Introducing Accounting Software
Accounting Software Singapore IRAS Approved and GST Compliant
Accounting software in Singapore is application software that helps companies or individual to record and process business financial transactions. The basic accounting software normally will include General Ledger (GL), Accounts Receivable (AR), Accounts Payable (AP) and Cash Book. The best accounting software in Singapore must be IRAS approved and GST compliant. It must be very versatile to provide the flexibility in integration with the other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system software.
There are different functional modules such as (sales, sales quotation, sales order, sales invoice, purchasing, inventory management, customer relationship management) in an ERP system. ERP Software is a business process management software that can be integrated with the Accounting Software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Warehouse Management System (WMS) to provide a complete accounting information system. There are many types of ERP systems in the market. Some provide ERP software for small to medium business, the rest are providing ERP software for large companies. The choice of the right accounting software for an organisation is depending on the size and specialized capabilities of the business. As the best accounting software will be the backbone of the business, the business owners and the accountant together with a professional consultant will evaluate the current process to determine the best accounting software that suits their needs. A professional Consultant is necessary in the selection of accounting software and implementation process to reduce the risk of getting accounting system that is not ideal for the business.
Understand your Business Processes and Needs
It is important that business owner initiate a review on their business processes and map out the requirements of different business units and department that will impact the financial reporting. The followings are some of the points to consider:-
- Multi entities – if the company has subsidiaries, whether it allows creating multi entities?
- Multiple currencies – whether it supports multi-currency, dual currency reporting? The Revaluation functions available?
- Multi-languages – whether it supports multi-languages for overseas branches and whether it supports the localization.
- Evaluate the current business process and define the new process
- Decide the relevant modules that best suit the business requirements.
- No of Users – decide who will be the administrator that will take care of the data access control security.
- How many departments and what business units? Different levels of security access for different departments. The segregation of duties for approvers and preparers for internal process control if the company has enough resources.
- Modification and Customization – What are the financial reports the business needs and the available reports?
- What is the level of customization may be required?
Introduction on Accounting Software in Singapore
There are so many accounting software that were developed in the past decade some companies went through merger and acquisition, transformation and re-branding (e.g. MYOB had been rebrand as ABSS) to acquire more market presence. In general there are 3 main categories of accounting software namely basic, intermediate and advance accounting software.
Basic or Entry Level Accounting Software in Singapore
These are entry level accounting software that are design with standard modules in accounting functions which is suitable for small business, start up and sole proprietors where business processes are more direct and straight forward.
Intermediate Accounting Software or Enterprise Resource System – ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System is a mid tier accounting software that are more suitable for small and medium enterprise (SME) where you have the flexibility to add on business modules to make the system more robust. Different ERP Systems are customized to different industry and business model some are integrated with financials, distribution, manufacturing, payroll, project management and customer relationship management (CRM) where some modules are optional that you need to purchase separately.
Advance Accounting Software or SAP System
SAP accounting software are ERP systems which are integrated with various customized business module mainly for Multi National Companies (MNC) or upgrades from SME where business and processes are more complex and sophisticated.
Important and mandatory features for Accounting Software in Singapore
By using accounting software, it helps companies and organizations in optimizing their use of resources in their business and accounting departments efficiently where costly bookkeeping mistakes can be reduced dramatically.
Whenever we consider in choosing an accounting software in Singapore, our first thought in mind is the price of the soft software and the subscription cost without truly understand the true value of the software that will benefit your business and organization in a long run.
It is important when choosing accounting software in Singapore to cater for your business needs must be GST (VAT) compliant and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) approved. If your organization is an MNC the accounting software must be localized to the local tax requirement and flexible whenever there are tax changes by the country.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore requirement compliant
GST Compliant – All the companies in Singapore must comply with the tax declaration and GST filing requirements. If you are GST registered, the invoicing system must be available to produce the Tax Invoice as per the Goods & Services Tax (GST) requirements. When you select the accounting software, it is important to check that it is GST compliant for invoicing. Most of the good accounting software will automate the GST computation function and able to generate the GST Form F5 and Form 7.
