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DotKonnect: Connecting the dots to handhold SMEs out of Tax & Compliance wilderness

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Phani Ilapakurty,Founder & MG. Principal

Phani Ilapakurty

Founder & MG. Principal

We live in a globalized business environment, especially with growing number of SMEs and startups having operations inside and outside of India. They need solutions to complex accounting, tax and compliance matters. Increasing number of SMEs are redrawing the line to level the playing field by outsourcing their finance and accounting operations to match efficiencies & expertise gained by large enterprises. A smart finance outsourcing partner can take companies well beyond the basics with their well qualified workforce and state-of-the-art technologies all within their limited budget. This is especially a boon for small businesses that are subsidiaries of foreign companies.

DotKonnect, along with its Plano, TX based US arm has forged a stellar reputation with SMEs, startups and subsidiaries of foreign companies in India for their expertise in tax and compliance. DotKonenct has been started by Phani Ilapakurty, FCA, CMA, CFE and Enrolled Agent(US IRS). He was associated with management consulting teams at Big-4 firms (E&Y and Deloitte] in the US, where he played a key role in finance transformation at Fortune 500 enterprises. Having witnessed the efficiencies that centralized & specialized people & technology deliver, he envisioned bringing a system of transaction processing & advisory services as the client’s plug-and-play finance & tax department.

The Beginning

Phani’s office has a standout quote written on the wall, “Dream, then be awake until it becomes true”. Phani’s dream was to create an environment of people aligned with IT to serve SMEs with F&A process efficiency and intelligence that large enterprises have after spending millions. He began to assemble a team with good quality and experience, and invested into technology to make the dream a reality. On day-1, Phani articulated one of the principles of his future firm, and the vision was to service clients without ever meeting them in person. This idea was easy to laugh at in the context of Indian market. However, over the years, DotKonnect has proven that with the right team, expertise, and technology that they could serve and build strong relationships with clients that are miles away.

“I was determined to push myself by placing the burden of a three year office lease so that I would tirelessly run to sign up clients,” reminisces Phani, Founder & Mg. Principal, DotKonnect. Today, DotKonnect has served 800+ clients that include self-employed, startups, SMEs, and individuals that have operations/income sources in US, India, Australia and Germany. Interestingly, the company hasn’t met many of these clients in person. In addition to its knowledge and expertise, the root cause for its growth lies in its disciplined approach of being available as and when the client needs, and the periodic, proactive financial reviews pushing the businesses to perform. “Like every SME, we also have ‘growth pains’ and sometimes do not hit client expectations & deadlines. But our quality of service is an area we excel in,” adds Phani.

Qualified & Experienced Team

Phani is one of the privileged in his profession of representing the state of Andhra Pradesh in Ranji Trophy cricket for four consecutive years (1992-96). From his 16th year, Phani has represented the state cricket team in various age groups and also captained the state Under-22 cricket team. He got an opportunity to move to US in 1997. Along with learnings from Big-4 and his multi-facet experience that includes accounting, assurance, consulting, tax, financial frauds and systems, he ventured into starting his own. He found an able and trusted partner in Prem Balusu to jump start operations in Dallas area TX and in Hyderabad. Prem has strong accounting and assurance background. He manages the entire service delivery between US and India offices.

Together, they have built a very highly qualified, trusted and passionate team. “Along with our competence and young dedicated team, our success has been the belief in the mantra - client service first,” states Prem. More than real educational qualifications, Phani & Prem’s philosophy of recruiting ‘PHDs’ (Passionate, Hungry and Driven) has panned out well to build a solid team and alliance partners, having professional qualifications like CA, CMA, CIA, EA, CPA, CFE, and others.

US/India Expertise – Ingenious Services

Domestically, DotKonnect employs a service model focused on supporting startups, SMEs and Indian subsidiaries of foreign entities. “DotKonnect has been our F&A office for US and India businesses. We absolutely never felt the need to setup our own internal
finance org even after growing to a multi-million dollar revenue base,” says CEO of an subsidiary of a US company.

There has been aggressive migration of young talent going out of India, especially to US and coming back to India. This movement creates the need for dual specialization in USIndia tax compliance. DotKonnect has an equally powerful presence in the US with a service model focused on supporting startups, SMBs and US companies owned by Indian companies and/or Indian residents. “We have thousands of employees in our Indian entity headquartered in Bangalore. Phani met me in person and made me comfortable with the end to end process of setting up the entity in the US. DotKonnect handles our entire US F&A setup now,” explains a major Tech Staffing Indian company with a subsidiary in US.

