Tax Indaba 2017

November, 2017 1 Comment News

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2017 Tax Indaba that was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 11 to 15 September. Since its debut in 2011, the event has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. This was evidenced by the inauguration of the Finance Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba, as one of the keynote speakers at this year’s event as well as the extensive media coverage that followed on TV news channels, radio stations and in printed media as well as the attendance of 1,800 delegates over the five days.

I took the opportunity, in between manning our exhibition stand, to attend a handful of the 50+ tax topics that were presented and I must say, it was an impressive collection of tax experts from a range of audit firms, law firms, SARS and corporates. As tax specialists do so effortlessly, they delved into technical issues surrounding the foreign assets’ SVDP process, tax implication of investing offshore and the complex topic of BEPS, but one thing I thought was especially interesting was a session on Tax Technology and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). As much as tax specialists thrive in the technical space of legislation and case law, the role of technology and data analysis is becoming an inescapable part of the tax landscape.

In our one-on-one discussions with attendees at the conference, we repeatedly heard these technology-related comments and maybe some will be eerily familiar to those reading this:

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    “I spend too big a part of my month end just trying to get the data; the volumes are just so big, Excel cannot handle it.”
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    “I do the VAT returns of several legal entities but I know our SAP data has errors”
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    “VAT is identified as a risk in our business and I have no clue how to start auditing this”

As ACL we have seen similar technological challenges and changes happen in internal audit and finance for over 20 years; ACL is an experienced player in the audit data analysis and continuous auditing/monitoring arena. The South African ACL business has also delved into VAT technology solutions through assisting clients with custom scripted VAT data analysis and more recently, our VATSURE server-based product suite comprising:

  1. Risk-based analytics,
  2. VAT201 submission solution, and
  3. Free access to the online knowledge base and experts of TradeTaxPlus.

I commend those that came up to the ACL stand to ask questions and learn about ACL and our solutions as we know it is not yet a recognisable brand for tax experts; I think it speaks highly of their drive for continuous learning and to do their work better and more efficiently using technology.

About The Author

Rachela Shachman

Head: Product & Engineering

Rachela Shachman holds the internationally recognised ACDA certification and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Her almost decade long career spans external auditing, internal auditing, tax and finance in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, where she gained in-depth unique knowledge of the financial services, retail and manufacturing industries, offering a view of the challenges that companies within those industries face.

One Comment
  1. Cliff

    Vatsure will show the way to how vat will be done in the future. Great article, thanks for sharing.

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