According to Microcapital.org, Sheer Intelligence, an American technology consulting and software firm, recently launched an “online product for the creation of financial statements by microfinance institutions (MFIs)” called SIMFLEX. This product is especially relevant in light of a recent report released by the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation, which found that “management and corporate governance standards are the biggest risks faced by MFIs today.” According to the report:
Much of the worry about management quality focused on the fact that MFIs tend to be dominated by ‘visionaries’ who are strong on charisma but less so on management skills and strategic flexibility.
The lack of basic corporate governance concepts at many MFIs is also a concern, especially for investors seeking transparency in their investments.
SIMFLEX, therefore, offers a “simple, flexible” reporting system, which is designed “to generate financial statements that are clear and easy for investors to understand.” Included below is a summary of what the product offers users for a licensing fee of USD 50 / year (soon to be made available in languages aside from English):
Statements could be created for any fiscal period and in any currency, and validation rules and procedures for statements and amendments are built in to enable compliance with international standards. Computation of key performance indicators and integrated data analysis and aggregation tools are included. A SIMFLEX statement would consist of an income statement, balance sheet, portfolio report, and non-financial data.
According to the founder of Vivien Ashworth, founder of Sheer Intelligence:
“There is no shortage of investors interested in microfinance,” said Vivien Ashworth, CEO of Sheer Intelligence. “Most microfinance institutions need to improve not only the data they disclose to investors but also the process of how they disclose the data. With the availability SIMFLEX, we expect more microfinance institutions will make the move to reporting in accordance with international standards.”
To download the official press release, go here.
Filed under: Approaches, Finance/Credit, Issues, Microfinance, Research, Technology | Tagged: Center for the Study of Financial Innovation, corporate governance, financial statements, MFIs, Microfinance, Sheer Intelligence, SIMFLEX | Leave a comment »