Prem Balusu, MG. Principal

DotKonnect is a one - stop - shop providing setup, maintenance, and management services, including company structuring, formation, accounting, F&A BPO, compliance, CFO/Advisory and tax filings. “I am a resident of the US. My Indian entity is located in Pune. Many of my peers told me that in India, I have to engage a local Pune based firm to make things works. But DotKonnect proved them wrong. The beauty of technology and collaboration process of DotKonnect enabled us to work really well without any hiccups,” shares a Tech Services company owned by a US resident.

Along with our competence,young dedicated team, our success has been the belief in the mantra of ‘client service first’


US family, based in Dallas, inherited valuable property in India. They reached out to DotKonnect to assist in the sale transaction, which involved, legal, banking, Indian and US tax implications. DotKonnect assisted them in such a way that the family just had to visit India only for the closing and to transfer funds to the US. With expertise, experience and presence in US and India, DotKonnect, is strongly placed to handle the increasing needs of US residents that have assets to dispose and incomes to manage in India.

“DotKonnect is very competent and highly professional. I was based out of Delhi, with a Pvt Ltd Co specializing in technology services. I reached out to them to assist in structuring and setup of an operation in the US. They have guided me well, not only with the setup of entity, but also collaborating with immigration attorneys for L1 Visa to migrate to the US. They helped with Indian RBI, FEMA and US entity compliance. I am now a resident of US, with DotKonnect being my financial and tax partner,” says a Director of Tech Company.

Transform + Manage + Empower

DotKonnect’s approach to engagement with SMEs has three integrated components - Transform, Manage and Empower. The team evaluates current state and ‘Transforms’ clients for future state growth. One of the biggest assets is implementing cloud software wherever applicable to streamline and automate processes with appropriate controls. Once these are in place, DotKonnect team dedicates F&A team to ‘Manage’ transactional processing, recons and then FP&A function. Bookkeeping, Invoicing, bill processing, payroll, reconciliations, tax, compliance, reporting and related F&A activities are managed by the assigned team. The next step is for them to ‘Empower’ the clients by leveraging the financial and non-financial data to provide actionable & strategic financial intelligence.

Rightful blend of TPT (Team, Process, Technology) works in favor of DotKonnect, providing the framework to scale. It has performed well with a growing team, spread across Accounting, Payroll, F&A, Taxation and Assurance, coupled with standardized, streamlined and automated processes and usage of cloud based technology. DotKonnect runs on Qount, a comprehensive SaaS technology solution developed for accounting firms and BPO organizations. The ‘WALL’ within Qount is one way the team stays on top to accelerate client responses, managing tasks, collection, document and workflow management.

The Future

DotKonnect is investing considerably to enhance financial intelligence that can provide better value to its clients. It is in the process of developing industry specific solutions to manage F&A better for staffing, consulting, restaurants, physician offices, and more. DotKonnect is a one stop shop solution to SMEs around managing F&A, Tax, Compliance for Indian companies, US companies, Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies, and individuals, having foreign interests. DotKonnect has marked its eminence in connecting the dots in F&A world by successfully handholding SMEs out of tax, compliance and finance wilderness.

Panel:

Services Offered:

●Taxation & Compliance:Indian Income Tax, GST, Transfer Pricing, FEMA, RBI, RoC, US Income Tax, R&D Tax credits, State Tax, Sales & Franchise Tax
●Assurance:Internal controls, fraud prevention, due diligence, assistance in preparing for ISAE & SOC certification
●Finance:CFO, Controllership & advisory services
●F&A BPO:End-to-end management of books and F&A functions including invoicing, payments, and others
●Payroll:HR & Payroll prep, process and compliance
●Systems:F&A processes & system automation
●Specialized Services:
oSetup & management of entities in India for foreign residents/foreign companies
oSetup & management of entities in US for Indian residents/Indian companies
oCompliance related to Indian asset sales (inherited, gifted, purchased) of foreign owners and repatriation of funds
oService Export Incentive Scheme (SEIS) under Foreign Trade Policy, Rental incentive scheme under Telangana ICT policy, GST Refunds, and others.

Client Speaks:
“We are a German company with a subsidiary in India. DotKonnect supports our F&A, Tax and Compliance needs very efficiently and effectively with their responsive approach,” Director, Indian Sub.