B\YOND, helps companies to manage the compliance workstream, such as bank account information and financial records, and provides a range of functions and tools to support small-businesses’ operations.
It has direct-feed integration into Xero accounting software, which Osidon uses to enable its services, he adds.
Similarly, Neasa provides Osidon clients with labour law and regulations consultation and information, as well as ready-to-use labour compliance templates for small businesses through the cloud service, says Neasa CE Gerhard Papenfus.
“Empowering small and medium-sized businesses to manage labour regulations, unions, collective bargaining and industry relations helps to make these exercises more affordable and the businesses more sustainable and profitable,” he says.
The Osidon service is designed for cloud environments and all clients have their data encrypted and stored in a secure public cloud system. The service uses secure online protocols, session expiration and multifactor authentication for sensitive information, says Ferreira.
The service uses artificial intelligence components, including machine learning, to write financial data to compliance and accounting documents based on regulations and client decisions, as well as speech-to-text systems for voice calls to be analysed and processed as part of the business’ operations.