Today, women all over the world are building successful businesses. We’re seeing more and more women at the helm of start-ups and established enterprises.
For some entrepreneurs, understanding business financials can be complicated; it can feel like putting together these financial statements takes FOR-E-VERRR. With so much happening, like having a business to run, marketing to do, and potential clients to meet, you often think, “Why can’t my accountant just whip up what I need and send it to wherever it needs to go?”
Theoretically, sure! But the most successful business owners understand that doing the numbers isn’t just perfunctory. As CA (Ms.) Lavanya, Head of SMB Initiatives, Mad Street Den says, “Numbers are not paintings, numbers are not literature, nor are they prose. They are meant to be scary. But that doesn’t mean, you’ll not understand them. Every financial statement tells a very specific story about your business, and thus it’s vital that you look at your financials on a daily basis, and only then you’ll start loving them.”
On 25 January 2019, we hosted a workshop titled ‘Decoding the number game’ with FICCI FLO (the women’s wing of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
More than 70 FICCI FLO Chennai members, including business professionals, entrepreneurs and home-preneurs attended this workshop, where they learned the basics of business finance management and the advantages of moving to a cloud accounting solution like Zoho Books in the GST era.
From the time we started planning this event, one of our major lookouts was for the best speakers in the finance domain. We roped in eminent speakers from the Chartered Accountants community. The workshop included three key sessions:
‘Basics of accounting and making key business decisions’, by CA (Ms.) Sripriya Kumar. Ms. Sripriya briefed the attendees on the important accounting terms that businesses come across when they start managing their financial statements, how to read those statements and how crucial it is to take hold of their finances. She remarked, “Women have been managing money since history and they have been always good at it. For example, take our Hindu goddess, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. So it’s just a misconception when ladies think they will not be able to take control of their finances. It’s about time when women should learn how to read financial statements, and take full authority of their money matters.”
CA (Ms.) Lavanya Mohan spoke about ‘Practical tips to get GST-ready and compliant for your business.’ Although GST was introduced in 2017, there is still an aura of fear around the same. Businesses have distinctive queries of their own and are often unsure of how to go about solving them. She talked of the struggles that she has encountered while starting her venture, and advised her audience that if one is passionate and patient while learning this number game, success will reach you in no time!
We also invited one of our Zoho Books customers, (Ms.) Kavya Sabareesh, the director of Varam group, to be a part of this event. She shared her views on how Zoho Books has been a constant support in her growth and this journey to the cloud. She also talked about the major changes the government is planning to bring in through the Digital India program. She added to her point by saying, “When the government is going ‘Hi-Fi’ using ‘Wi-Fi,’ why should we stay behind?”
The auditorium broke into a fit of smiles, laughter and questions, but also showed a ray of confidence to ‘decode this number game.’
After the workshop, we spoke to the lovely ladies who attended, and here’s what they had to say:
While each entrepreneur’s story and struggle is unique, there’s a kinship that connects them all: the drive and passion for doing what they really love and believe in.
Through this workshop, we aimed to empower the attendees to make informed financial decisions for their business. We also introduced them to the benefits of embracing cloud accounting for their business, so that they can continue doing what they love without worrying about manual back-office operations.
It was a very special morning, and we’re so thankful to all our speakers and to everyone who came along. And, for those who couldn’t be there, here’s a snippet from the event.