It’s amazing how the seemingly simplest of things turn out to be cumbersome, after all. Basic accounting, I’ve learnt, is one of them. But if one uses the right tools, it can very well be a breeze.

Of the many things I love, dresses are one. When I recently got one custom made by the skilful tailor Mohana, I was surprised at 2 things:

  1. her professionalism – my dress was delivered on time, stitched just as I wanted it to be. I couldn’t have asked for more.
  2. the amount of work she had in running her small business – tracking orders, bills, payments, expenses, maintenance costs, and of course, profit. I was convinced that something had to be done about this.

Now, she was only a few weeks old into the business, and was spending more time in administrative paperwork instead of the backlog of orders. She was maintaining everything on paper – customer records, due dates, deliveries, etc. I left soon after, but this was lingering in my mind.

I visited her again the next day and suggested building an app for eliminating this effort, and she was intrigued, to say the least. We had a brief session on understanding the business, and she was keen to explain too – the daily operations, data needed for tracking, and the reports she would like to generate. I signed her up for Zoho Creator and built a mobile app in less than15 minutes! Yes. Fifteen minutes. That’s all it took to get it fired up. I configured the fields for – orders, bills, payments and customer records like email, contact number and even signature!

What sets a solution provider apart is their ability to find unstated problems, instead of merely solving those stated. Having understood the business fairly well, I set up a quick workflow that would notify on upcoming deliveries due, and she was quite surprised at having a feature she hadn’t thought of. With a few more records added, we created a few reports in under 10 minutes to see analytics on the services, like

 – number of orders

 – frequencies

 – turnaround times

 – costs, revenues, etc.

As the reports took shape, she was visibly excited, asking questions on how to tweak these even further, and was noticing insights already. We extended this to track operational costs too – shop rent, assistant salary, inventory purchase etc., with which we could get a report on the overall sales, expenses and net profit. I could sense her assistant heaving a secret sigh of relief at now being able to concentrate more on balancing the hooks than books.

Zoho Creator has enabled her to have a comprehensive solution that reduces the inefficiency associated with conventional processes, thus saving a lot of time with accounting and analysis, by generating reports anytime at a tap on the screen than turning pages.

That said, I now have more than one reason to visit Mohana!