Iqlaa transforming MSEs’ financials towards efficiency
In the heart of Amman – Jordan operates a small business named Al-Tajdeed, once faced with a challenge that many micro and small enterprises (MSEs) encounter – a lack of professional accounting practices and systems. This limitation made their management processes inefficient limiting their access to finance and hindering the opportunity for growth.
Al-Tajdeed, a thriving IT services provider, found itself at a crossroads in 2023. What began as a shared passion among four friends from the governorate of Irbid to simplify work through technology evolved into a comprehensive IT services company with over 300 projects. Their expertise spanned software development, website creation, and solutions integration, reaching the Gulf region where they have established a branch in Dubai.
Despite their progress, Al-Tajdeed faced several challenges with managing their finances using a manual financial management approach through spreadsheets. The limitations of spreadsheets became apparent, intensifying the difficulties in preparing year-end budgets, issuing tax reports, and managing payroll. Tracking revenues and expenses proved to be an intricate task, impeding the generation and submission of timely and accurate financial reports. However, an opportunity emerged through the efforts of the USAID Informal Livelihoods Advancement Activity (Iqlaa), offering financial literacy and management support through ‘Tamweeli Assist’ and ‘Tamweeli Academy’ – two initiatives by Iqlaa’s implementation partner Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII).
The accounting program has brought about a positive change in our work in the billing system for clients. Efficiency and time-saving are improved by using an accounting system to record financial transactions and issue reports.
Recognizing the need for better financial management, Abdullah Farouk, the visionary behind Al-Tajdeed, reached out to the Iqlaa program. After signing up to the program, a diagnostic process began, aiming to identify the bookkeeping solution that best fits Al-Tajdeed's needs. The implementation was seamless, integrating a new bookkeeping software system with Al-Tajdeed's existing human resources management system.
But as tools alone do not optimize work, the training of staff was an essential part of the support process. Bayan Qafqaf, Al-Tajdeed's administration assistant, received one-on-one training sessions by MEII's team to guide her through the initial phase of utilizing the new bookkeeping system. To further enhance her skills, she enrolled in Tamweeli Academy – an educational online platform tailored to the financial needs of companies – delving into essential accounting principles and practices. Bayan can complete further modules at any time as the academy’s online platform provides flexibility through recorded training sessions, specifically designed to best accommodate the schedules and needs of business owners and their employees.
The impact of joining Iqlaa was transformative. Al-Tajdeed celebrated newfound efficiency, time saving, and accuracy in their financial transactions and reports; for example, their receivables collection improved by around 25%. Tamweeli Academy provided Al-Tajdeed team with essential knowledge and continuous technical assistance, which opened doors for deeper discussions on financial statements and key indicators.
“The program has helped us achieve greater financial and accounting accuracy and contributed to accelerating our business processes. It has become easy to obtain detailed financial reports efficiently,” says Bayan.
Abdullah’s business is one of 51 MSEs that Iqlaa has extended financial management support services to so far, with the aim of helping them achieve better operational performance that would enhance their ability to grow, transform, and become more resilient. Al-Tajdeed's story is not just about a technological upgrade but rather a strategic investment in their financial wellbeing achieved through Iqlaa’s financial literacy interventions.