Change and project management

The tax function should ascertain proper implementation and determine the impact of changes in businesses, laws and regulations on implemented tax planning.


When the business model changed as a result of the implementation of a centralized procurement model, this could create not only VAT risks, but commercial risks as well. For example logistics problems with importing goods into a country and subsequent delays and hold offs of shipments resulting in disruption of daily business.

A root cause could be that the company forgot to register for VAT and/or procurement staff forgot to communicate with suppliers which party is responsible for importing the goods.

Operational changes have a tax consequence due to the change in transactional flows and the change in a company’s assets, functions and risks profile.

Important is to ensure that the new operating model is not only implemented correctly from a tax perspective, but also ensures that business processes are tax aligned realizing support of the business in the areas of compliance, finance & accounting, legal, IT systems, indirect tax and regulatory matters.

That means teaming is a necessity with various work streams.

The selling arrangement may change from a buy/sell to broker/agent or vice versa. Goods purchasing may become centralized. The flows and storage locations of goods may change. In any of these cases, new VAT registration obligations may be created in different countries.

Likewise VAT could be chargeable by different entities and the recoverability of the VAT could change and different billing flows are created.

What do we offer

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.

As part of our interim management services, we make our highly qualified and experienced professionals available to you with a schedule tailored to your needs that are specialized in change and project management:

  • Proven industry and consultancy leaders: highly experienced having held senior indirect tax posts within the Big 4 and industry

  • Substantial experience of working in both the EU member states and in countries outside the EU and managing international teams on multi-jurisdictional projects

  • Strong technical tax and IT expertise

  • Proven project and change management (soft) skills

For questions please contact us.

Business case and problem statement

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Upfront indirect tax expertise involvement

A tax strategy (tax policy) contains amongs others the situations when it will be mandatory to involve mandatory indirect tax experts upfront (e.g., stakeholders such as Legal, IT, HR, IAD, Procurement, Business, Finance). The following transactions will always exceed a company's risk appetite:

  • Law changes

  • Significant business transactions

  • Non routine transactions:

  • Share issues or sales

  • Reorganisations

  • Acquisition or disposal of any business or part of a business

  • Acquisition or disposal of real estate

  • Financial transformation

  • Part of the business is outsourced (e.g. a Shared Service Centre or accounts payable/

  • receivable to a third party service provider)

  • Other financial transactions

Recommended is to describe in detail for example the requirements for other stakeholders to seek VAT input early in the process. It should cover non-routine or significant business transactions and the requirement for review & approval by VAT experts prior to execution of the transactions.  

VAT experts should always be a mandatory work-streams in for example technology and finance projects.

For more detailed information about above topics download the e-book 'Roadmap to tax function effectiveness and certification of VAT Control Framework'.

Take aways 

Formal support and active involvement of senior management

Optimum process improvement or business transformations will not likely be realized by the sum of individual independent efforts.The risk is that individually everybody knows what needs to be done within his or her own area of expertise, but what is lacking is overall direction and thus progress.

Anticipate what users would want

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

What do we like to achieve

  • 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

‘As is’ assessment, actions and business case

  • 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

Risk and reward

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

Technology tools & systems integration

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

Change and project management

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.

Effective communication and teaming

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

Set up a project plan

  • 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

Efficient process

A process that achieves the end result with minimum time and effort, and for minimum cost.

Lack of visibility

Employees that do not know a problem exists because their own or overall interactions are not looked at critically.

Value of a project or solution

Imagine how much you could save if the problem was completely eliminated. How long does this process take within your organization and what will be the amount of annual saving (i.e. Return on Investment period) after implementation of the solution at hand?

Bottom line saving

How changes eliminate wasted time, resources, and money and the completion of improvements(s) adds a specific amount to the bottom line (reduce expenses):

  • Less resources needed
  • No rework
  • Improves working trade capital
  • No disruption of the business
  • Lower external advisory costs
  • etc.

How projects or solutions increase revenues or reduce costs and expenses, so that earnings are improved.

Process improvement

Reduce both time and cost in tax processes, improve quality and reduce risks.

Time spent on compliance

Does the process of preparing and compiling the client’s VAT return take more than 5 man days? (starting from the moment of VAT-data collection until the VAT return is approved and filed).

Stakeholder analysis

A process to determine who will be affected by the outcome of a  project or solution.

From concept through completion and beyond

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.

Global tax environment is in a state of fast change

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

Risk: a domino-like effect

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.

Tax audits and new technology

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.

OECD's Standard Audit File for Tax Purposes

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?

Size of the tax function

The tax department consists of the right number of tax personnel and the right level of skills and capabilities.

Tax team management

Creating and maintaining an efficient, effective, pro-active, highly skilled tax department identifying opportunities and managing tax risk and thereby creating value

Employee development

To develop and apply a people development, recognition and retention model and to allocate resources in line with employee skills and prioritized business requirements.

Individual career development plans

Individual career development plans created and maintained and career paths for tax professionals to senior roles within and outside tax department encouraged.

Contributing value to internal customers

The added value to involve the tax department is understood by internal customers (e.g. business, legal, procurement, supply chain, etc).

KPIs and measurement

The efficiency and effectiveness of the tax department is periodically measured and compared with financial and operational KPI's. Interaction with the business is evaluated and improvement points are identified and action plans executed.

Measure cost effectiveness

The cost effectiveness of the tax department is periodically measured. Outsourcing is considered as an option for routine work.

Quality review

The quality of the output of the tax department is periodically assessed both internal and by external parties (internal audit / independent testing / external parties).

Tax planning

A systematic approach exists to tax planning using consistently applied criteria and sufficient consideration is given to the extent and type of work carried out by external advisers. Tax planning is applicable to cash flow planning and impact analysis of changes in business and tax laws.

Resources and budget

The resources and budget is aligned with the outcome of the tax risk assessment: tax resources spent most of our time on high risk areas. Ensure that tax department has sufficient resources and budget to fulfill its role and carry out the corresponding responsibilities.