Design Changes in Octa GST 7.0
Big changes in user interface are coming.
Published: October 3, 2018
Since the launch of first version of Octa GST in August 2017, we have continuously updated it to introduce new features & improve existing ones. Your praise is highest reward for us and your criticism is our biggest motivator. We listened to your feedbacks and tried our best to incorporate them.
With Octa GST, we strive to deliver all feature that boost your productivity while working on GST compliance, but not at the price of simplicity. Simplicity is under-rated by many software makers. In order to pack more and more features, they end-up making the software too complex to understand and use. If you need a manual just to start using a software, you can assume something is not right! We don’t wish to make this mistake so we are rolling out two significant changes in Octa GST design.
# Missing Context Bar
Since the beginning, Octa GST had a context bar on the top right corner.
This context bar gives you an always-visible and clear context of current workspace. Since Octa GST was designed to make GST return filing simpler, it made sense to make it clear & obvious which GSTIN and return period you are working on. It helped make the navigation simpler and it served us well for last one year.
Going forward, we have a long line-up of features that we want to implement in Octa GST. But many of those features simply didn’t fit in the context-bar model. For example, our users wanted to add multiple GSTR-2A files in one shot. It is a reasonably request and especially important when you are working on the reconciliation of whole financial year. But this feature did not fit in our current design of single context. How can you import the GSTR-2A files of multiple return periods in one shot when you are working on a single period? We could still allow it but that would make the user-interface inconsistent and difficult to understand; something which we cannot accept!
The solution was to do away with the context-bar completely. This was a big design change which affected almost all the modules of Octa GST. We accepted this challenge and reimagined all the modules in absence of context bar. This change is being rolled-out in Octa GST version 7.0. If you still want to see the sales/purchase transaction belonging to a GSTIN or period, you can do so using the filters in search box.
# Missing Quarterly Periods
If you are not using Octa GST to file quarterly GSTR-1, then this change does not affect you.
At the advent of GST in India, all regular tax-payers were required to file monthly returns. But very soon, a provision was introduced by Govt of India that some tax-payers (depending on the turnover), may file their returns quarterly also. These tax payers also needed to file one monthly GSTR-3B return. In order to support the business data set for both monthly and quarterly period, separate month and quarter periods were introduced in Octa GST. The idea was that user can maintain two separate data set for each period.
But it turned out to be confusing for many users. Some users found it difficult to understand that Jul-Sep period is separate from Jul, Aug, Sep monthly periods. Also we found that our users were essentially entering the same data twice. Monthly for filing GSTR-3B, and again quarterly for filing GSTR-1.
In order to resolve this issue, we are removing the separate quarter periods. Now Octa GST supports only monthly period for business data management. If you need to prepare a return for a quarter, Octa GST will automatically pick up the data from three months in that quarter.
Once you upgrade to Octa GST 7.0, your existing data entered in a quarter period will be automatically moved to month ending that quarter. If your sales data exist in both month and quarter, a separate GSTIN will be automatically created so that you can continue to access that data. You may move or delete it as per your preference.
# The Path Ahead
Octa GST 7.0 gives us a platform on which we can build new features spanning across GSTINs and periods. For example various reports belonging to a financial year, graphical dashboards and annual return etc. The future is exciting and we are already working on it.