Expert Series Part V: New Roles for IT in the Wake of Expanding Global Mandates

Sovos
November 29, 2022

Part V of V – Christiaan Van Der Valk, vice president, strategy and regulatory, Sovos 

Click here to read part IV of the series.  

Government-mandated e-invoicing laws are making their way across nearly every region of the globe, bringing more stringent mandates and expectations on businesses. Inserted into every aspect of your operation, governments are now an omni-present influence in your data stack reviewing every transaction in real time as it traverses your network. Real-time monitoring has also brought about real-time enforcement that can range in severity from significant fines to shutting your business down completely. All of this has created a new reality for IT leaders who need a strategy to deal with these global changes. We asked our vice president of strategy and regulatory, Christiaan Van Der Valk to offer his guidance on how this will affect IT departments and how they can best prepare.

Q: With government authorities now in companies’ data and demanding real or near real-time reporting, what impact will this have on IT departments? 

Christiaan Van Der Valk: The digitization of VAT and other taxes considerably expands the scope of the finance and transactional systems that need to meet specific – and ever-changing – government requirements. This phenomenon of broadening and decentralizing tax compliance in a company’s system and process landscape happens at the same time that more of these applications (for accounts payable automation, EDI, procurement, supply chain automation, travel and expense management, order-to-cash, customer communications management etc.) are used on a SaaS basis in multitenant mode.

This requires you to take stock of the applications that may come within the scope of VAT requirements in all relevant jurisdictions, and to review vendor contracts to ensure clarity as to responsibility for compliance. Procurement practices to license such external applications may also need to be reviewed to ensure proper contracting around tax compliance from the start.

Q: To meet government mandates and ensure operations continue uninterrupted, what should IT prioritize? What approach would you recommend? 

Christiaan Van Der Valk: A key success factor is the degree to which IT and tax can team up to affect change in the organization. The default response to indirect tax changes will be to view these as evolutionary and best resolved by local subsidiaries. The introduction of CTCs, however, is a paradigm shift and one of the consequences is that solving these challenges in a decentralized manner can be harmful to a company’s digital transformation potential. IT and tax need to work closely together to raise awareness among all corporate and country stakeholders on the importance of a coordinated, strategic response to this profound change. The role of tax technologists who specialize in these interdisciplinary challenges cannot be underestimated.

A lot has changed in the world of government mandated e-invoicing. Continued investment in technology by government authorities has put regulators in the position to demand greater transparency along with more detailed and real-time reporting. To meet these demands, companies are looking to their IT organizations. The good news is you don’t need to go it alone. Sovos has the expertise to guide you through this global evolution based on our experience working with many of the world’s leading brands.

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Author

Sovos

Sovos was built to solve the complexities of the digital transformation of tax, with complete, connected offerings for tax determination, continuous transaction controls, tax reporting and more. Sovos customers include half the Fortune 500, as well as businesses of every size operating in more than 70 countries. The company’s SaaS products and proprietary Sovos S1 Platform integrate with a wide variety of business applications and government compliance processes. Sovos has employees throughout the Americas and Europe, and is owned by Hg and TA Associates.
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