When the warranty on your car is running out, you take a detailed look at how the car is running. When your tax software is up for renewal, it might be time to do the same.
It’s been three years since Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT was introduced and over a year since the soft-landing period ended. If you purchased tax software three years ago as a panic buy or a quick fix to get your tax department over the finish line, it might be time to decide if you are getting the most from that investment—or if it’s time to look elsewhere.
For those still using Excel to stitch up Band-Aid style compliance, the HRMC’s shift to MTD enforcement further intensifies the need to move beyond simple bridging software to a smart tax technology solution.
As you evaluate software options, here are three questions to ask yourself to ensure you are “Making Tax Deliver” for your organization.
1. Is automation the foundation of your software?
When evaluating a robust tax technology platform that offers real-time reporting, one of the most important features to look for is the ability to build workflows that enhance what’s currently in place and mold them around your existing infrastructure.
Finance teams can spend up to 90% of their time focusing on historical data rather than future planning and forecasting. By using smart tax technology to automate onerous manual processes, you can free up time spent on merging various data sets, performing manual adjustments, partial exemptions, FX conversions and more. With automation as the foundation, you can look forward not back.
When evaluating tax technology, look for an expert tax software provider who can create a customised solution that aggregates data from multiple sources, ensures data quality, calculates VAT obligations and submits returns directly to the HMRC. With these processes in place, you can rest easy knowing requirements have been met and penalties have been avoided.
2. Does your tax software provider invest in continuous updates?
With the tax landscape constantly changing, it’s important to invest in a tax technology solution that keeps pace via continuous improvement, not just a one-and-done purchase. Consider this: over the past three years, has your software been updated with advanced features? Or has it remained stagnant?
With advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, today’s tax software can analyse data line-by-line to find inaccuracies and “unknown unknowns” (i.e., those errors you didn’t even know existed). Ideally, your software should only require your attention for any exceptions, unlike Excel where formulas merely catch errors known to the user.
Look for a tax technology provider that future-proofs their offerings with meaningful updates and added functionality on a continual basis. Some providers even offer solutions that extend beyond VAT to Transfer Pricing and other data-driven tax processes.
As you assess your options, ask to see prospective software functionality first-hand with a proof of concept demonstration that uses your company’s tax data. These bespoke demonstrations can pick up mistakes from previous quarters and help you make the business case for an investment in a more advanced software solution.
3. Do you have access to customised reporting and support?
To make the most of your investment in tax technology, a personalised experience is key.
Look for a provider that offers fully flexible reporting that meets your company’s exact requirements. On top of your average consolidation and period-to-period comparisons, ask if they offer customised reports tailored to your specific industry or set-up.
In addition to personalised reporting, the importance of dedicated customer service and support cannot be overstated.
Make sure you have access to experts who can guide you from product implementation right through to submission. Whether it’s face-to-face meetings, phone calls, email support or webinar tutorials, your tax software provider should make themselves available to you in a variety of ways. It may even be wise to look for a tax technology provider that is based in the UK to ensure you never miss a reporting deadline.
At the end of the day, personalised support can help you make the most of your investment and harness the power of your financial data with absolute certainty.
It’s Time to “Make Tax Deliver”
If you’re experiencing buyer’s remorse or your current MTD solution isn’t all it should be, it might be time to think about making a switch.
HMRC’s shift to MTD enforcement can become an opportunity for your tax department to implement smart tax technology that not only ensures MTD compliance but enables efficiency, forward thinking, and smarter decision-making.
And that’s an investment that doesn’t just Make Tax Digital, it Makes Tax Deliver.