Photo - Azizah Ali - General Manager, Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P), Microsoft Malaysia
"We are committed to helping SMEs prepare and navigate the impending GST implementation," she added. We are proud to have Sage Software, Wavelet Solutions and Rofarez Solutions as strong Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners to help SMEs navigate GST using best-in-class technology. Our business applications including Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are a mature suite of cloud solutions implemented worldwide, proven in many countries with GST practices."
Sage Software's managing director, Michael Cho, said, "What businesses today are looking for is flexibility and familiarity. Any new solution must be able to adapt to their existing software. In addition to the fundamental GST features which should be standard in all accounting software, Sage lends our considerable knowledge and experience to making it simple for SMEs to understand and use our software."
There are two main areas of implementation for GST compliance i.e. business processes changes and business application changes, said Microsoft Malaysia's Azizah.
"The medium enterprises are within the implementation stages of readiness," she said. "They are slightly behind their larger peers but have formed their implementation teams and are likely in the midst of overall strategy refinement. Business applications implementation is at the early design phase or waiting to be started."
"The smaller enterprises that are within the threshold of compliance are lagging behind at the moment. Some are still at the stage of exploration particularly those with the least operation complexity with simpler processes and smaller transactions," said Azizah.
She said many companies have been participating in various campaigns and workshops Microsoft has been organizing with its partners including SME Corp and the RMCD, and the industry.
'Get Ready for GST' campaign
Azizah said though the challenges to be GST-ready vary across industries and businesses, the main ones are to ensure smooth implementation with the right factual information and compliance with RMCD guidelines.
From a business applications standpoint, the availability of resources is the most pressing challenge, she said. "In relation to human resources, the challenge is having GST-skilled internal resources and availability of professional consultants supporting the implementation. The looming 1 April 2015 deadline adds a time pressure for businesses to be GST-ready while concurrently managing their business. Microsoft solutions support GST implementation across multiple industries, with partners providing industry-specific templates ready for a quicker turnaround implementation."
Reza Ismail, director, Rofarez Solutions, said: "GST implementation requires businesses to change the way of recording their crucial business information. Sales and purchases data needs to be accurate, detailed, precise and consistent in order to comply with our local GST requirements. This is one of the key features of our DappleWorks Customisable Solutions, just set it up and we will take care of the rest."
"For the cost of a meal of roti canai and teh tarik [local staple snack and tea], these solutions are at a very affordable price point for SMEs considering the outstanding value they are getting," said Microsoft Malaysia's Azizah. "The solutions we are offering today are comprehensive system and productivity tools to assist Malaysian businesses with GST implementation, with solutions in the cloud and on-premise, and across all types of devices. Microsoft partners here in Malaysia are all ready and capable to support Malaysian enterprises with GST compliance, offering localized solutions that comply with the RMCD GST guidelines as well as other related and specific statutory requirements."
Vincent Lee, founder and chief executive officer of Wavelet Solutions, said: "Microsoft takes a different approach in its cloud strategy, product and marketing. What sets Microsoft apart from other solution providers is Microsoft's strong local presence and channel strategy that is structured to help partners like us build a successful business, by helping our customers be successful. As a result, it is a triple win-win-win (partner customer-Microsoft) situation."
"SMEs should not allow themselves be left out when they can leverage technology to help them better prepare for GST implementation," added Microsoft Malaysia's Azizah. "Interested SMEs can get in touch with our Microsoft distributors and resellers for more information. We are organising workshops with partners such as SME Corp to assist enterprises that require more insights and best practices on GST compliance."
For more information about the 'Get Ready for GST' campaign for SMEs, please visit microsoft.com/en-my/business/mygst/
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