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Successful tax transformation for international organisations


In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, large enterprises with multiple entities face a labyrinth of tax regulations, compliance requirements, and risk management challenges. The traditional methods of handling tax processes – often reliant on manual communication and document exchange via email – are proving insufficient for the demands of modern business. This is where tax collaboration platforms, enhanced by advanced tax technology, come into play. These platforms offer a unified solution to streamline tax operations, ensuring compliance, enhancing efficiency, and mitigating risks.

THE BENEFITS OF A TAX COLLABORATION PLATFORM

Tax collaboration platforms bring a multitude of advantages to the table, addressing key pain points faced by large organizations.

These benefits include:

Unified platform for all stakeholders: Tax collaboration platforms bring all employees and (external) stakeholders onto a single platform, fostering seamless communication and collaboration. This unified approach eliminates the silos that often exist between different departments and geographical locations, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Time savings and improved control: By automating routine tasks and standardizing workflows, these platforms significantly reduce the time spent on manual processes. This not only improves efficiency but also gives tax departments better control over their operations. Automated alerts and reminders ensure that deadlines are never missed, and compliance is maintained.

Validated workflows: With designing clear, local tax-compliant filing processes, tax collaboration platforms ensure that every process follows a standardised and approved procedure. This reduces the risk of errors and inconsistencies, enhancing the reliability of tax operations.

Easy role and rights management: These platforms offer robust tools for assigning roles and managing access rights, allowing immediate understanding of responsibilities and access to current and past activities. Roles and rights can quickly be granted and transferred to new colleagues with one click. This enhances security and ensures compliance with data protection regulations.

Smart tax engines for automated VAT processes: Advanced tax engines embedded within these platforms can automate VAT returns and optimise VAT processes by checking double payments, verifying VAT boxes, amounts and conducting VIES checks on VAT numbers. This is particularly beneficial for companies operating in multiple jurisdictions with varying VAT rules.

Real-time insights with clear compliance dashboards: Tax collaboration platforms provide real-time insights into task progress. Compliance dashboards offer a clear view into compliance tasks, trade history, tax credits, tax office inquiries, and advisory services. This level of transparency is crucial for effective tax management.

Contribution to the ESG agenda: By improving tax risk management and enhancing transparency, tax collaboration platforms contribute to a company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda. They enable better reporting and accountability, aligning tax practices with broader corporate sustainability goals.

CASE STUDY: AN ITALIAN LUXURY BRAND’S INTEGRATION OF KEEYNS

To illustrate the transformative impact of tax collaboration platforms it is interesting to delve into the case of a prestigious fashion brand operating in 26 countries. This Italian luxury brand faced complex challenges in managing tax compliance and risk across its global operations. Their Head of Group Tax, played a leading role in integrating Keeyns into the company’s tax workflow for its Dutch entity. This case study sheds light on how this luxury brand successfully leveraged the tax collaboration platform to enhance their tax processes.

Background: The Italian luxury brand’s tax department, comprises five members, supported by local colleagues in strategic locations like China and France. The department’s priorities include tax and risk management, establishing a tax control framework, and negotiating bi-national tax agreements to mitigate transfer pricing risks.

Challenge: Before the integration of Keeyns, the Italian luxury brand’s tax operations were heavily manual. The team relied on cum- bersome email communications and server storage for tax documentation. This method was not only time-consuming but also prone to inefficiencies. They needed a solution to automate and streamline these processes, ensuring timely compliance and efficient document and deadline management for the Dutch entity.

Solution: Keeyns emerged as the solution for the Italian luxury brand’s Dutch entity, offering features that aligned with the company’s needs:

  • Risk mapping and procedure documentation: Keeyns allowed them to clearly map out all tax-related activities, identify risks, and establish standardised procedures across departments. This comprehensive risk mapping facilitated better risk management and compliance.
  • Workflow monitoring and reporting: The platform enabled continuous monitoring and reporting of tax activities, ensuring that each process complied with established procedures. This real-time monitoring was crucial for maintaining compliance.
  • Centralised document storage: Keeyns provided a secure, centralised repository for all crucial tax documents, including transfer pricing documentation and tax returns. This made it easy for the tax team to access and manage documents.
  • Deadline management: The platform’s validated workflows and calendar function alerted the tax team about upcoming deadlines, ensuring timely completion of all tasks. This feature was instrumental in maintaining compliance.
    Results: The implementation of Keeyns brought significant improvements to this Italian luxury brand’s tax management:
  • Increased compliance and efficiency: Automated alerts and workflows reduced the reliance on manual checks and communications, leading to more reliable compliance and improved efficiency.
  • Enhanced risk management: The clear mapping and monitoring of risks substantially reduced potential tax liabilities and enhanced control over compliance processes.
  • Strategic resource allocation: By automating routine tasks, their tax team could focus more on strategic activities, such as negotiating tax agreements and enhancing the tax control framework.

FUTURE POSSIBILITIES & EMBRACING AI

Encouraged by the success in the Netherlands, the Italian luxury brand now plans to expand the use of Keeyns across all its entities by 2025. This expansion aims to standardise tax processes globally, further reducing risks and improving compliance. Moreover, the future of tax collaboration platforms lies in the integration of artificial intelligence (AI). AI can further enhance these platforms by providing predictive analytics, identifying potential compliance issues before they arise, and offering actionable insights. For instance, AI-driven assistants can continuously learn from new data, improving workflows as well as the accuracy and efficiency of tax calculations and filings.

CONCLUSION

The Italian luxury brand’s experience with Keeyns demonstrates the robust capability of tax collaboration platforms to transform tax management processes through automation and improved collaboration. As they continue to extend the use of Keeyns, it sets a benchmark for other global enterprises facing similar tax compliance and risk management challenges. In a complex international business environment, tax collaboration platforms like Keeyns are essential tools for companies aiming to achieve high standards in tax operations, proving their value and effectiveness in driving compliance, efficiency, and risk management.

Pan Finance is a print journal and news website providing worldwide intelligence on finance, economics and global commerce. Known for our in-depth analysis and opinion pieces from esteemed academics and celebrated professionals; our readership consists of senior decision makers from across the globe.

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