Corporate Tax Compliant – Your company tax declaration to IRAS require time and effort to tabulate to ensure all taxable and non-taxable elements are properly tabulated and reviewed in order to provide an accurate declaration to IRAS. An easy way out for many business owners and sole proprietors will hire an accountant to assist them on tax matters which is costly and time-consuming. To save cost and time, some of the accounting software is offering the function to generate the Corporate Tax Form C/S.
GST Form 5 Q &A
Q1. Are there any fees or charges for filing of GST returns online via the Internet?
A1: There is no charge and it is Free for E-Filing of GST Returns via the Internet on IRAS website. Access to Free WIFI hot spot for free Internet access usage but if you use mobile data, it is chargeable by your telco depends on your subscription price plan.
Q2. When can I start to submit a GST return?
A2: GST Return can be submitted by e-file one day after the end of accounting period. For example, the accounting period from 01/07/2016 to 30/09/2016 you can e filled your GST F5 with effect from 31/10/2016.
Q3. When there is a GST return outstanding that is not filed, will both the preparer and approver be able to see after logging into myTax Portal?
A3: Yes, after logging onto myTax Portal website, whenever there is an outstanding GST return that was not filed both the Preparer and Approver will be able to see the the GST return outstanding in “I Need to Do”
After the Preparer prepares the GST return and submits it to the Approver for approval, the status of the GST return will be reflected as “Pending Approval”.
Q4. I am a Preparer and have submitted a GST return for approval. I realize that I need to make some amendments after my submission to the Approver. What should I do?
A4: You can approach the Approver to retrieve the GST return that is “Pending Approval” and save it as Draft. Then you would have the edit rights to amend the GST return. Alternatively, you may request or notify the Approver to make the changes directly on your behalf.
Q5. Will there be an alert sent to the Approver when the GST return is sent to the Approver for approval?
A5: No, there is no alert, however the Preparer should notify or inform the Approver of any returns awaiting approval.
Q6. Must I include the dollar sign (i.e. “$”) in my GST reporting?
A6. No, you can omit the ‘$’ sign,please enter the amount (without the dollar sign) when completing your GST return.
Q7. Will I be able to save a softcopy of my GST return in a disk before I submit my declarations to IRAS?
A7: Yes. Click o ‘File’ menu and select ‘Save As’. The GST return will be saved in an html format. You may save the softcopy in any computer storage devices or existing folder of your computer.
Q8. What if I forget to print the acknowledgement page?
A8. If you forgot to print the acknowledgement page, you just need to retrieve the acknowledgement page from myTax Portal within 3 working days after your submission.
After logging in to myTax Portal, from the left hand menu:
- Select <View Correspondence/Notices>.
- Select <Acknowledgement/Confirmation>
- Select <E-F5 Declaration cum Acknowledgement> for the respective accounting period
Q9. Is there a time limit for me to key in my figures in my electronic GST F5?
A9: You will be logged out if your computer is left idle for more than 30 minutes. This security feature is incorporated into the system to prevent any unauthorized access to your company’s records. Please be prepared and get ready the figures required to complete the GST return before you log in to myTax Portal.
Q10. When I clicked “Submit” upon completion of the GST return, the screen did not navigate to the next screen to display the acknowledgement page. What should I do?
A10: Please check that all required check boxes are completed. Enter “0” if the box is not applicable. Click “Submit” again. The GST F5 should now be successfully submitted to IRAS.
Q11. How do I know whether my e-filing has been successfully transmitted to IRAS?
A11: The GST e-Filing Declaration cum Acknowledgement page will appear after the GST return has been transmitted successfully to IRAS. Please print a copy of the acknowledgement for your record purpose.
You will no longer see the GST F5 for that specific period after you click on “e-File GST returns”.
Q12. Do I need to keep a copy of the GST e-Filing Declaration cum Acknowledgement Page?
