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Wednesday, 12 June 2024 12:49

How businesses of all sizes can best prepare for EOFY with intelligent technology

By SAP Concur Australia
Fabian Calle, managing director, small and medium business, SAP Concur Australia and New Zealand Fabian Calle, managing director, small and medium business, SAP Concur Australia and New Zealand

GUEST OPINION: As the end of the financial year (EOFY) looms, Australian businesses of all sizes need to prepare to navigate the complex tax landscape, particularly those operating across multiple markets or serving international customers, where indirect taxes and intricate regulations pose significant challenges. Proper preparation can lead to substantial savings, especially when it comes to managing tax reclaims effectively.

Fabian Calle, managing director, small and medium business, SAP Concur Australia and New Zealand, said, “Understanding the importance of tax reclaims is crucial. Tax reclaims, particularly for goods and services tax (GST) in Australia, present a golden opportunity for businesses to recover eligible expenses. Unfortunately, many businesses miss out on these savings because the reclaim process is complex and not well known.”

Embracing intelligent technology can transform the tax reclaim process. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) help identify eligible transactions, detect errors, and streamline the submission process, making it easier for businesses to reclaim their taxes. AI quickly spots mistakes in GST transactions, ensuring that only eligible claims are submitted. ML automates the submission and review of tax reclaims, reducing the workload for business owners or finance teams. These technologies handle large volumes of data, improving the accuracy and efficiency of tax claims. By adopting these intelligent solutions, businesses can avoid the pitfalls of manual processes and save both time and money. However, technology is not the only part of the puzzle.

Fabian Calle said, “While technology is incredibly helpful, the human element remains indispensable. Investing in upskilling the finance team to work effectively with these intelligent tools is key. Training employees to understand and leverage AI and ML can significantly enhance tax reclaim processes and should focus on understanding how AI and ML tools function and interpreting the results they generate. This makes finance teams more proactive in identifying reclaim opportunities and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.”

Keeping up with changing regulations is another critical aspect. Tax regulations are always evolving, which can be challenging for businesses trying to stay compliant. The shift to remote work has also led to changes in GST regulations, affecting how businesses manage their expenses. Intelligent technology can help businesses stay on top of these changes by automating compliance processes and tracking regulatory updates.

Fabian Calle said, “Automating compliance ensures ongoing adherence to new regulations, and having contingency plans in place can mitigate risks associated with regulatory uncertainty. For example, remote work has altered employee spending patterns, leading to increased domestic GST implications for expenses such as shipments and public transportation. Actively monitoring these changes lets businesses adjust their GST reclaim strategies accordingly.”

Maximising GST recovery requires a blend of technology and human expertise. By leveraging intuitive dashboards and intelligent GST technology, businesses can gain detailed insights into transaction data, understand disqualifications, and optimise compliance. Additionally, businesses should focus on validating travel and expense data accurately. With the right tools, they can quickly drill down to transaction-level details to understand why a GST transaction was disqualified and address any discrepancies. This proactive approach maximises GST recovery and enhances overall financial transparency and control.

Fabian Calle said, “As EOFY approaches, businesses of all sizes have a fantastic opportunity to maximise their tax reclaims. By adopting intelligent technology and investing in team training, businesses can streamline their tax reclaim processes, stay compliant with changing regulations, and improve their bottom line.”

For more information on how businesses can navigate the shifting tax landscape, visit: https://www.concur.com.au/resource-centre/whitepapers/4-ways-navigate-shifting-tax-landscape

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