In Part I of our retail exclusive series, Mr. Radha Krishnan, CFO of India’s top ethnic wear brand Soch tells you his story of why and how he tackled one of the most pressing concerns in retail (separating petty cash from sales cash) and helped Soch #Go Cashless in the most efficient way possible.
Q: What was the problem you were facing with petty cash at the store level?
Mr. Radha Krishnan: With 95 stores locations across India, the amount of cash that we handle at Soch is huge and tracking the cash effectively was the key challenge for my finance team.
One of the critical problems that we were trying to solve at the time was –
Q: Why was there a need to separate petty cash from sales cash?
Mr. Radha Krishnan: Our staff would take petty cash from the store cashier after getting permission from the HO (Head Office) via email. Once the cash was spent, they would enter the details in the POS.
Q: How did you go about solving the problem?
Mr. Radha Krishnan: We took a structured step-by-step approach. We explored different alternatives, weighed the pros and cons until we were sure we had found a solution that helped us accomplish what we needed to.
Q: Where did you start and what were the different alternatives that you explored?
Since our staff was taking the cash from the cashier, we first tried looking for a solution in our cashier (POS) software. We wanted to check if any entries could be done in the software that would help us understand how much petty cash was used.
In spite of repeated requests, they had not done anything. Next, we tried looking at our ERP software.
Since we couldn’t find a way of differentiating petty cash from the cashier or the ERP software, we decided to explore the idea of transferring the cash to the store manager’s bank account but that came with its own set of troubles.
Now since we were doing an internet transfer, we were able to mention it was to be used for a specific purpose. But even if you mention the reason, the store manager has to go and withdraw the money, keep it separate and all sort of things.
But the bank wouldn’t know whether it was for traveling, petty cash, or for something else – they will simply say it’s from MD retail. After considering many such different alternatives, one thing became clear to us.
Q: What made Happay an ideal fit for Soch?
Mr. Radha Krishnan:
I could give each store a Happay card and put the money directly on it, that too in seconds.
Besides the speed and convenience of cash transfer and expense reporting, I now have complete control over company expenses via Happay’s online platform. I can track all expenses down to the penny and also know what is the ‘cash on hand’ at each store with just a click of a button.
I would summarize by saying that, if you want to have control and, especially after demonetization you want digitization, go for the Happay card. Be happy with Happay.
Learn How India’s Top CFO’s are Managing Petty Cash