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Why You Should get rid of Excel and Go for an Accounting Software Such as Quickbooks

Without wasting much time, let’s dive deep into why you should get rid of the Spreadsheet and start using an Intuitive Software like Intuit Quickbooks.

1. Excel is Complex

Let’s face it, working with Excel formulas is complex and prone to error. A simple mistake in accounting can put your whole business in disarray. As opposed to excel, accounting software does all the calcultations for you automatically which is to your advantage helping you save time and effort. Even if you aren’t an accounting expert, you can still use a Software like Quickbooks since it is user-intuitive and very easy to use.

2. Susceptibility to Fraud

Excel Spreadsheets are susceptible to fraud as it is very easy to change and update information on these sheets. Further to that, it’s very difficult to track who made the changes which mean anyone can change information when they feel like it. Accounting Software, on the other hand, maintains an audit trail helping you track who made the changes and at what time which will be to your advantage.

3. Easy to make errors

Making errors in Excel Spreadsheet particularly when you are using them for your accounting is very easy. And when the errors are made, tracking them down becomes difficult as Excel does not leave a trail. With software like Quickbooks, the story is different, you can track down changes live as they are made which means you can identify errors with ease.

4. Harder to track multiple income streams

With the Zimbabwean economy requiring businesses to diversify, this means your business will have to increase it’s income streams. And each income stream in most cases will require you to have a separate spreadsheet for it. This makes tracking and even storing your information difficult as your income streams increase. With Accounting software, you can just set up a different account to manage your various income streams and the data is automatically saved in the system.

5. No Double Entry System

With Excel, there is no double entry system for making your important calculations. You will need various workbooks for managing your accounting which will make things complicated for you. With Quickbooks, once you record a sale, everything is automatically recorded for you. This means with a click you can generate your reports.

6. No Backups

Excel backups have to be set manually and they are only done on the local machine. This is bad for business because computers can get stolen or in other conditions, crash. Unlike with cloud based accounting software where backups are saved in the cloud for future use, with excel, once a file is lost, there is no getting it back.

7. No Reporting and Statements

Excel and other spreadsheet software cannot compute statements and reports. The process is manual and can cause you to lose up to 130 hours of productivity each year. With accounting software like Intuit Quickbooks, you can generate your accounting statements in one single year which is great and to your advantage.

8. No invoice tracking

If you want to get a headache, try tracking your invoices in a spreadsheet. This is often a process that will make your head boil and give you headaches. In accounting software, you can just go to your invoices to get an overview and track them out with ease and this is done in rapid response.

9. Programming Expertise

Excel, headaches and programming often go hand in hand. If you want to wake up in the middle of the night from a ‘formula nightmare’, then try to compile financial reports with excel. The headaches are enough to have a grown man drip in sweat on the coldest day in the Zimbabwean winter. Excel requires programming expertise especially if you need it for financial reporting. Formulas, filters, data connections, etc. make setting up a spreadsheet to cover your basic accounting needs a nightmare.

10. No Security

A good hacker can hack a spreadsheet at most in 5 minutes. Imagine that? It only takes 5 minutes to ruin your business and expose your finances if you are using excel. This is why you need to use accounting software as it keep your files secure due to 256-bit encryption.

There are other advantages to using accounting software like Intuit Quickbooks Online especially if you are a business operating in Zimbabwe. You can get in touch with us to learn more about our Accounting software for enterprise needs. We are a licensed Intuit Quickbooks Reseller in Zimbabwe.

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WHAT IS A SHAREHOLDERS’ AGREEMENT & WHY YOU NEED ONE

This guide will inform you of the key benefits and reasons for implementing a shareholders’ agreement within your organization. Even if you have a new company with fewer staff, or there’s just two of you working together, having an agreement in place will prevent potential complications further down the line.

A shareholders’ agreement is a formal arrangement established between the company’s shareholders, governing their relationship with one another. The purpose of having an agreement in place is essentially to protect the shareholders who have invested in the company and to safeguard the organization. Without it, disputes between shareholders have the potential to grind the company to a halt.

The agreement will include explicit information which will be valuable for all shareholders, both minority and majority shareholders. A mutual relationship between all parties is established because the agreement states that the rules which are needed when running a company; this applies to small organizations as well as bigger corporations. So, if you are setting up a business with family or friends, and differences arise, you will all be protected by the rules agreed upon.

Broadly speaking, shareholders’ agreements lay down the way in which business will be conducted and how any issues will be resolved.

