Essential questions to help you choose the right software vendor for your corporate indirect tax process.
How do you sort through all the choices and find the right software vendor to automate your indirect tax process? Use the questions below as you evaluate vendors. The software vendor that provides the most items in the list will best support your indirect tax automation needs.
Does your tax software integrate across the entire global indirect tax process end-to-end?
Indirect tax technology provides the most value when it automates the entire process from end to end. This starts with the calculation of value-added tax (VAT) and good and services taxes (GST), automatic rate and rule updates, and dynamic reporting, all the way through to compliance with signature-ready returns.
Does your tax software integrate with my current ERP system?
Integration with your current business systems is critical to ensure consistent and accurate tax calculation and reporting.
Does your tax software support real-time automated global indirect tax determination for both sales and purchase transactions?
The latest indirect tax technology enables transaction data and attributes to flow through to the tax solution through integration with your existing ERP system. That data is used to make consistent, repeatable, and scalable tax calculations.
Does your tax software support the ability to “re-determine” the tax for error-prone transaction systems via a scheduled batch process?
A “re-determine” function allows you to more accurately file and remit your global tax liabilities by applying (i.e. re-processing) your desired tax policy and treatments on transactions from one or multiple systems consistently, and without a technical systems integration effort.
Does your tax software provide robust reporting, reconciliation, and tax return preparation?
The software you choose should run various supplementary reports for tax authority submission, audit purposes, and reconciliations. This includes ERP reconciliations, entity-level summaries (for group returns), and relevant details mandated by the various tax authorities. Once your reconciliation and adjustments are complete, the software should generate VAT returns that can be submitted in locally compliant electronic or physical formats.
Does your tax software provide continuous global tax research and updates that are certified and compliant in SSAE 18 and ISAE 3402 standards?
Continuous tax updates supported by trusted researchers with industry experience enable you to stay ahead of global tax legislation, without spending time on research and tax code adjustments.
Only a few of today’s “best of breed” technology providers have in-house teams comprised of qualified practitioners, tax lawyers, and former auditors, coupled with tax research processes annually certified and compliant in SSAE 18 and ISAE 3402 standards. Rate updates should be provided monthly, at a minimum. In addition to rates, product taxability, rules, and logic should also be updated.
Do you offer a truly global cloud-based solution? Do you control and own your cloud-based solution? Do you have a disaster recovery plan?
With cloud-based solutions, your tax team, and even other departments, can increase collaboration by accessing tax information anytime, anywhere. Additionally, cloud offerings remove reliance on internal IT teams for maintenance and updates. Cloud data centres should be rated at tier four, which is the highest level with minimum downtime.
If a cloud solution is leased, the vendor is at the mercy of the provider of the cloud. It is typically better to go with a provider that owns its cloud data centres. And, of course, a disaster recovery plan is imperative.
Are your policies compliant and audited frequently? Do they successfully pass annual SSAE 18 and SOC audits?
When dealing with your business’s sensitive information, the appropriate security measures must be in place. A third party should certify policies and procedures to ensure procedures are SSAE 18 and ISAE-3402 compliant.
Do you partner with accounting and advisory firms for implementation?
From implementation to configuration, your vendor should have the ability to work closely and in strong partnership with your advisors.
Do you offer personal support, as well as adequate training, documentation, and support materials?
No matter how much you scrutinise potential vendors, there will always be questions post-implementation. It would be best if you chose an indirect tax software vendor that offers on-going, convenient support. This may include 24×7 priority support.
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