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By: Avinash

Is Odoo suitable for Indian Accounting

Functional Accounting

For a period of time, Indian Business organizations were largely depended upon some specific software products for their Accounting and ERP solutions. While most of the internationally competent organization selected its solutions based on their specific needs. But today, with the emergence of new startups and SME’s the scenario is changing. People are searching for more need-oriented software rather than following the general trend. Consequently, there is a number of accounting and ERP software available in the market catering to different types of user needs. Having better insights on those products will give any entrepreneur a competitive advantage. This article first addresses a basic question that is relevant in the present Indian business environment ‘Accounting software or an ERP’ after that we will address the main question “Is Odoo suitable for Indian Accounting?”

Accounting software or an ERP?

Let’s begin with a question.  What is the role of accounting software in the present business context? Particularly in the Indian context?

We know that organizations have gone from traditional methods of business management to completely computer-aided solutions from the last decade onwards. And today all the organs of a business is managed by efficient management software. Human Resource, Accounting, Customer Management, Inventory, and Warehouse Management, etc. functionalities are performed by dedicated software.  But the difference is that, while large business organizations widely deployed ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software for integrated management of the business, SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) type organizations are still clutching on the individual software that manages some sections the business like Accounting. Maybe, one of the main reason, why such organizations lagged in the long run lays here. The changes that an ERP software can bring to any organization is enormous and widely discussed. While we consider our business as a whole, it is obvious that independent management software alone can’t push the business forward. Adopting an effective ERP software is the need of the hour for any business irrespective of its size.

So what happens in the backside is that, by clutching on some old legend software, many of the Indian business organizations are missing the advantage of newborn business software which can provide them intense support in business growth. The question is “Why people are going behind a mere accounting software while they can acquire an intelligent ERP.

But still why?

    The advantages of an effective ERP solution is visible to all, yet why the organizations still don’t venture to reap its benefits? The main reason is the financial one. And of course, there is a reluctance to change too. As they have become attached to the many old legendary software (especially those Accounting software), most of the organizations and employees are not well with replacing them. Moreover, the people have become well acquainted with the workflows and terms in such software, so changing to a new platform is indeed difficult for them. Let us take the case of the legendary accounting suite ‘Tally’. Even though there are many accounting software that outruns tally in every aspect people are still not ready to change it. Speaking of the financial hurdles, unlike in the past an ERP software doesn’t cost much. And the ROI is much higher than that of independent software. So if we sum up the reason 

Financial Side (which is no longer an issue)

Acquaintance with old workflow and terms (Even better workflows and terms are now being used)

A total reluctance to change

Maybe the third one is the main reason behind it. ?

Odoo ERP Accounting module an Analysis

    In feature wise analysis, Odoo outruns most of the existing Accounting software. Apart from the general accounting operations and features like Payment, Receipt, Journal Entries, Taxation, Banking, Ratio analysis, Reporting, etc. Analytic accounting, Business intelligence, Augmented Legal Statements support and many other features make Odoo an efficient accounting system.

    There are many things that make Odoo a unique product than any other Accounting software. When we compare Odoo Accounting with other ERP suites like Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite we can see many features that Odoo alone have. For example, Quick reconciliation, Automatic Sync, Batch Send, Third-party follow-up, Payment automation, Alerts, and Expenses etc. features can be found in Odoo. But neither NetSuite nor Dynamics support all of these features but only some of them. Since all accounting transactions are associated with customers or suppliers, you get reports to perform analysis per customer/supplier such as the customer statement, revenues per customer, aged receivable/payable, etc. Another exemplary option available in Odoo is its business intelligence engine which will allow you to navigate through company data in a more organized manner. The graphs and diagrams plotted by BI engine is indeed a useful tool in decision making. Of course, Odoo is mobile too. You can use it to check your accounts on the go.

The reality is that we can’t explain the overall features of Odoo by considering the Accounting module alone. It's integrated working with other modules like Sales, Purchase, Customer Management, Inventory, etc., opens massive possibilities for business. You can get collaborated analysis reports, insightful view of your customers, automated workflow management and even more features which will ultimately help you to improve your business.

For a better understanding let’s consider some features of Odoo and do a comparison with Tally.

For example, let us first examine a simple feature called Product Variant

Suppose your product list contains many variants of a single product. In tally, you have to add each one of them as a different product in your product list. But with Odoo, you can use the Product Variance feature and simply configure many variants of the same product under it.

Product Kit is another useful feature. You can create a list that contains the components of a single product (suppose the components of a ‘Bicycle’). So, when you sell the Product Kit, all the components in the list will be reduced from inventory. You don’t need to adjust the individual components in inventory.

Likewise, you can hardly find most of the following features in Tally or any other dedicated accounting software.

Customer Management

Just creating Sale/Purchase invoices and keeping their respective accounts alone won’t improve your business. Following are some of the features Odoo provides in its customer management module.

  • Track your every customer from Leads to Sales,

  • Analyze their shopping nature,

  • Know the potential customers via in-depth analysis

  • know each one's creditworthiness,

  • know the most favorable supplier by analyzing the past data

  • Analyze the leads and increase business volume.

    Inventory Management

  • Track the entire product movement in your inventory.

  • Order products automatically before they get exhausted

  • Analyze the seasonal variation in stocks and plan accordingly

  • Use reminders and notifications to manage the expiring product

  • Manage products category wise

Odoo PoS

  • Manage Point of Sale operations.

  • Integrated with Accounting, CRM, and other modules.

  • Configure different payment methods including mobile wallets

  • Allow Discounts and special gifts

  • Customize receipts

Odoo in the Indian context.

Comparing with other available accounting software in the Indian market, Odoo is cost-effective web-based accounting software. In the Indian context often the tax structures are the main hurdles for the accounting software. With Odoo you can simply configure and manage any tax structure. Odoo is a GST ready software, you can configure State and Central GST structures in simple steps. Tax return filing is no longer a big deal, there are many customized plugins to prepare GST compliant tax returns. Even though Odoo generally doesn’t support T – format reports, it is possible to customize Odoo in such formats. But the default reporting features of Odoo are even more user-friendly once you come acquainted with it. Odoo enterprise version supports the Drill down reports also. Unlike any other accounting suite Odoo is supported by a strong group of community members around the globe and they provide customized plugins to any of the new user needs.

Odoo is the most appropriate software for any type of organization irrespective of their type of business and the size. Scalability is another feature that may be helpful for much Indian business organization. Since it is an Open source software and can be augmented as the business grows, MSME’s are largely attracted towards it. It is an apt solution for large-scale organizations also.  Maybe the unfamiliar user interface is the only reason that has not gone well with the Indian users. But unfortunately, it is one of the most appreciated features of Odoo ERP, the simple to use user interface. In all terms, Odoo is the most appropriated ERP and Accounting solution for the present Indian Business Ecosystem. 

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