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A Female-Dominated Workforce without the use of emails or an office

4 mins read

Qinthara Fasya, DigitalCFO Asia | 15 November 2021

Saba Khan

Co-founder and COO of Counto

It is well-known in the conventional IT business that it is a man’s world, with statistics finding that women account for only 32% of the region’s tech sector. As a result, women frequently face more pressure to demonstrate that they are just as deserving of their place in the workplace as their male counterparts. Furthermore, transitional phases in a woman’s life, like as pregnancy and parenthood, hinder her from getting employed since they are perceived as disruptive to working arrangements in any field, much alone technology.

Do you have to pick up your children from school during the day? It’s no issue. At 3 a.m., when the kids are soundly sleeping, do you feel more productive? Take a chance. Counto, a local automated accounting tech business formed out of the Covid-19 outbreak, offers an incredibly flexible work culture. Counto does not have a physical office, and workers do not get emails; instead, all internal contacts are conducted through messaging. Most importantly, with highly qualified female computer engineers accounting for 70% of Counto’s workforce, the company aspires to establish a culture of support, providing a secure environment for women in tech to work and thrive, regardless of their stage of life. DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Saba Khan, Co-founder and COO of Counto, on how the organisation maintains productivity in line with its accommodating work culture while promoting female empowerment.

Women Empowerment in a Male-Dominated Tech Industry

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There is a mass pool of female talent who are looking to restart their careers and/or require their schedules to run around family life responsibilities.

Beyond the typical engineering roles in the fintech industry, there are other positions such as sales and product development, which offer interesting opportunities for women who might not possess any tech skills.

Breaking the workaholic culture that’s steeped in the fintech industry will go a long way in promoting workplace inclusivity and female career ambitions.

Women make up 70% of the workforce at Counto, notes Saba. Which is highly unusual given that the fintech industry is frequently perceived as a male domain. The company also has a number of working moms, and Counto recognises the unique challenge they face managing work and home demands. As such, implementing company policies that promote work-life balance is a key factor in building up a culture based on trust, inclusivity and strong values.

Its remote working arrangement and flexible schedule mean that working women are free to plan their schedule to suit their lifestyles. As a result, employees don’t feel the need to curtail family or personal time. Instead, they feel inspired to take ownership of  their work and work responsibly towards achieving their KPIs.

Maintaining Productivity with an Accommodative Work Culture

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First, says Saba, we need to recognise that a vast majority of women have a natural family-first stance. Second is that long work hours don’t raise productivity. On the contrary, research shows that gruelling schedules are associated with decreases in performance.

Everyone at Counto has clearly defined goals and are entrusted with the freedom to achieve those goals based on their own schedule. We might not be in the same office during the day, but we’re always connected with our messaging apps and google meet calls. More importantly, we are aligned via the same corporate vision.

Saba Khan, Co-founder and COO of Counto

Counto is uniquely positioned as an accounting and tax firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate value and cost reductions for our clients. Unlike traditional accountants, our AI and accountants work together to offer a more strategic and tailored service. For example, our AI engine is able to send almost completed books within a few days from month close.

It also does simultaneous accounting and GST and CorporateTax classification of customers so taxes can be filed almost instantly with our direct filing service with IRAS. All these significantly reduce accounting and tax errors, save our employees countless hours, and improve compliance for our clients.

The pandemic has pushed many SMEs and entrepreneurs to turn to technology to take their businesses to the next level, and that includes automating their bookkeeping. Hiring a next gen accountant who can bring a seamless approach to financial processes is key. Counto uses artificial intelligence to analyse clients’ data, delivering insightful analytics to help them run and grow their businesses. Clients can also access their data anytime and anywhere on our custom built platform.

CFOs in Managing Processes and Services

While some small companies rely on accounting software, a Counto accountant may assist them in increasing profits by developing strategies and streamlining procedures that are specific to their company’s difficulties. It’s also worth noting that Counto provides the first-of-its-kind limitless transaction accounting plans that are related to a client’s revenue. This implies that we expand in lockstep with our clients’ enterprises.

Companies may learn from Counto’s workplace culture, especially when it comes to creating an inclusive work environment that promotes women’s empowerment. Many individuals in male-dominated businesses may overlook the reality that women can accomplish the work just as well as or better than males. Aside from that, Counto’s flexible work culture adapts excellently to the current situation, and employees are not strapped to tight work arrangements. This, in the long run, may improve the mental health of employees and may even motivate them to strive for higher achievements within the company.

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