Imperative For Businesses To Go Digital

Entrepreneurs should think adaptively about embracing digitalisation amid the current ever-changing business landscape, says Hong Lim, the founder of Advisirs Plus Sdn Bhd, an accounting-services company.     

“With the advent of greater digitalisation, it is imperative that entrepreneurs should embrace digital thinking, especially in conjunction with the implementation of the e-invoicing system announced in Budget 2023,” he said in a statement today.

On May 23, 2023, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) said that it was targeting 4,000 businesses for the first stage of the new electronic invoicing (e-invoice) system from June 2024. This mandatory enforcement is for businesses with annual sales of RM100 million.

Lim believed that e-invoicing would become mandatory for all businesses regardless of the sales threshold from January 2027.  As such, he said businesses should start anticipating this migration to pre-empt problems when the new system is implemented.

IRB has defined an e-invoice as a file created in formats specified by new regulations that can be automatically processed by the relevant accounting system, e.g. XML, UBL, IDOC or EDIFACT. The file created is then submitted to IRB’s central platform for real-time verification.    

Lim hoped that the IRB would provide a facility for businesses in the pilot phase for testing purposes from as early as January next year for smoother implementation by June 2024.

He also revealed that Advisirs Plus would be developing its first Artificial Intelligence Tax Chatbot in Malaysia.         

 He said the AI Tax Chatbot is also his research topic for his doctor of philosophy course.

“The seeds of digital thinking have sprouted and taken root in my heart since I started my business. I began to think about how to deal with the arrival of AI technology, especially for traditional industries.

“Our accounting operations, for example, have taken this opportunity to launch an online cloud platform and have successfully moved the entire accounting business from offline to online. I believe AI will enhance the value and efficiency of tax accountants.”        

Hong Lim said Advisirs Plus hoped to establish 100 service centres by the end of the year from the current 53, especially in the East Coast market, besides upgrading partner expertise and revenue channels.

He said Advisirs Plus plans to do more for the accounting industry, including organising a taxation course for entrepreneurs, a practical accounting course and a Special Voluntary Disclousre Programme 2.0 (SVDP2.0) roving lecture tour to bring professional accounting knowledge and information to more entrepreneurs.        

Advisirs Plus also looks forward to partnering universities to develop its Digital Firm Incubator (DFI) project, which will provide more job opportunities for tertiary level students and effectively, more corporate social responsibility programmes.        

Advisirs Plus co-founder Keith Leow said changes in IT technology has affected many types of operations in the business world. Therefore, accountants at the company’s service centres can also share office resources and technology on a common online space.         

In order to launch its cloud platform to provide more efficient accounting services, Advisir Plus recently engaged crowd-funding company MyStartr to raise RM499,000, said the company advisor Jacky Chan.

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