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Affordable accounting software for self-help groups in TN (India)

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Soon, self-help groups (SHGs) in and around the villages of Tamil Nadu's Kancheepuram district, around 110km south of the state capital will be able to computerize their entire operations and transact with their lenders online.

Hand in Hand, a non-governmental organization (NGO) is planning to install a custom made software, called Sangh Nidhi in citizen centres located in these villages. Bangalore based firm, Accounts Training Institute (ATI) has developed the software. The NGO will select a computer-literate person from nearby villages to cater to the SHGs situated around each centre. Each SHG has around 15-20 members, a majority of whom are illiterate women. In the first phase, the software will be given to 120 citizen centres located in the Kancheepuram district. The SHGs will be able to access the software for less than INR 30 per month. At present, all SHGs maintain six records, including minutes book, savings ledger, general ledger and loan ledger. Now, all the records would be computerized and in addition data on members, like their consumption and income patterns. Another firm Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd (LSI) is also focusing on the banking and financial service sector, is in the process of developing an exclusive software product for MFIs and is likely to roll it out in the next six months.

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