The main reason for putting a shareholders’ in place, is to protect the shareholders and the company. For example, if you don’t have an agreement in place, the majority of shareholders are able to make important decisions that are not necessarily in the best interest of minority shareholders. Decisions that should include everyone might be about the appointment or removal of directors, issuing of new shares, etc

Another advantage of having the agreement is the flexibility is offers in comparison to the basic constitution, as no standard form exists for shareholders’ agreements. Furthermore, because it is a private document, commercially sensitive information can be included. 

Although the company’s constitution (memorandum and articles of association) can serve as the foundations, a shareholders’ agreement provides further reassurance that everyone is on the same page and enables problems to be nipped in the bud, generally saving time and money in the long run.

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Rules on VAT Apportionment that every Zimbabwean business owner must know

Input tax is the tax paid on purchases by a registered VAT operator on goods or services acquired for use, consumption or supply in the production of taxable supplies including imports made for use, consumption or supply in the production of taxable supplies. Only persons who are registered for VAT, known as registered operators are permitted to claim input tax. They may either offset it against output VAT or recover it as a refund from the ZIMRA. Taxable supplies are supplied which are charged 15% VAT, known as standard-rated supplies and those charged to tax at 0% rate are called zero-rated supplies.

The third category of supplies is called exempt supplies and individual supplying 100% exempt supplies does not charge VAT on sales nor claim input tax. An operator making both taxable and exempt supplies (non-taxable supplies) during an accounting period can claim input tax in proportion to the taxable element only as fully explained below.

Theoretically, it is easy to account for input tax when an operator only makes taxable supplies or exempt supplies. In practice, an operator will make purely taxable supplies or purely exempt supplies only in exceptional circumstances. Such a mixture of supplies gives rise to one of the most problematic areas in any VAT system, namely the question of apportionment of input tax.

Apportionment refers to the fact that only a portion of input tax that was paid is claimable – the portion not claimable will be added to the expense which will be deductible for income tax purposes under Income Tax. Where input tax is solely attributable to taxable supplies, a trader is entitled to deduct it in full from the output tax due on his taxable supplies.

On the contrary, where input tax is wholly attributable to exempt supplies, none of it is claimable. This means that the use to which input is put is important. Where this is not possible, the input tax becomes residual input tax which must be allocated by way of apportionment.  

In the event that input tax being incurred is for mixed purposes, claimable portion is calculated according to the apportionment percentage by using an approved method by the Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).

The only approved method which may be used to apportion input tax in terms of the Act without prior written approval from the Commissioner is the turnover-based method. The turnover-based method should be applied as follows:

                     = Taxable supplies exclusive of VAT   x total input tax

                        Total supplies (taxable plus non-taxable supplies exclusive of VAT)

When computing the income or turnover certain elements should be considered such as the cash value of goods supplied under an installment credit agreement, supplies of capital goods or services which have been used for trade purposes and the value of any goods or services supplied for which input tax deduction is always prohibited, for example, income from sale of passenger motor vehicle are excluded.

A registered operator who wants to use some other method which is not the turnover based should seek the prior approval of the Commissioner. The Commissioner would need to be satisfied that such other method fairly and reasonably represents the extent to which goods or services are used or are to be used by the registered operator in making taxable supplies.

In other words, the method must suit the special circumstances of individual registered businesses or reflect the use made by the taxable person of the relevant goods or services in making taxable supplies. The courts have held that in order for a method to be regarded as fair and reasonable it should be “sensible”, “sane”, and “not asking for too much”..

For example, what may be considered a fair and reasonable basis for apportioning the rent could be the floor space. “Taxable floor space” for this purpose means areas of the building used for making taxable supplies of building space to customers. Meanwhile, taxpayers are warned that methods which are not turnover based should be used or applied with caution because they often change with time.

The use of multiple methods notwithstanding the behavior pattern of the applicable expenses should also be avoided. Furthermore, the method so selected should be based on the information that is in possession of the taxpayer without having to resort to hiring expensive third parties, such as valuators.

The Act provides for de minimis apportionment rules. This means if the proportion of an input tax claim exceeds a given amount or ratio the registered person would be allowed full or 100 percent input tax or refund. The main purpose of this rule is to simplify VAT administration and compliance for tax officers and taxpayers.

The VAT Act makes provision for such rule and provides that where the goods or services so acquired are used at least 90 percent for the purposes of making taxable supplies, the full input tax credit may be granted. This indicates that input tax should be apportioned when the intended use of goods and services in the course of making taxable supplies is less than 90% of the total intended use of such goods and services.