A12: Yes. You are required to keep records (including the e-Filing Declaration cum Acknowledgement Page) pertaining to prescribed accounting periods ending before 1 January 2007 for seven years. For records pertaining to prescribed accounting periods ending on or after 1 January 2007, you are required to keep the records for five years. You can either save or print out a copy of the GST e-Filing Declaration cum Acknowledgement page.
Q13. I have submitted the GST Return. However, there’s no acknowledgement page. How do I know if the submission is successful?
A13: You can check whether the GST F5 has been submitted successfully from “Last Completed Actions” in the portal. In addition, you will no longer see the GST Form for that specific period submitted successfully after you click on “e-File my GST return”.
Alternatively, you can check the status of the GST submission via “View Return Status” e-service.
Q14. If I discover an error in my GST return after I have submitted it to IRAS, is there a time limit during which I can inform IRAS to reject my submission so that I can resubmit my GST return?
A14: No, once the GST return has been submitted to IRAS, no further amendment can be made to the GST return. Depending on the errors made, you may need to request for a GST F7 to disclose the errors in the GST return submitted previously.
Q15. If I encounter problems with the system, whom should I call?
A15: You may call 1800-356 8015 should you encounter problems with the system.
GST Form 7 Q &A
Q1. What should I do if I discover errors in my previous GST F5 Returns?
A1: If the summation of non-GST amounts in error for each of the affected prescribed accounting period is not more than 5% of the total value of supplies declared in the submitted GST return; and the net GST amount in error for all the affected prescribed accounting periods is not more than S$1,500, you can make the corrections in your next GST F5.
Otherwise, you need to adjust the errors by requesting for a GST F7 (Disclosure of Error on GST Return) for the relevant accounting period via “Request for GST F7” e-service and submit it electronically. When completing the GST F7, please fill in the revised figures including the error adjustments for all boxes of the return.
Q2. Can I request for GST F7s for two consecutive periods?
A2: Yes, but you need to make 2 requests.
Q3. Why is there a long list of GST F7 available for me to e-file when I did not request for it?
A3: These GST F7s could have been requested by your organization previously or sent to you by IRAS for compliance purpose. If there is no amendment to be made, please inform us in writing so that we can update them as “Not applicable” and they will not be displayed for e-Filing.
What are the 8 Key Features of Accounting Software?
In general, most businesses require the eight key features to have a complete accounting software solution, but there are some small businesses that only requires 3 out of the 8 features. Some of this features can be bundle into the basic accounting module but most of them are add-on to cater for your business needs.
Core Accounting Module – This is the basic mandatory component of any accounting software, ensure that this module provides features including general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, cash book and bank reconciliation. This module is the most basic plan that an accounting software will offer sometimes it will be given away as a free 30 days trial and you need be on board for their paid subscriptions after the trial period
Billing & Invoicing module – this module can be integrated as part of the basic core accounting module or come as a separate component. The main function of this module allows automating routine customer billing. Billing & Invoicing varies by industry based on payment agreement terms, industry standards and practices and scale of the business operations.
Fixed Asset Module – This feature can be an add-on module or comes together as a bundled with core accounting software. Fixed asset function allows you to manage financial information on important company assets, reconciled to the cost and accumulated depreciation balances on the general ledger balance for each fixed asset class. This is a critical module especially if the business has different assets class and a lot of assets in different forms ( i.e. property, plant, and equipment). Otherwise, a bundled fixed asset may suffice.
Budget & Forecasting Module – This module is often packaged as an add-on component, it enable you to make an estimated forecast on the next year’s budget based on historical data and sales targets achieved. This independent module allows consolidation on different departmental budgeting and forecasts for an overall company estimates, but when it comes together as a bundled feature, it usually allows a single budget and forecast tool.
Basic Inventory Management– This module is often packaged as part of the basic core accounting module or come as a separate component to manage inventory. The module allows you to manage the basic inventory activities e.g. the storage warehouse location, inventory movement of products to maintain optimal stock level. This module allows you to track orders, sales, and deliveries. You need to add on this module if you require a more specific inventory system and tools to manage inventory from the multi-location warehouse, specific storage location, calculate stock depreciation if your business has a low shelf-life product lifecycle.
