Real-time data request

MacroExcel/ACL, bridging software, and SAP add-on solutions

We have installed at more than 30 multinationals SAP certified add-ons, bridging software, and our MacroExcel /ACL solutions.

Our countries modules are:

  • SAF-T Austria
  • SAF-T France (FEC)
  • SAF-T Lithuania (monthly VAT / on request)
  • SAF-T Luxembourg
  • SAF-T Norway (on request)
  • SAF-T Poland (monthly VAT / on request)
  • Spain and e-invoicing (SII)
  • Hungary and real-time e-invoicing 
  • Italy Spesometro and e-invoicing (FatturaPa)
  • UK and Make Tax Digital (VAT module) - rolled out now
  • UK and Make Tax Digital (CIT module) - in development

MacroExcel and ACL solutions for SAF-T requirements

Several multinationals clients have requested to generate as a tax consultancy service the files for the monthly basis the SAF-T obligations in Poland and Portugal, etc.

The work process is as follows:

  1. The client provides us based on our download instructions with the relevant SAP data in an Excel sheet. Optional is that the Key Group has access to SAP itself and the client outsources also this exercise to us
  2. The Key Group reviews the data received, and subsequently, the Key Group transforms the data automatically with its in-house developed tooling developed into the XML format
  3. The Key Group provides the XML file to the client
  4. The client submits the XML file to the tax authorities via manual upload (exercise once a month)

Depending on the client's data volume or preference we use for the transformation either a client tailored MacroExcel or ACL.

SAP add-on solutions

A SAP add-on enhances Standard SAP itself. Add-on components are extra functionalities that do not come with the main SAP product. Different organizations have different requirements. SAP has recognized that and facilitated that extra functionality can be added and that such functionality as a component can be integrated with Standard SAP.

An add-on is permitted by SAP – the code 'ABAP' is written and transported where SAP allows this. That means these add-on components sit above the core and access the same dictionary objects or repository objects and perform the required functionality. It contains custom authorization objects according to SAP standards.

SAP add-on solutions are therefore without an external interface or external software and can be implemented with minor or no SAP impact in any other areas. A SAP add-on does not change the programming code of SAP. As a result, SAP upgrades do not lead to any problems and maintenance is straightforward. Additional functionality is added to Standard SAP. A SAP add-on uses parameters to collect all the tax data from SAP and places it in a single database in SAP itself.


Tax trends

A tax trend is that companies due to regulations will have to become transparent about their attitude to tax risk, its appetite and its approach to its relationship with tax authorities. It will cover the governance framework describing the way a business takes decisions on taxation including information on the systems and controls in place to manage tax risk.  It is therefore essential that a documentation exist of your (automated) tax control framework and a logbook – risk register – is kept of all identified inconsistencies. The internal tax function should always have insight into the areas for attention through this logbook.

This allows tax managers to set the right priorities and take measures timely.

Tax authorities, due to technological innovations, have become increasingly better in executing their tax audit. The probability that the tax authorities will issue additional assessments and penalties in the near future because errors in indirect tax are detected, increases by the day.

Real time data analytics will be a critical condition for success from a VAT risk management perspective. For example, the Italian, Hungarian, Polish Spanish, and recently the UK authorities have passed a series of measures aimed at detecting and combating tax fraud. The aim is to get close to real-time information of company transactions, which will allow the tax authorities to perform a more efficient tax audit and reduce processing time. Companies face business challenges not only regarding the implementation in time of these new requirements but also regarding the setup of proper tax risk management.

The real strength is that we think ahead of our clients’ objectives for managing tax. During the solution design we anticipate that even additional functionality will become needed by which future indirect tax objectives will be met.

Take aways 

  • Set up a project charter that will take effect preferable during feasibility but ultimately during design
  • Write a business case and problem statement
  • Define scope of the project
  • Define objectives and goals of the project
  • Involve stakeholders and define priorities
  • Set measurable milestones
  • Ensure that the right sponsors provide buy-in.
  • Identify (project) risks and how to manage them
  • Jointly validate and refine the project plan and develop a roadmap to success
  • Hold regular meeting to track progress of the various work streams

We combine technical knowledge with industry understanding and knowhow of technologically advanced tools and methodologies available in the market or developed by ourselves.

  • Focus on tax processes that could be improved
    • Manual process: same data requests are made by different stakeholders
  • As Is assessment
  • Anticipate future changes and the data needed
    • What are tax trends?
    • What is happening locally and what should be considered across jurisdictions where you operate?
    • Anticipate new stakeholders and their data needs or requests (internal and external)
  • Define scope and actions for short, mid and long term
  • Write business case for change
  • Realize sponsorship for implementation
  • What tax data is requested and by whom?
  • What tax process can be improved and what can be automated?
    • CIT, VAT, tax data warehouse
  • What is the Return on Investment?
    • Hard saving: process improvement
    • Meeting (new) tax requirement
  • What systems are in use: SAP, Oracle, etc
    • By which entities?
  • How many end-use computing tools (e.g. excel spreadsheet) do we have?
  • How do we avoid an ad-hoc solution?
    • Understand the bigger picture
    • Real problem and not the symptom

Technology-related tax risk: understand and address the potential harms and benefits of (new) technology.

Ascertaining proper IT support for ensuring efficient, timely and reliable reporting.

VAT should be considered in every aspect of the process, from concept through completion and beyond. Managing by design — looking at any process or transaction from end to end and factoring in all the requirements and controls essential to designing and optimizing a compliant VAT process.

We speak the language of the business and IT and no translation is needed.

VAT should be considered in every aspect of the process, from concept through completion and beyond.

Looking at any process or transaction from end to end and factoring in all the requirements and controls essential to designing and optimizing a compliant VAT process.

The key to success in the management is the ability to translate tax knowledge into workable business processes.

With indirect taxes intertwining through the day- to-day operations of a company—raising sales invoices, moving inventory, paying suppliers, collecting cash—indirect tax risk can have a distinct and domino-like effect on the commerciality of an organization.

More than 80% of businesses are still using spreadsheets to manage their VAT compliance in at least one jurisdiction in which they operate, despite tax authorities around the world investing in better tools.

The SAF-T standard, originally created by the OECD (similar as BEPS), is intended to give tax authorities easy access to the relevant data in an easily readable format for both corporate income tax as VAT.

What if there are glitches in your data, input errors, empty fields, awkward descriptions in fields or apparent inconsistencies?