There are tax implications for not apportioning input tax where goods or services are acquired for use, consumption or supply in the making of mixed supplies. ZIMRA will disallow the undue input tax and levy penalties and interest.

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Digital Marketing 101. Core things to know and why it matters in Zimbabwe

One thing about Marketing is that it is the most evolving field. This means if you aren’t into trends or can’t look around and monitor what’s happening around you, you will be left behind.

If we were in 1919, 100 years ago, a simple Newspaper advert would have been enough to keep your salespeople busy.

50 Years ago, in 1969, a simple television ad would help your business expand, helping you hire a dozen employees and get ahead of your industry.


10 years ago, in 2009, getting a website and spamming it with keywords related to what you are selling would have been more than enough to get you ahead and help you win.


There is one fact that still astounds me to date and it is the fact that marketing has changed more over the last 10 years than it did in the last 100 years combined.


Consider Africa, Zimbabwe to be specific. The internet research organization, internetworldstats.com places Zimbabwe’s Internet penetration rate as of December 2018 at 39.3 %. This means out of the total 17 million Zimbabwean’s existent today, about 7 million have access to the internet.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Social Media Market Share


What’s awesome is not the fact that the above people have access to the internet, it’s the fact that ZBC does not hit those kinds of numbers, prove me wrong!


If we are going to drill down on the above, there are some interesting stats that you will learn.


Hackernoon, one of the best Research organizations and sites says the average person spends 6 hours a day staring at their smartphone. This amounts to an average of 180 hours a month. What this effectively means is that the average person now spends most of his/her free time staring at their smartphone.


You are probably wondering what they will be doing? Well, Social Media, Mobile Gaming, Reading the Bible, YouTube Etc.


Now, this gets more interesting because if we drill down the numbers we’ll learn that a third of the time spend online by Zimbabweans and Africans, in General, is spent on Social Media and browsing Social Media Sites.

Internet Usage Times


Why are these numbers necessary?

I wanted you to get an appreciation of how much people are addicted to Digital Media, Social Media, and the internet in general.


The power of this is, you can show these people ads anytime whenever you want.

You can show them your ads as they browse the internet.

You can show them your ads as they watch videos on Youtube.

You can show them your ads as they play Games on their Phone.

You can show them your ads as they read the news online on websites like the One for the Herald and Newsday

You can show them your ads as they browse through their timeline on Facebook.

You can show them your ads as they Prepare to respond to a Facebook Message.

You can show them your ads on the lock screen of their phone.

You can show them your ads when they search on Google.

In short, you can show them your ads, anywhere, at any time as long as they are holding a mobile phone.


So what is Digital Marketing then? It’s the art of showcasing your products and services to people whilst they are relaxed and in the middle of doing what they love the most.

There is much to say when it comes to Digital Marketing and I’m going to make this a 3 month-long weekly series where we are going to cover the complete A-Z of Digital Marketing.

If you want to stay updated and not miss out, just be sure to subscribe to our Growthpoint Newsletter to receive our updates.

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Why Taxpayers must take advantage of Capital Allowances

In Income tax computation, expenditure is deducted if it has been incurred in the production of income for the purpose of trade. Expenditure on acquisition or construction of fixed assets known as Property, Plant, and Equipment (PPE) is not deducted but claimed against taxable income in the form of capital allowances over the useful life of the assets.

Capital allowances can be claimed by all persons deriving income from trade and investments namely sole traders, independent contractors, non -executive directors, partners, companies, and trusts with taxable income irrespective of the type of business undertaken. However, miners and petroleum operators have their own method of claiming capital expenditure.

Capital allowances allow the taxpayer to obtain relief on capital expenditure by deducting it against pre-tax income. If an asset is constructed or acquired in one tax year then put into use in the following year, capital allowances are only claimed in the year the asset has been put into use.

Capital expenditure includes the cost of acquiring or construction of the asset and all costs related in acquiring the asset such as initial set up, installation, programming, travel cost to purchase the asset, freight charges, transit insurance, irrecoverable VAT, borrowing cost, foreign exchange losses in respect of the asset.

There are two methods of claiming capital expenditure namely Special Initial Allowance (SIA) and Wear & Tear (W & T). SIA is a capital allowance granted upon election on constructed buildings, additions, alterations or improvement to the said buildings and movable purchased.

The act provides for 90 percent de minimis use rule, meaning that property used for at least 90 percent in the production of income for purposes of trade to be granted SIA.

