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Creating a bespoke VAT process for the food and drink industry


See ARKK's success in the food and drink sector


According to the Food and Drink Federation, the food and drink manufacturing industry is the UK's largest manufacturing sector. It supplies shops, supermarkets and restaurants up and down the country with some of the nation’s favourite produce.

Contributing over £28 billion annually to the UK economy and employing roughly 400,000 people, the food and drink manufacturing sector is vital to the United Kingdom.

The food and drink manufacturing industry is also incredibly spread across the UK, meaning that it truly has national coverage. However, extremely specific VAT exemptions can be a challenge for firms handling huge volumes of transactions across the country. Making Tax Digital could be the catalyst that organisations use to help standardise processes and reduce errors due to the industries VAT complexities.

The problem

One of the UK’s leading convenience food manufacturer states "Being a large organisation spread across multiple locations can make having a standardised approach to VAT difficult. Add into the mix, very specific zero or standard rate VAT exemptions and it can be a challenge".

MTD phase 2, which has been pushed back to April 2021 due to Covid-19, means that companies will need to provide a digital link to remain compliant. Adding yet another level of complexity to the VAT process.

Additionally, many large food manufacturers in the UK are likely to have teams working across a variety of different locations. Collaborating and coordinating activity and tasks between various teams and departments can lead to miscommunication, as well as a lack of visibility across the VAT process by management unless a suitable solution is put in place.

The solution

ARKK recognised that for:sight's capabilities could allow it to solve several of the issues that the leading convenience food manufacturer was experiencing, specifically around it's zero and standard rate VAT process.

The bespoke architecture of for:sight meant that it could be tailored to meet the nuanced VAT requirements without the requirement for the food manufacturer's processes needing to be changed. The organisation is now not only fully MTD phase 2 compliant but has also digitised its processes.

A benefit of our platform being a SaaS-based solution is that it's built for collaboration from the ground up. Whether an organisation has offices across the country or around the world, for:sight can help streamline processes and get tax teams working more effectively together. The manufacturer comments "With a dispersed tax team across the UK, creating a standardised VAT process was proving difficult. ARKK's platform allowed us to create a uniform process to maintain consistency and help reduce errors.”


Selecting for:sight can have several advantages for companies in the food and drink manufacturing sector such as:

  • Tailored processes to cater for zero and standard rate VAT transactions without the need for a complete process overhaul
  • Reducing the time to prepare, compile and submit VAT returns. Based on client data this time is normally cut by 50%.
  • Foster improved collaboration through ARKK’s Automation Platform in-built SaaS features leading to better communication and a reduction in VAT preparation errors


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