Digital transformation for tax is now here


Konsise CEO Philip Tillman says forward-looking CFOs need to act now.

Many CFOs have already digitised their payroll and payment systems, but according to Philip Tillman, CEO of the tax management and tax compliance software company Konsise, they have yet to automate or digitise their tax workflows and processes.

Conducting tax management practices in this way is inefficient, he says, because they must keep track of multiple spreadsheets, and track down requests, filing notifications and other tax documents before manually entering data into spreadsheets to try to keep on top of the ever-expanding list of deadlines. “It’s time consuming, a duplication of work and often prone to human errors and oversight,” says Philip.

Compliance and efficiency
CFOs need to ensure complete compliance with revenue authorities, which includes not only filing taxes, but also keeping all records in order to avoid penalties and interest. Philip says, "They want to achieve all of this while keeping their interactions with the revenue authority smooth and simple. Tax compliance can be a hassle, and while some CFOs will argue that they pay all their taxes accurately and on time, it comes at a huge cost of being bogged down in paperwork and manual, time-consuming processes."

Visibility and integration
Finance leaders want visibility and an accurate picture of where they stand financially. “This is where tax management and automation come into play,” notes Philip. “Because everyone wants to digitise their finances from start to finish, including their tax process, it’s critical to use a tax solution that integrates with the software they already use.”

Good tax management software allows you to easily keep track of all your tax obligations, receive reminders and alerts when dates are approaching and complete necessary forms, which makes filing taxes much easier than ever before.

Consolidating tax management and tax compliance
Organisations try to manage their taxes using multiple tools and processes. A popular way involves logging onto SARS eFiling software to submit tax returns and check for notifications and requests, then tracking these records and deadlines in Excel spreadsheets, while storing documentation, filings and records in SharePoint. This approach is cumbersome, labour-intensive and time-consuming. Konsise changes all that, and is a single software tool that consolidates all tax management and compliance into a single system regardless of how many legal entities your structure contains.

Konsise’s integration with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) also allows users to easily be able to access and find all SARS correspondence and notifications so they never miss a verification or an audit. Philip recalls one CFO saying to him, “I have 300 legal entities, and SARS sent me an SMS that said they've issued some correspondence. The problem was, he didn’t know what it was about, what tax type it applied to or even which company it concerned. Had this CFO been using Konsise, we would have picked up the correspondence and known what company it pertained to and emailed it straight to him, completely removing the friction that sits between SARS and companies out there.”

While Konsise has integration with SARS in South Africa, many of its smart features such as documentation storage, reminders and alerts assist with managing tax processes and tax compliance in other countries too, allowing CFOs across the globe to stay on top of deadlines and enquiries regardless of where they are.

Keeping a clear and accurate picture of the past
Record keeping is important for any business, but nothing makes you realise how important it is untilyour tax professional moves to a new position or leaves the company altogether. Philip says, “When you have staff turnover, there is a risk that your tax records will not be up to date, opening your business to unnecessary assessments or penalties.” Digitally storing records and encrypting them helps keep them safe from damage, theft or tampering.

CFOs commonly struggle with attaining a complete picture of their financial situation and it is interesting to note that at any point, some are unaware of exactly what they have paid in taxes. Philip explains, “Our analytics allow them to track the information they need, such as the amount of taxes paid in certain countries or from certain sources. In many cases, CFOs are using SharePoint to store documents and Excel spreadsheets to track their finances. They also rely heavily on email for getting authorisations and other related tasks done. These processes leave them with an incomplete picture of their financial situation, which we can help fix by providing them with a consolidated view of all financial records.”

Designed for user experience
Philip emphasises that Konsise has been built with the user experience in mind. “There are no complicated reports or features which only serve as an afterthought. It’s designed to be simple, intuitive and easy-to-use.”

In conclusion, CFOs must take advantage of the digital transformation of tax management, which streamlines workflows, eliminates errors, and provides complete visibility and compliance. Konsise’ s innovative tax management software provides a consolidated view of all tax records, making it an essential tool for any organisation that wants to stay on top of its tax obligations and tax compliance with SARS.

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