The current rate for SIA is 25 percent for annum for big business and 50 percent for SMEs in the first year. After the first year, accelerated wear & tear is 25 percent per annum for the next three years in the case of big business and 25 percent per annum for the next two years for SMEs.

SIA is never apportioned, either taxpayer qualifies or does not qualify for SIA at all and it is also computed based on cost. Assets under a finance lease also qualify for SIA in the hands of the lessee.

Wear and tear is granted in all cases where SIA has never been granted. It is computed on the cost of immovable assets purchased or constructed by the taxpayer, additions, alterations, and improvements made to immovable properties and on movable property including on computer software acquired or developed. The following are rates for wear and tear on;

  • Commercial buildings – 2.5% per annum
  • Immovable property – 5 %per annum
  •  Movable property and computer software -10% on written down values.

Wear and tear is apportioned in the case of movable property used partly for business and private by the owners of the business.

Accelerating capital allowances allow taxpayers to minimize their tax liabilities, making SIA a favorable method to claim wherever possible. However, it is not beneficial for taxpayer with assessed losses which are about to expire to elect SIA because it will result in increased assessed losses which may not be recovered.

Therefore, capital allowances are incentives on capital expenditure which taxpayers must take advantage of, but it is difficult to claim these when an individual is not a registered taxpayer or has no internal system for tracking capital expenditure.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Registering a Private Limited Company In Zimbabwe

In working with many businesses in Zimbabwe and helping them with their registration to kickstart them into the market, one of the frequently asked questions we get asked by our clients is which type of company to register and the benefits of each.

In case you are not familiar with the Company Registration Process in Zimbabwe, when registering a company, you have the option to register two types of companies namely a Private Limited Company famously abbreviated to Pvt Ltd or a Public Business Corporation referred to as a PBC.

There are some distinctions to these two types of organization the biggest one being that a PBC can have a minimum of one member whilst a Private Limited Company must have a minimum of two directors. There are more distinctions to these two types of organizations than the one I stated above but I will cover those in a more detailed article later on.

If you are thinking of registering a company and wondering which is the best way to go, here are 10 Reasons why you should consider registering your company as a Private Limited Organization in Zimbabwe.

1. Legitimacy and Brand Awareness

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see a company named XYZ with the (Pvt) Ltd? You automatically respect it right? Registering your company as a Private Limited Organization in Zimbabwe gives it an edge and makes it stand out largely due to positive perception in both the minds of your customers, partners and suppliers alike.

2. Easy Registration

If you want to start your business and some of your shareholders are not in Zimbabwe, then it’s easy for you to achieve that if you register your business as a Private Limited Organization. They will only need certified scans of documentation to go through the process making things simpler and easier for you. It will be a big advantage and you/or your partners won’t have to go through the hassle of funding transportation costs just to submit some papers.

3. Separate Liabilities from Owners

A Registered company has its own separate legal persona. Many a time we have encountered terrible situations where a person loses their assets and being left broke just because they were operating a business without having their company registered.

When your company is registered as a Private Limited Company, debts which affect the company will not personally affect you.

4. Nationality

If you are a foreign National looking to register a company in Zimbabwe, then you can easily register your company as a Private Limited Organization in Zimbabwe without any restrictions.

5. Investment Incentives

A Private Limited Organization can easily take control of the investment incentives offered by the government and the regulatory board called Zimbabwe Investment Authority.

6. Easy to Raise Capital

Capital is the lifeblood of any business. If you have your company registered as a Private Limited Organization, it’s easy for you to raise capital for the organization by selling equity. Should the investment go wrong, your other businesses and your person will NOT be affected since the company would be standing as its own legal persona.

7. Easy to Scale the Business

Should you wish to raise capital, you can do that by selling off shares to outside investors if your company is registered as a Private Limited.

8. You can easily Establish a Subsidiary Company

The great Warren Buffet said Never Put all your eggs in one basket. If you want to establish a subsidiary company, you can easily do that by registering a private limited organization and setting your main company as a Corporate Shareholder within the newly registered company.

9. Easy to Meet

With Private Limited Organizations, there are no restrictions as to where the shareholders can meet and where a board meeting can be held. This makes planning easy, simple and cost-effective, particularly for new companies.

10. Easy to avoid Conflicts

The owners will have a clear understanding that their investment in the company is not by any preregistration verbal or written promises. If a dispute arises, share allocation will determine who has the most decision making power.

From the above, I hope you have gotten an understanding of why you should register your company as a Private Limited Organization in Zimbabwe. If you have any questions that you might need clarification, feel free to ask our team via the comments section or LiveChat, myself, or our team will be happy to assist you.