Entrepreneur

UOB Malaysia Launches Free HR & Business Software To Connect With SMEs

  • UOB SmartBusiness is a cloud-based business management platform jointly created and provided by UOB and SAP targeted towards SMEs in Malaysia.
  • SmartBusiness will provide SME operators with a platform that connects directly with UOB’s banking data, and will allow users to perform tasks such as tax reporting, keep track of sales and purchases, oversee profits and losses, and also manage HR tasks such as payroll and staff management.
  • The platform will be made free for anyone with a UOB Business account, with paid versions also available for entrepreneurs needing more advanced features and capabilities.

Compared to traditional business models of old—and by old, we mean somewhere around 10 years ago—businesses today operate very differently.

From once relying on various departments and multiple processes to get things done, small business owners are now doing away with clunky bureaucratic models. Instead, they work with smaller teams, sometimes even going as far as running things single-handedly.

On one hand, you can usually trust the bosses or a smaller team to do what is best for the company. On the other, to-do-lists and tracking of things like expenditure and employee salaries can quickly become overbearing if not managed appropriately.

Considering that SMEs now contribute close to 40% of our country’s GDP, it’s no wonder that there are now more products and services being developed to cater towards this segment.

Aiming to help SMEs streamline their operations and focus on growth, United Overseas Bank (UOB) Malaysia also joined the club last week by announcing a partnership with software developer SAP to launch UOB SmartBusiness, a Google Cloud-based platform to help SMEs simplify their operations and improve efficiency, from payroll to tax reporting and transactions.

The platform will run on SAP’s BusinessOne infrastructure and will sync directly with UOB’s current account data, allowing users to have all pertinent accounting information right at their fingertips.

“UOB SmartBusiness can help SME business owners make the transition to digital and take away the hassle of managing complicated operational tasks manually,” said Brad Gray, the general business head of SAP Southeast Asia.

“This will empower them to focus on their core business models and drive business outcomes.”

By looking at the demo version of the SmartBusiness platform, it appears that users will have access to a comprehensive complement of tools that will allow them to perform tasks such as:

  • Manage purchases and schedule payments for those purchases
  • Receive and organise incoming payments
  • Keep track of finances
  • Get an overview of their entire inventory
  • Perform GST computations

All this is done through partners Enterpryze’s desktop platform, with a smartphone app also available.

A screenshot of the SmartBusiness platform demo. Every single business-management task from invoicing and inventory-keeping is laid out in a clean design with simple menus.

Additionally, the platform as previously mentioned also includes a full Human Resources suite that allows business owners to centralise employee-related tasks.

Although we were unable to access a demo for the HR suite, the UOB website indicates that all this comes through HR management platform HReasily, with the free version including features like automated payroll management and easy tax filing.

Should business owners wish to upgrade their existing service, they can opt for paid packages that come at RM49/month or RM240/month, each package coming with upgrades such as capacities for extra users and features such as unlimited accounting and invoicing and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities for the most expensive option.

By partnering with UOB, SAP will now be able to reach a larger number of users thanks to the bank’s base of clientele, and it will be interesting to see if providers of similar services will follow suit by partnering with financial institutions to grow their base of users.

The platform is now available for free to anyone with a UOB business current account and a subscription for Direct Bank Feed, with paid versions (a 30-day free trial is available) also available for businesses that would like to access more advanced features.

  • Business owners who wish to learn more about UOB SmartBusiness or sign-up for the service can visit the official website.

 

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