Caltrix helps Malaysian SMEs navigate the world of digital tools to optimize work processes
Digital transformation is on the rise, with many businesses pivoting during the pandemic. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the cloud computing market in Southeast Asia is expected to reach $40.32 billion by 2025.
However, this was not always the case. Less than ten years ago, people were still reluctant to use the cloud. “Many were worried about security issues and vulnerability to cyberattacks,” said Alfred Ang, founder and CEO of Malaysian cloud accounting firm Caltrix.
“But in today’s increasingly digital world, more and more people are beginning to realize the benefits that cloud services have in helping them run their businesses efficiently and better serve their customers,” added Eng.
For companies looking to get started in the cloud, navigating the world of digital transformation can be difficult at first. This is where accounting firms like Caltrix come in.
As an expert in cloud accounting services and integrated cloud solutions, Caltrix is a lean company focused on helping SMBs kickstart their journey to digital transformation.
A former distributor of desktop accounting software, Ang discovered Xero’s cloud accounting software as early as 2015. It was also then that he saw how the cloud would play a vital role in the future of businesses. “One of the problems faced by most businesses in Malaysia at the time, including my own business, was the lack of access to real-time data,” he shared.
“We had a team that managed our finances, but I also ran the commercial function. Being on the road a lot, I was unable to access important business data when I needed it. A lot of things were done manually, leading to repetitions and redundant work,” he explained.
(pic) A self-described “cloud accounting evangelist”, Ang is passionate about promoting tools like Xero to help small business owners take control of their finances.
Ang thanks Xero for helping his business run more efficiently. “With Xero, all of our billing was done online with team members accessing the necessary data and information in one platform,” he said.
His experience with Xero quickly propelled his interest in helping other small business owners discover the benefits of cloud accounting. “If I faced these issues, I knew other SMBs would also have similar issues, especially if they relied on numbers to make decisions. Having access to accurate, real-time data is vital for decision-making.
In 2018, Ang launched Caltrix from the ground up to promote cloud accounting among SMBs, and Xero was his first choice. Today, Caltrix serves over 100 SMEs and start-ups across Malaysia.
Caltrix is a Xero Gold Partner, which Ang equates to “credibility and trust.” In addition to a marketing fund, Xero also provides support through dedicated account managers and specialized tools and resources to help partners grow their practice.
“We also get advice from our account manager on digital marketing and how we can reach new customers. Normally, I would need to improve my skills or perfect myself in these areas on my own. But Xero goes the extra mile to help.
As for learning resources, Ang points to the Xero Central platform, which hosts many Xero support articles and learning materials to help answer customer questions. “Partners can also interact with other Xero users, contribute to community discussions, and benefit from being part of a larger Xero community,” Ang noted.
spread the word
Work for Ang these days is brainstorming with business owners to better understand their businesses, build a digitalization roadmap, and work to ensure a successful cloud accounting implementation that meets their unique needs.
Ang says that for customers in Malaysia, Xero offers scalability, which is important — you can add unlimited team members and integrate many other apps into the Xero app ecosystem, including Hubdoc and Xero Expenses. “The benefit of Xero’s connectivity is that these applications work seamlessly with Xero to provide customers with an end-to-end cloud solution.”
He shares that Xero is much more intuitive and user friendly than other software he has come across on the market. “It is easy for us to guide our clients through the review of their reports. Even someone with little accounting knowledge would be able to navigate the platform.
Additionally, Xero’s direct banking feed with [email protected] means that daily transactions are automatically pushed to Xero the next business day at 2 p.m., giving a real-time view of cash flow, he added. .
With Xero, one can also review and filter the reports by following category and category options to see the performance of different areas of the business. “Xero’s new reporting feature not only provides an overview of profit and loss (P&L), it also categorizes transactions to help clients understand their financial numbers,” Ang noted.
One of Caltrix’s customers, water heater and filter manufacturer WaterHippos, took on the challenge of accurately recording sales invoices and payments from their customer relationship management (CRM) software to Xero. The process required extensive testing to ensure functionality between systems.
“We consulted with the client and helped them seamlessly integrate Xero into their CRM software,” Ang said.
Another e-commerce client, Trapo Asia, faced the challenge of integrating sales from multiple channels into their cloud-based inventory software to manage and track inventory. Caltrix helped implement Xero with other key business applications such as Shopify, a cloud-based point-of-sale system, and cloud-based document management, all fully integrated with Xero.
With Ang and his team operating remotely, around 15-20% of time is saved without having to travel to visit their clients onsite. “We have the technology for them to submit all their documents online, and we can see it within minutes on our system. Being on the cloud, Xero also helps facilitate collaborative interactions with our customers beyond the Klang Valley to Singapore and Thailand. »
Support at every step
To help customers get the most out of their newly implemented ‘technology stack’, Caltrix offers training to support their customers. The approach consists of three stages including the initial configuration required before entering operational functions such as accounting, as well as the generation and customization of financial reports, as part of the onboarding process.
“That way we can ensure their progress along the way and help resolve issues as they arise,” Ang shares.
Ang says the change management process is an ongoing process of feedback and dialogue between Caltrix and its customers. “Before implementing Xero, we will consult with our customers to understand their business needs and objectives before offering financial solutions tailored to their needs. We also do regular check-ins with our customers to fine-tune the technology implementation processes, so that everything integrates well with Xero. »
As businesses continue to adapt to the new normal and go digital, Ang is optimistic about the proliferation of cloud technology in the Malaysian SME market. He plans to continue training and helping SMEs to take full advantage of the benefits of cloud accounting. “Ultimately, we want our customers to make the right investment in cloud accounting. And we have no doubt that Xero will be there to help us create a positive impact on SMEs in Malaysia. »