Sage: 74 Percent of Dubai Startups Find Accounting, Cash Flow Management Most Challenging Aspects of Managing Business Finances

Press release
Published May 21st, 2018 - 05:31 GMT
Sage experts giving a presentation during a VAT workshop.
Sage experts giving a presentation during a VAT workshop.

Sage, the market leader in cloud business management solutions, hosted an accounting roadshow across Dubai. Running from January to April, the roadshow aimed to raise awareness of value-added tax (VAT) regulations, compliance requirements and to offer a demo of Sage Accounting, a cloud- and subscription-based accounting software for small businesses.

As part of the roadshow, Sage held VAT-readiness workshops at start-up incubators and co-working spaces and conducted surveys with over 50 entrepreneurs to understand the challenges they face with regards to business finances. The survey findings show that the majority of startups and small and medium businesses struggle the most with accounting (37 per cent) and cash flow management (37 per cent), followed by reporting of expenses (14 per cent) and billing and invoicing (12 per cent).

Regarding VAT, 76 per cent of the respondents were concerned about its impact on their businesses. Of these, 57 per cent said their biggest concern was their lack of understanding about VAT regulations and procedures, followed by returns-filing (18.4 per cent). Moreover, the majority of entrepreneurs surveyed also do not have a VAT-compliance accounting system in place.

“It is only natural that small businesses are concerned about the financial and operational impact of VAT, especially since a tax environment is new to them. Business owners realise that if they are not prepared for VAT, it could impact various aspects of their business, from cash flow to operations,  which could result in fines,” said Mansoor Sarwar, Director of Technical Services at Sage. “Fortunately for UAE businesses, the tax authorities have been proactive in offering more clarity on regulations, and they have shown flexibility, by waiving penalties for nonregistration and extending the timeline for filing the first VAT returns.”

Most of the respondents offered positive feedback about the UAE as an entrepreneurial hub, calling the country a “great environment for starting a business” or stating that it offers a “huge market with a lot of opportunities.” A few also raised concerns such as rising costs and overheads of running a business.

“Business owners who worry if they are not effectively managing business finances or VAT-compliance should try to find a smart accounting product capable of automating these processes. This will allow entrepreneurs to focus on growing their businesses instead of getting bogged down by administrative tasks,” added Sarwar.

Earlier in March, Sage Accounting was one of five Sage products that received accreditation from the Federal Tax Authorities after undergoing a stringent vetting process.

Background Information

Sage Group

Sage is the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders. Today, business builders measure success in strong relationships, partnerships, and communities. It‘s why Sage helps drive today’s business builders with the most intelligent and flexible cloud-enabled software, support, and advice to manage everything from money to people. Daily, more than 13,000 Sage colleagues in 23 countries work with a thriving global community of over 3 million entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners, and developers to champion the success of business builders everywhere

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