Managing GST with data analytics

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1 Managing GST with data analytics Adrian Abbott Partner, Australia Philippe Norre Global ITX Compliance Technology Leader, UK

2 Agenda Indirect tax function of the future (and predictions) Data and technology in the indirect tax functions (and predictions) Indirect tax governance roadmap GST/VAT compliance cycle Australian experience Summary 2

3 Indirect tax function of the future Some predictions Legislative/regulatory requirements People/the indirect tax professional Governance and risk Controls and process Data and technology 3

4 Legislative/regulatory Global tax information reporting requirements (e.g. BEPS and similar transparency initiatives) will grow exponentially and will have a material impact on the operations and related budget allocations of tax functions. Global markets will demand complete transparency and information sharing among stakeholders and taxing jurisdictions, resulting in an increase in overall tax liabilities. The majority of taxing jurisdictions, in both developed and emerging markets, will have systems and data-mining capabilities to conduct global audits which will reconcile income and expense across jurisdictions. 4

5 People Technical skills Leadership skills Soft skills Data analysis Statistics A successful tax professional of the future will be highly proficient in data analysis, statistics, and technology, as well as process improvement and change management. Technology Data specialist Tax functions will employ dedicated tax IT, data and project management specialists who will develop, champion, and execute the tax technology and transformation strategies. 5

6 Governance and risk: our predictions Digital economy Tax justice Tax avoidance Reputation Failing system Risk Re-evaluate Moral responsibility Profit sharing Fair share Cross border Base erosion Transparency Economic patriotism Many jurisdictions will legislatively require the adoption of a tax control framework which follows guidelines similar to Sarbanes-Oxley and COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission). Enhanced stakeholder scrutiny and reputational risk will force companies to continuously re-evaluate their tax decisions. Strategic focus on jurisdictional reporting and documentation of business activities, including transfer pricing, will be critical to managing the increased tax controversy resulting from transparency initiatives. 6

7 Controls and process Co-source Greater efficiency Tax function On-line collaboration tools Improved controls Data collection Analysis Workpaper creation Workflow Tasks and processes Shared service centre Reduced costs Most global tax preparatory compliance and reporting activities, including data collection and reconciliations, will be performed within the company s shared service center or will be co-sourced with a third party. A risk based approach to tax compliance preparation and review activity will be commonly used Controls based testing of tax processes will be the norm (beyond GST/VAT) Tax functions will use real-time collaboration tools to automate their workflow, document management, calendaring, and internal controls. Data analytics will be used real time to detect and correct risks in accordance with pre-defined benchmarks / rules / parameters (includes notification) 7

8 Key factors influencing tax function and need to harness technology Governments around the world are protecting their tax bases vigorously - Greater tax authority collaboration (globally and information exchange at the highest level) - Growing disclosure and transparency requirements - Aggressive and focussed enforcement More expected from the tax function with less resources Increased focus on finance transformation with cost reduction and process improvement Managing risk is even more important especially within the context of tax Increasing focus on use of data analytics to support business activities (very relevant for Indirect Tax function) 8

9 Data and technology 9

10 Current trends four focus areas Collaboration Space Workflow/ Process Management Document & Info Management Tax Operations Management Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) Business Intelligence Data Mart(s) / Data Warehouse Data Management Tax technology strategy Tax Computation Systems Tax Provision Transfer Pricing Statutory accounts (Multiple GAAP) Tax Returns (Direct, Indirect, ET) Tax ERP Chart of Accounts Indirect Tax GST / VAT Capture transaction detail Tax technology projects companies are executing today 10

11 The future state ecosystem Tax Finance Third parties Tax operations management Process management and workflow Document management Data collection Calendar Enterprise systems Tax sensitisation Tax data hub Tax data mappings Tax applications Key deliverables Tax data management Business intelligence and analytics 11

12 The importance of technology Tax functions need to do more with less Increased centralisation of activities More and better data is required, more frequently and on a real time basis Requirement to drive value from tax data Maximise return on investment in finance function transformation Exponentially increasing reporting requirements Use of co-operative compliance models and focus on risk based approach by tax authorities Critical to tax transformation All of this requires greater automation NB: Globally, Tax Authorities relying more heavily on technology and they are aggressively competing for key talent in the Data/Technology space 12

13 Data: our predictions Internally owned Licensed thirdparty Cosourcing Enterprise systems Data in tax-ready format Build Buy Rent Centralised tax data hub The majority of Tax functions will receive all information in a tax-ready format from either their enterprise-wide financial systems or a dedicated tax data hub. Dedicated tax data hubs will become mainstream and be developed internally, licensed from a third-party vendor, and/or accessed through an accounting firm as part of a co-sourcing arrangement. Data security will be high on the agenda of Tax functions due to concerns over confidential information being inadvertently released or shared publicly. 13

