In a bid to support small and medium enterprises with a turnover less than INR 1.5 Cr, the Goods and Services Network (GSTN) has announced free accounting and billing software.
In 2013, GSTN was formed as a non-government private limited company with stakes from the Government of India, all states of the Indian Union and non-government financial institutions.
The free GST accounting and billing software is available to the active taxpayers, SEZ Developers/SEZ Units and taxpayers who have opted for composition scheme under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
After multiple evaluations of 43 entries, the GSTN has fixated on these eight software providers to enable the plan:
- Adaequare Info Private Limited (UBOOKS)
- Focus Softnet Private Limited (FOCUS LYTE)
- Marg ERP Limited (MARG GST pro)
- Relyon Softech Limited (SARAL ACCOUNTS)
- Seshaasai Business Forms Private Limited (GENIEBOOKS)
- Zoho Corporation Private Limited (ZOHO Books)
- Cygnet Infotech Private Limited (Cygnet FACE)
- IRIS Business Services Limited (IRIS Vyapari)
These are available as a cloud-based version as well as a downloadable version that can be installed on desktop or laptop. This software allows a taxpayer to run his daily business by providing day to day billing and accounting features, along with facility for return filing for their GST related compliances.
Zoho Corp CEO, Sridhar Vembu, said, “At Zoho, we believe that technology should be democratized for businesses of all sizes. By partnering with GSTN and the Government of India, we want to help companies take advantage of cutting-edge technology that helps them considerably improve their business and automate their GST and other compliance needs.”
Some of the free features being made available by all the vendors are sale/ purchase/ cash ledger, inventory management, supplier/ customer masters, generation of invoices, preparation of GST returns etc.
The software would be available free of cost to eligible taxpayers till March 31, 2021 or till the taxpayer’s annual turnover remains under INR 1.5 Cr in a financial year, after which the taxpayer may have to pay a fee to the vendor. The facility is expected to support 80 lakh SMEs.
Among the 13 Mn GST payers, 6-7 Mn are B2B and 5 to 6 Mn are B2C.
India’s MSME sector contributes about 8% of India’s GDP, 45% of the manufacturing output, 40% of the exports and employs close to 40% of our total workforce. However, this move may put challenge to startups such as Vayana, SahiGST, LegalRaasta, Cleartax etc who have taken up various roles to help individuals and businesses manage their GST requirements.