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New Kid on the Block

Will Young has recently joined Innovate Tax as a Sales Executive. With a background in accounting and VAT, this is Will’s first foray into the indirect tax technology arena. In this blog post, Will talks about his initial experiences and what he has learnt so far. 

I’m brand new in the Oracle ERP space, and one of the first tasks I was asked to do was to try and speak to the market and get a handle, albeit it a most likely basic one, on where we sit and how vast the ecosystem surrounding Oracle ERP actually is. Thankfully, my new colleagues have a pretty wide network of contacts to introduce; from ERP directors, Global Tax Managers, Financial Controllers, to name a few.

The consistent theme that I found was that the eBTax engine is often one of the most underestimated or overlooked features within Oracle ERP. In fact, one particular new acquaintance suggested to me that I think of it as ‘the diamond in the rough’. So this got me thinking – but bear with me, I’m still finding my feet here…

…what exactly is a tax engine? I’ve come to understand that a tax engine essentially takes information (otherwise known as determining factors) from invoices or purchase orders and uses them to select a tax treatment.

This engine, for those that don’t know, is not only included within the Oracle financials package (on either R12 or Fusion) but can be configured in a way to achieve logic-driven indirect tax treatment automation, thereby removing the need for users to make tax decisions on each transaction.

There is huge potential for this diamond but unfortunately, instead of turning this engine on and squeezing the throttle, most businesses that implement Oracle ERP receive a very basic/manual tax code selection setup (not an automated solution). The bigger shame is that they rarely see what can be achieved at its full potential, as it’s seldom installed. To add insult to injury, a poor implementation and lack of product understanding can also divert time/energy/resources to looking for an external tax solution!

Although 3rd party companies may provide a good alternative for some geographic or business specific requirements, most businesses find that eBTax/cloud tax engine meets their global requirements; it’s simply a case of working with a company that understands the ins and outs of product to maximize utilization of this software (that’s us btw)…

Our HQ is on the south coast of the UK, but we have representation and offices in the Netherlands, GCC and the US. I’m hoping to get close to our European solutions first, and then see if I can learn how our global solution has expanded to cater for some of the more complex tax obligations, e.g. in the United States with their Sales & Use tax requirements, the Middle East with their recent introduction of VAT, and everything in between like India, Canada, South America. Then I’ll start looking at the other bits I’ve become aware of like SAF-T, MTD, SII, Italian SDL, and how this all fits in with tax engine/eBTax

It’ll be a steep learning curve for sure, but watch this space: it’s going to be a lot of fun…!

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