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Home » Tax » Companies urged to join the tax data digital revolution

Rahila Zahin

Senior Technical Solutions Consultant, ARKK

Tax data management is still largely a manual process and with businesses struggling to cope, now is the time to harness digital platforms to take the load off.

The taxation landscape is undergoing a major transformation whereby authorities are scrutinising more than ever, and digitalisation is a necessity, especially for forward-looking companies.

How to improve data quality

Although tax technology is available to produce data that will allow organisations to strategise and be at the forefront of tax, uptake remains slow. Rahila Zahin, Senior Technical Solutions Consultant for automated finance solutions company ARKK, believes that for many, tax automation is still a new concept.

“I think there is a bit of a gap in the market in terms of knowing where to start,” she says. “There have been tools out there for years, but they require perfect data — which 99% of businesses don’t have.”

“However, there are technological platforms out there, like ours, that offer wide-ranging benefits such as improving data quality by ‘wrangling’ it, making it clean for purpose.”

There have been tools out there for
years, but they require perfect data —
which 99% of businesses don’t have.

Get on board with automation

While some chief financial officers have already switched on, Zahin urges colleagues not to delay. There are many missed opportunities by not adopting.

Automation can help firms create goodwill with tax authorities and auditors as otherwise, they are more likely to report incorrectly or don’t have the visibility or tools to handle data, ultimately leading to unwanted fines and penalties.

Using an automated platform means less manual handling of reporting and can help retain staff because it wipes out much of the boring parts of the job, freeing them up to do the interesting work requiring a human brain and judgement.

Flexible strategy benefits

Those that have taken the plunge have found tasks are much more time-efficient and easy. One company found that its data formatting process — which normally takes four hours — now takes only 30 minutes.

The ARKK platform is data agnostic, meaning it can work with any system. It’s flexible and built around a customer’s specific needs and has Machine Learning, AI and Power BI embedded. It can act as a data repository and provides accountability; and by creating a collaborative working environment, it provides ownership of numbers for all the stakeholders involved. It offers easy traceability for any transaction and allows for more future planning.

“Our platform has multiple use cases, and we have found that clients whose initial scope was just to automate their VAT returns, for example, soon discover more use cases for themselves,” says Zahin.

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