Basic Payroll System Module – This feature can be an add-on module or comes together as a bundled with core accounting software. It allows you process employee payrolls, automatically calculate CPF contributions, overtime, withhold and pay taxes. The key feature of this function is the creation of an automated reminder when to issue government payments to avoid penalties.
Project Accounting Module – This feature normally is an be add-on module but sometimes it comes together as a bundled with core accounting software. This module will be very useful for businesses with project-oriented operations like renovations, construction and manufacturing plant. This module allows costing and estimation of overheads, labor, materials, and equipment and progress payment. Project accounting solutions can be a very simple system that can manage a single project at a time or complex solutions for multiple and simultaneous but interrelated projects.
Fund Accounting Module – This feature normally is an add-on module cater for nonprofits organizations and government agencies, which have a separate set of financial reporting requirements. Features include tracking donation expenditures; grant management; and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regulations.
Additional Business Features
As your business scale and expand it is inevitable that some of the business process get more complex and sophisticated where you need more control and visibility. Processes such as human resource, sales and purchasing require to be integrated into your ERP accounting software to make it more complete and robust where you do not need to reinvest and restart the implementation process.
Inventory Management System
Inventory Management Systems managed your raw materials, WIP products and finished goods in your distribution chain
Human Resource Management Systems
Human Resource Management Systems manage your payroll, CPF, annual leave, sick leave, attendance and training
Procurement Management Systems
Procurement Management Systems is a smart system that managed your supplier information and streamline your purchasing process to reduce cost at your bottom line.
Customer Relationship Management
Manage your customer database, business relationship and sales performance.
Why is it important to use accounting software for your business?
By investing in accounting software we can increase efficiency and accuracy that constitute higher productivity and reducing the manpower or labour cost. In a nutshell, the accounting software is a powerful tool for your business that could integrate all your processes:
- Human Resource Management System (HRMS) or Payroll System,
- Customer Relationship Management System (CRM),
- Inventory Management Systems (IMS)
- Materials Require Planning (MRP)
- Point of Sales (POS for the restaurant, retail, hardware, mini mart)
- School Systems (student attendance, e-learning, class assets, library, exam results management)
- Booking Systems (Multi User Time slot & Appointment Management, multi user payment)
- Procurement / Purchasing Management System – managed purchase agreement, purchase request, vendors, stocks, purchasers and the orders)
- Supply Chain Management
Better Business visibility and transparency
By using accounting software, live data and dashboard information is being transmitted and communicated to the predefined users level of access. This information is important to business owners, managers and stakeholders to evaluate the financial performance of the organization and make better business decisions with the financial information.
When using accounting software or program, the company is required setting rules, guidelines and procedures for users in order to reduce job duplication and redundancy with proper documented procedures, process flow and well define rules or guidelines.
Control function can be set to send alert to the management for credit control and automate some of the routine functions like generating statement of accounts, reminder to customers.
Check and balance system with business objective set and work schedule is according to the business plan.
Better cash flow management and reduced waste.
e.g. Stock and Inventory Management System where MOQ are pre-defined for your procurement department to make a purchase. This is especially important for food products with short shelf life or materials with a short product life cycle. Raw materials can be issued in First In First Out (FIFO) or Last In First Out (LIFO) basis depending on the business rules set.
Sales and inventory level can be capture in a real time manner and invoice can be auto generated that actually reduced time and manpower you spent on accounting and tax (GST) compare to a manual system using excel spreadsheet
Voices of our customers
Reviews and feedback from your customers that engaged in your services for their accounting software solutions
The accounts are more transparent and visible to me after implementation of the new ERP software. I could access the analytic reports in my finger tips and I could focus more time in my strategic planning to grow my business.
After implementing the accounting software for the past 3 months, my accounts team has lesser errors and more productive. We can go back home on time and spend more time with our family members.
Selecting the right accounting software was not an easy task as there are so many options in the market, we are very confused with all the options. 21AS provides us with very practical solutions and advice that allows our top management to make the right choice.
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