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Streamlining tax workflows and automating TOMS calculations for a multinational’s tour operator division

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See ARKK's success in the travel and tourism sector

Overview

The travel and tourism industry are an essential part of the UK, not only from an economic but a cultural perspective. The unexpected spread of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown of many countries has meant that international and domestic travel has been heavily restricted during 2020, however, like always the industry will bounce back stronger than ever.

In 2017 the tourism industry contributed a combined total of £213 billion to the UK's GDP which is expected to increase to £265 billion by 2028. The United Kingdom also contains 32 World Heritage Sites which are legally protected and designated by UNESCO for having significant cultural, historical or scientific importance.

Tour operators provide invaluable services to the travel and tourism industry, putting together holiday packages for consumers or travel agents. Certain components of these packaged holidays may be applicable for Tour Operations Margin Scheme (TOMS), a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT that applies to specific tour operator supplies. ARKK's for:sight solution is not only Making Tax Digital phase 2 compliant, it can also help to automate bespoke calculations such as TOMS.

The problem

The large multinational corporation, with a tour operator division, was experiencing difficulties with several aspects of their business operations. 

"We're a large business with offices around the world. Different teams working across different locations can create an issue where they're all using slightly different VAT processes. Ideally, we would have one standardised process for all our locations which would make reviewing and comparing our VAT returns far easier." explains the tour division’s Group Indirect Tax Manager.

With the added complexity of TOMS, it appeared that without a suitable solution the inconsistent VAT processes and traditional manual reviewing of data would continue.

The solution

Understanding the requirements of the customer and for:sight's capabilities, ARKK knew that we could dramatically improve the business's VAT processes and help automate the bespoke TOMS calculations.

The multinational comments "We felt confident that ARKK were the company to overhaul our VAT preparations. They have demonstrated that they can work with big businesses and the inherent tax complexity that comes along with them." 

12 weeks after signing their contract, the company was set up within for:sight and able to submit their VAT returns. ARKK reviewed the organisation's multiple VAT processes and digitally created a streamlined, consistent workflow that could be rolled out to the wider business. Coupled with the cloud-based architecture and permissions control that is built into the platform, it meant that senior management was able to have far greater transparency over the VAT process. Additionally, automating workflows and calculations, including TOMS, helped to reduce the risk of manual data handling errors.

Summary

Selecting for:sight can have several advantages for companies in the travel and tourism sector such as:

  • Minimising VAT preparation time through process enhancement and digitisation, ARKK managed to reduce the multinational’s tax preparation time by 43%
  • Effectively automate bespoke calculations such as TOMS to not only reduce errors due to manual data entry but save time
  • Giving senior management full workflow visibility through SaaS architecture and permission-based functionality built directly into for:sight

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