14 Technology: our predictions Reduce global tax rate Identify risks Projections and predictive analytics Better decision making and enhanced strategic planning Spreadsheets Enterprise systems New technology More companies will use their enterprise-wide financial systems to prepare tax calculations (e.g., income tax accounting and indirect taxes), thereby replacing spreadsheets and/or traditional tax technology solutions. The vast majority of Tax functions will rely on professional data analysis tools to assist in the decisionmaking process in areas such as detection of risk, opportunity identification, projections and scenario planning, and overall business support. 14

15 Indirect tax governance roadmap Tax technical Systems and processes Tax function governance Explore Calibrate Is there a policy that advice is sought from expert advisors or the GST/VAT Authorities for complex, contentious or unique situations? Is there a reporting process in place to recognise complex and non-standard transactions to ensure the correct tax treatment is applied? Do you include shared services providers in your GST/VAT training and technical discussions? Are there regularly updated process maps to support GST/ VAT procedures and manuals? Are accounting systems and the return preparation processes automated to ensure the integrity of data and minimise risk of error by manual data entry? Does the system generate detailed and complete reporting audit trails that are reconciled to accounting records and cleared at the end of each reporting cycle? Are exception reports generated and independently reviewed? Are reporting trends monitored? Is there a defined and documented process for the specific purpose of identifying and reviewing tax risk that clearly states the organisations risk appetite? Does senior management receive a regular update on GST/VAT matters that impact on compliance? Does senior management sign off on the adequacy of internal controls that govern GST/VAT compliance? 15

16 Indirect tax governance roadmap Tax technical Systems and processes Tax function governance Harness Do all staff involved in initiation, recording, processing, reporting and review of GST/VAT impacted transactions receive GST/VAT training and updates? Are systems used to process and store data regularly tested? Are all systems set up to reduce system or processing errors? Does more than one person in your business have a working knowledge of all GST/VAT systems, process and relevant regulations? Is internal audit or an external provider used to periodically review GST/VAT control and process effectiveness? 16

17 GST/VAT compliance cycle System set up and configuration Master data entry and maintenance Transaction processing & tax determination Data extraction and reporting Date formatting and mapping Analysis, testing and reconciliation Adjustments and corrections Return generation and submission SAP configuration review Customs SAP reporting (ABAP) Electronic invoicing Master data review Custom reporting on master data (ABAP) Review determination logic Tax engine implementation SAP configuration review Custom SAP reporting (ABAP) Electronic Invoicing Standard report configuration Custom ABAP report Excel Excel with automation 3 rd party products Outsourcing Excel Excel with automation 3 rd party products Outsourcing Excel 3 rd party products Integrated BI solutions Data extract Tools Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions Installed Technology Data Extract Tools Web based process, risk and document management system Outsource service or technology Consolidation and e-filing 17

18 Australian experience Where do GST errors arise? Change of business structure 4% Related entities miscommunication 16% Technical understanding and interpretation 12% Unsure of supply status 1% System related issues 22% One-off supply of assets 5% Staff turnover and controls 1% BAS preparation errors 39% 18

19 Australian experience GST is a window into business indirect tax function more integrated into broader business focus (DATA) Comment by ATO office sunshine is a great disinfectant Integrity of Business Systems (IBS) the ATO risk and data integrity focus Multiplier effect of incorrect transactions can lead to significant revenue risk Businesses going through change are especially at risk (staff changes, organisational restructures, etc.). New accounting software or significant upgrades a risk and a window of opportunity Regional/global GST/VAT reporting requirements Self Assurance Model is coming/ Light touch / 3 year moratoriums big ATO focus Practical, ongoing, real-time risk mitigation is the new norm 19

20 Summary 20

21 Key takeaway Assess the effectiveness of your indirect tax corporate governance framework: Conduct an operational risk assessment for indirect tax Create a roadmap and action plan to improve any deficiencies: Policy review End to end process (including controls and key reports) Indirect tax technology strategy and plan/use of data analytics to integrate the Indirect tax function into the broader business. Implement changes that mitigate key risks through policy, people, process and technology Be aware of global tax authorities expectations/commitments on best in class indirect tax function. 21

22 Thank you. The information contained in this presentation is of a general nature only. It is not meant to be comprehensive and does not constitute the rendering of legal, tax or other professional advice or service by PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. (""). has no obligation to update the information as law and practices change. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Before taking any action, please ensure that you obtain advice specific to your circumstances from your usual client service team or your other advisers. The materials contained in this presentation were assembled in May 2015 and were based on the law enforceable and information available at that time All rights reserved. refers to the network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

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