Standard Bank, Pastel team up

April 2012

Standard Bank and Pastel have teamed up to offer start-ups easy access to an accounting solution as part of an overall drive to support new business success.

Pastel’s My Business Online solution is now available to start-ups through Standard Bank’s BizLaunch, a product set that aims to ensure that new businesses start out right.

With a 28% share of the business banking market, Standard Bank is a leader in supporting small business, while Pastel is a household name as a developer of accounting, payroll, ERP, and business software.

The BizLaunch product is Standard Bank’s response to the stubbornly high failure rate of start-up businesses. Recent research showed that a high percentage of new start-up businesses fail within the first three years. The findings of another recent survey showed that 440 000 small businesses had failed in the past five years.

“Starting a business is still way too frustrating. People with an idea just want to get cracking and yet they face all sorts of hurdles and bureaucracy,” says Clive Pintusewitz, director of small business & enterprise development at Standard Bank.

“If we concentrate on the essentials, what you really need is to register the business, keep track of cash in and cash out, pay suppliers and deposit funds into a business bank account, and some basic advice when you ask for it.”

Pintusewitz says poor accounting is one of the major reasons new businesses fail in the first few years. “This is why we are particularly pleased to partner with Pastel and help start-ups get the basics in one place,” he says.

Pastel’s My Business Online has been designed specifically for use by small business owners. It enables small businesses to manage customer and supplier invoices, returns and payments. It also helps them manage items purchased, sold and returned, as well as view reports and send customer statements quickly and easily.

In addition to the inclusion of My Business Online, Standard Bank’s BizLaunch is a one-stop shop, full-service offering that includes a proper and affordable business account with no hidden costs; an affordable insurance offer as well as access to expert advice and other support.

A central feature of BizLaunch is a R90 a month business account that includes unlimited electronic transactions, unlimited debit orders, unlimited cheque card swipes and internet banking and Pastel My Business Online.

Pintusewitz says whereas traditional small businesses got all of these services separately from various service providers, Standard Bank offers all of them under one roof.

Standard Bank has devised BizLaunch particularly for any new business (including sole proprietors) with no existing business account; any business wanting to switch with an account younger than 12 months and any business trading from a personal account.

Steven Cohen, MD of Softline Pastel, says: “A strong financial understanding and control of what is happening in one’s business is critical to the sustainability of any business, start-up businesses included. However the fact is most entrepreneurs are just that – entrepreneurs, and not accountants.

“When we launched My Business Online, we developed the solution entirely with the start-up business owner in mind, simplifying the accounting functionality and jargon for the entrepreneur.

“We believed that if we developed a business tool that was simple and intuitive to use, and that also enabled the business owner beyond just debits and credits, they would be more likely to take an interest in their financial management. A good day-to-day understanding of operations is more likely to ensure business survival.”

Pintusewitz believes the entrepreneur cannot be in control of a business if he or she doesn’t know what is going on.

“My Business Online will make it a lot easier to manage a start-up business. We are very proud to have Pastel on board with our BizLaunch initiative because Pastel is a recognized leader in developing innovative accounting software.

“For clients, the good news is that it will help us significantly bring down costs, so that they can focus more of their resources on running their business. We continue to evaluate opportunities to partner with other stakeholders to ensure that small businesses succeed,” says Pintusewitz.