Why it is time to start computerizing your business?
If you are a business owner, it is time to align your business practices to the VAT (Value-Added Tax) regime.
As you are already aware, 5% VAT will be implemented in the UAE and KSA from January 1, 2018. It is now mandatory to maintain business records for at least 5 years.
On the one hand, you have to ensure that every transaction that you record is VAT compliant and your business data is up-to-date since audits can take place any time. On the other, you need to be aware that non-compliance could invoke huge penalties.
It is time to take the first step towards VAT compliance by systematizing your business with a computerized accounting and inventory system. Start by recording transactions in a VAT compliant way.
You are probably dealing with a series of questions.
- 1. I am not registered under VAT. Why should I computerize my business?
- 2. I am used to manual bookkeeping. Why can't I continue with the same in the VAT regime?
- 3. Can I be ready for audits if I continue with manual bookkeeping?
- 4. I am already using excel. Do I still have to computerize my business?
I am not registered under VAT. Why should I computerize my business?
Your business might beunregistered under VAT , but your supplier or buyer who is registered and needs VAT compliant bills might prefer computerized billing. They might also need reports on receivables, payables, outstanding and so on. You can give them more confidence and enhance your business relationship by computerizing your business.
Digitized business data comes handy if you are applying for a loan or plan to invest in the future. Depending on the nature and complexities involved in your business, a computerized accounting system helps scale business any time and helps keep a tab on the overall financial health at any instance.
I am used to manual bookkeeping. Why can not I continue with the same in the VAT regime?
Your buyer or supplier needs accurate bills if he is registered under VAT and has to claim Input Tax Credit. You can win the confidence of your stakeholders by computerizing your business.
Manual bookkeeping is prone to errors. How will you identify errors, keep track and adjust them as required? If you are registered under VAT, how will you ensure that the errors do not get transferred in to your VAT returns? You do not want to go wrong when preparing VAT compliant bills either.
Physical records are prone to wear and tear. Maintaining and keeping them safe for 5 years is a challenging task. Bills and registers can get misplaced as well.
Your tax consultant will spend lesser time in reconciling errors or discrepancies if you share digitized data for filing your VAT return.
Can I be ready for audits if I continue with manual bookkeeping?
To be ready for audits anytime means your business data must be up-to-date. This is possible only when all sales and purchase transactions have been recorded by a VAT software and can be easily retrieved at any point in time. You must be able to track all VAT calculations and their implications on transactions with buyers/suppliers on the click of a button.
An auditor might need specific reports such as sales transactions of a certain range, VAT transactions based on cash, list of non-VAT transactions and so on. None of this information can be extracted manually, but only with the help of a VAT software.
Your bookkeeper or tax consultant needs reliable data to generate audit files and your VAT returns correctly.
I am already using excel. Do I still have to computerize my business?
Yet, you need a software which is designed to handle VAT and its implications on your business data. You need quick access to reports on VAT calculations, tax liability status, financial analysis and so on to take the right business decisions.
To file your VAT return, you must be sure that your data is correct and VAT compliant. This is possible only when you choose a VAT software that is accredited, 100% compliant and has the default capability to apply VAT rules to all your transactions.
Merely computerizing your business is not enough. The software you choose must facilitate VAT compliance without disrupting your day-to-day business activities such as accounting, inventory, banking, payroll and so on.
Let your VAT software handle the compliance, while you focus on the core business.