Ensuring Financial Health at Year-End: Expert Advice from Prashant Ganti

Ensuring Financial Health at Year-End: Expert Advice from Prashant Ganti

In an enlightening interview with CanadianSME Small Business Magazine, Prashant Ganti, Head of Product Management at Zoho Finance and Operations Suite, offered his expert insights on key aspects of year-end financial processes for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Prashant emphasized the critical nature of the financial year-end for SMBs, underscoring its importance in maintaining financial health and stability. He identified common challenges faced during year-end accounting and illustrated how Zoho’s solutions effectively address these hurdles, simplifying complex tasks and ensuring accuracy. Addressing growing concerns around data security, he detailed Zoho’s robust measures to secure and maintain the confidentiality of financial data, particularly during sensitive year-end operations. Furthermore, Prashant shared best practices and tips for SMBs to optimize their year-end accounting processes, demonstrating Zoho’s commitment to empowering small businesses with efficient and secure financial management tools.

Prashant has over 20 years of experience in the software industry with a deep focus on financial technologies. In his current role as the Head of Product Management, Zoho Finance and Operations Suite, he is responsible for revenue growth, and product direction and drives improvements and enhancements to the products across regions. In addition to this, he oversees the global advisor program that focuses on building alliances with audit and advisory firms.


Can you briefly explain why the end of the financial year is a critical period for small and medium-sized businesses, and why getting it right is so important for their financial health?

A financial year is the accounting period during which your business earns an income, typically spanning over 12 months. Self-employed individuals in Canada are typically required to use December 31st as their year-end. Regardless of the timeframe followed by businesses, the end of financial year is a critical period for SMBs. During this time, they can analyse their performance, adjust their goals, and plan for the future. It also allows them to get their financial records in order. Moreover, they can prepare to meet their tax obligations by ensuring that they have the necessary documentation, calculate their taxable income, and claim deductions. Overall, the end of the financial year is important for SMBs to maintain financial health, ensure compliance, and evaluate their strategy in a constantly changing business landscape. 


What are some common challenges that SMBs face when it comes to year-end accounting, and how can Zoho’s solutions help them navigate these challenges more effectively?

SMBs often face challenges like collecting payments on time, invoicing delays, reconciling statements, and tracking expenses. Relying on manual methods for year-end accounting processes adds to the complexity resulting in error-prone data. So this can be quite overwhelming for SMBs. Zoho Books, a cloud-based accounting platform is built to address all these challenges comprehensively. The cloud accounting software streamlines the invoicing processes, automates payment reminders, provides an overview of all expenses, and also helps identify overdue invoices through aging summary report. SMBs can also scan and record their expenses, perform stocktake with inventory valuation summary, and automatically fetch and reconcile bank statements. Overall, with Zoho Books, SMBs can ensure accuracy and efficiently complete their year-end accounting. 


Small business owners often wear multiple hats. How can Zoho’s software streamline the year-end accounting process and save SMBs time and resources during this busy period?

Small business owners are often pressed for time since they play a multifaceted role when it comes to managing their business. At Zoho, we understand this challenge quite well, and we have built our products to help achieve maximum efficiency by automating and streamlining many of the routine processes.

Zoho Books comes with various features that enable continuous close, keeping all accounts up-to-date on a daily basis, and providing current financial information at anytime. Firstly, in order to close the books, businesses need to make sure they have captured all expenses and bills with receipts, storing all necessary documents that comply with regulatory requirements. Zoho Books’ documents feature offers businesses a central repository to store all necessary documents. And, with the auto-scan enabled businesses can upload invoice, expense, bill, sales order, or purchase order, and have them all recorded automatically. 

Secondly, with bank feeds, businesses can fetch their statements, and automate reconciliation, reducing possibilities of errors. Moreover, businesses can automate tax calculation in invoices, and run summary reports that simplify tax filing. Businesses will also be able to run financial reports in real-time which helps in providing data-driven insights. 

In essence, Zoho Books is built to help SMB owners navigate the year-end accounting processes by automating key tasks, ensuring compliance, and creating real-time visibility into their finances. This not only saves them loads of effort, but also precious time which they can use to focus on building their business.

Ensuring Financial Health at Year-End: Expert Advice from Prashant Ganti

Data security is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. How does Zoho ensure the security and confidentiality of financial data for SMBs using its accounting solutions, especially during sensitive year-end processes?

Zoho takes data protection and security very seriously. As a company, we ensure that all the applications we use follow strong security measures that are built-in and automated. All our solutions use two-factor authentication with secure logins, password management tools to safeguard not only our own business but also our customers’.

Moreover, Zoho’s solutions complies with international data protection regulations, including GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and ISO, ensuring that Canadian SMEs can trust us to manage their financial information with the highest security and privacy standards.

Ensuring Financial Health at Year-End: Expert Advice from Prashant Ganti

Could you share some best practices or tips for SMBs to make the most of year-end accounting process?

One of the most important things that SMBs can do is to consider implementing continuous accounting as opposed to traditional processing which is usually done towards the end of a financial year. With continuous accounting, all financial data are processed and reconciled in real-time, ensuring improved accuracy, reducing the chances of errors. Much of the grunt work involved in the process is distributed through the year, minimising last minute scramble. This way, businesses will have a up-to-date view of their finances, making year-end reporting less overwhelming. More importantly, continuous accounting helps SMBs stay agile, providing better visibility to make informed decisions. Using a cloud accounting platform like Zoho Books will go a long way in not only streamlining all accounting processes, but also in building financial resilience. 

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