Case study: TripActions

Processing 175,000 TRNs every 45 minutes: How LimeLyte® Entity Manager transformed tax for TripActions

An overview…

We recently launched our brand new LimeLyte® Entity Manager solution – and world-leading corporate travel brand TripActions became the first organisation to implement it.

TripActions had previously struggled to accurately and efficiently check tax registration numbers (TRNs) upon invoicing businesses; a critical validation step that ensures compliance, particularly within the European Union (EU).

Best practice dictates that businesses should be checking VAT numbers every three months to ensure they are still valid and all the relevant information is up to date

By implementing LimeLyte® Entity Manager and running its customer, supplier and legal entity data through the platform, TripActions is able to:

  • Check and validate TRNs for the EU and the UK in a fraction of the time with only minimal human input.
  • Benefit from our processing capabilities that allow 175,000 TRNs to be checked in just 45 minutes.
  • Check and highlight any duplicate VAT numbers within its records.

What did TripActions require?

TripActions is renowned for taking care of organisations and their people as they cross the globe on business travel. It is one of the world’s largest and most acclaimed corporate travel management providers, trusted by over 4,000 companies each year to oversee everything from traveller safety to communications, travel programmes and disruption management.

In tax terms, the company faces a specific challenge due to the nature of its industry. After all, it stands to reason that international travel means international tax considerations. TripActions holds tax registrations across multiple jurisdictions, each with its own requirements and implications for tax compliance.

While TripActions provides services to many different types of customer, its corporate clients are largely registered for VAT themselves, often at both departure country and destination nation. It quickly becomes apparent that checking the TRNs has wider implications than just compliance, impacting upon tax treatment accuracy too.

Prior to working with us, TripActions relied upon a third-party supplier to run these checks manually, but often received no evidence this had been carried out. Lacking confidence with this arrangement, it faced a choice between deploying one of the ill-equipped tools on the market that are typically plagued by unreliability or running checks in-house, an option that would have been grossly inefficient.

It was at this point that we were able to propose LimeLyte® Entity Manager; a new product with an unprecedented level of accuracy and data processing power for helping businesses to tackle TRNs.

The solution

It’s true that there are some providers out there that offer a simple ‘search and match’ service for TRNs, connecting to an API to produce a basic record of whether a TRN is valid and matches the information held by the tax authority.

Indeed, the EU’s API is publicly available, so it is theoretically possible for a company to run these workflows in-house.

But in practice, this is a painstaking process that consumes monstrous quantities of time and money. The fact it is simply unviable for a global organisation like TripActions highlights its inefficiencies.

So why is LimeLyte® Entity Manager a gamechanger for TRN validation? We think its brilliance lies in the combination of its immense processing power – it can process 175,000 TRNs in just 45 minutes – and the incredible visibility and audibility it guarantees.

LimeLyte® Entity Manager maintains a record of exactly when each VAT registration number was last checked and, when TripActions comes back to check it again, it will show whether any update has been made.

Information pulled from the EU, UK or any other jurisdiction’s API will remain on our system, so if another client wishes to run a TRN check on a business it will be immediately available and won’t need to be run through a VIES checker as long as it occurs within three months of the last recorded check.

What has TripActions achieved with LimeLyte® Entity Manager?

TripActions’ tax team is now able to provide customer, supplier and legal entity data to run through LimeLyte® Entity Manager to automatically:

  • Check and validate TRNs for the EU and UK.
  • Check for and highlight any duplicate VAT numbers in use.

In addition to checking TRNs, LimeLyte® Entity Manager has the capability to go even further in empowering tax professionals with a truly 360-degree vantage of their VAT data by working to:

  • Group all TRNs to a single parent record.
  • Check both parent sites and the company’s ERP system.
  • Format all VAT numbers to remove spaces, erroneous punctuation and leading or trailing spaces.
  • List all entities where a VAT number must be formatted in any other way.
  • Highlight name and country mismatches, where the name uploaded is checked against what is registered to the VAT authority.
  • Validate all correct TRN country names, codes and customer/supplier information.

Gone are the days of TripActions either allocating vast internal resource to manually managing TRNs or, as was often the case, relying on suppliers to check VAT numbers on their behalf.

Instead, the entire process now requires only a simple file upload of transactional data for us to process hundreds of thousands of TRNs in a matter of hours and return a clear and concise report with all the relevant results. TripActions benefits from ultimate peace of mind that it has checked the TRN of every business it trades with and it has proof of doing so.

Testimonial

“As a global business, we needed a way to confirm and document that our customers’ VAT IDs are valid and up to date. LimeLyte® Entity Manager has helped us consolidate and document our VAT ID verification process.

“In addition to TRN validation, the tool provides detailed results that allow us to confirm legal names and addresses and, by extension, that we’ve got the correct IDs for our customers. 

“We are now able to seamlessly validate our customers’ VAT numbers and ensure a full compliance audit trail.”

Brent Gee
Tax Manager, TripActions

Key points

  • Check and validate TRNs for the EU and the UK in a fraction of the time with only minimal human input
  • Benefit from our processing capabilities that allow 175,000 TRNs to be checked in just 45 minutes
  • Check and highlight any duplicate VAT numbers within its records
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