Financial tools during COVID-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us into isolation and away from our physical work offices. The new arrangement is to work from home and over the internet but this does not mean your business should lose track of its cash flows or financial management. Below are a few ideas on how to keep track of your cash flows and finances, and how to manage them effectively during this time from the comfort of your home.

Internet banking 

Internet banking allows account holders to access their accounts and transact without having to go to the bank. One-time passwords (OTPs) and two-factor authentication provide security on this platform and you can save copies of the payments you make and/or send them to your suppliers or payees without having to print hard copies.

Mobile banking

Mobile banking allows account holders to transact from their mobile phones, which essentially means internet banking at your fingertips. Because financial inclusion is crucial for the growth of economies, most banks have adopted the use of shortcodes (USSDs) for those without smartphones to access their accounts and transact.

Mobile money transfer platforms

Network service providers have also developed money transfer platforms that can be used by subscribers to link their bank accounts with their mobile numbers for ease of transacting. In Zimbabwe, Econet’s Ecocash, Telecel’s Telecash, and Netone’s OneMoney are the most prevalent. The use of login passwords provides security and notification text messages are sent for proof of transaction to the registered number. 

Online accounting solutions

It is important to record the flow of money into, or out of your business as well as track performance and trends even during the pandemic. This helps businesses to make informed decisions about the next best course of action to take to grow and move forward. 

Cloud (or online) accounting packages are becoming a permanent feature in business today due to their numerous advantages over desktop packages. Some of these advantages include accessibility anywhere and anytime by multiple users as long as an internet connection is available, automatic data updates and back-up with no extra costs involved, multiple encryption layers that ensure data security, lower monthly costs payable over a year unlike bulk license payments for desktop packages.

Some of the online accounting software small businesses can make use of are:

  1. Freshbooks – ideal for one-person small businesses focused on saving money and controlling everything by themselves. Produces simple financial reports that are easy to interpret. 
  2. Xero, Freeagent, and Quickbooks – ideal for small businesses and emerging businesses with two or more people focused on making profits, business growth, and decentralizing control. The package can be outsourced from a remote accountant and offers better financial and management reports.

Filing taxes

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has made it possible for businesses to file their taxes by email in order to ensure compliance while keeping safe.  According to ZIMRA, their efiling platform also allows businesses: 

  1. Online registration in order to obtain a ZIMRA Business Partner Number (BP) 
  2. Online Submission of Tax Returns (currently Income Tax, PAYE, Value Added Tax, and Capital Gains Tax)
  3. Online application for Tax Clearances (ITF263) 
  4. Online verification and validation of existing Tax Clearances (ITF263) 
  5. Viewing of Taxpayers’ Accounts Status and Balances. 
  6. Online updating of information (submission of REV2 Form)

 

Which online financial tools have worked well for you? Which haven’t? What do you think of the future of work? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

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