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Why master data is the key to a successful SAP migration

Garbage in, garbage out’.

It’s a phrase we’ve heard used widely among IT professionals when discussing the importance of master data – and we completely understand why.

After all, if the raw data entering an ERP system is inaccurate or incomplete, the results it produces will be erroneous. That’s why mastering data has become not just a skill, but indeed an art, in modern business.

The value attached to concise, accurate master data is higher within tax departments than any other. Discrepancies can arguably be overcome more easily within other core business functions, whereas in tax the ultimate penalty looms: non-compliance – and consequently the risk of huge penalties.

Among the critical fields within a tax solution that businesses must fill with accurate data are:

  • Vendor data
  • Customer data
  • Tax rates
  • Inventory details
  • Transactional information

Each of these fields is significant in powering your technology to correctly determine tax, apply the relevant policies and to run accurate reports that meet the requirements set out by the tax authority within any jurisdiction.

Data are becoming the new raw material of business and it’s never been more important to manage such a valuable asset with optimum diligence to ensure only true and correct reports are submitted to tax authorities.

What’s that got to do with your shiny, new SAP S/4HANA system, we hear you ask?

Well, you wouldn’t buy a new top-of-the-range car and put the wrong fuel in it, would you?

SAP S/4HANA is no different. As the most sophisticated SAP system on the market, users will only realise its potential and the enormous operational benefits it brings by inputting clean and accurate data.

Those that fail to do so will suffer damage in two areas; financial (as a result of being fined for non-compliance) and reputational.

But those that leverage S/4HANA by entering and maintaining pure master data will benefit from:

  • Accurate determination and reporting of tax; resulting in a significantly reduced risk of non-compliance.
  • Enhanced visibility of the status of all tax transactions in real time – including any red flags, which will be few and far between and therefore simple to resolve on a case-by-case basis.
  • Huge cost savings due to operational gains.
  • Being in a position to capitalise on big data opportunities and drive greater data maturity.
  • Greater data insights, enabling them to maximise business intelligence and forecasting.

Aspirational businesses are constantly evolving the way in which they extract data from source systems and load it into their ERP to prepare compliant tax filings. Even with the best intentions, ensuring this process is seamless week after week, month after month can be challenging.

The good news is that tax technology is here to help by automating many of the key processes and driving new efficiencies; but you’ll need it to work in harmony with a master data cleansing tool for truly best-in-class results.

For more information on master data management or to find out how our LimeLyte® Entity Manager tool can help, get in touch today.