If you ask anybody in the little niche industry of indirect tax automation what the best day of a project is, most would answer; “go-live.” We disagree. It depends on perspective, perhaps, but no journey can begin without a first step. There is no project until an indirect tax solution is planned, a software vendor is chosen, and the contract is inked. Our vote, then, is the day the project begins. That day falls after the vendor selection process, which can be exhausting, but before all the unknowns hit the proverbial fan.
How do we get to the beginning? Most tax automation consultancy firms will follow a similar process:
Step 1: Business Requirements Gathering
It all starts with a series of workshops aimed at gathering information about your business requirements. What is driving your need? Why now? What are the indirect tax implications of your changing business landscape? The Business Requirements Document (BRD), or product of these sessions, drives everything afterwards.
Step 2: Vendor Demos
Once the BRD is completed, some of your key scenarios (perhaps the scenarios driving your need, or corner cases) can be chosen, so that a vendor’s ability to solve for them can be tested. You will probably want to draft RFP’s to the vendors on your list, which your automation partner can help with, and can include these corner cases. Then, vendors will come back with their suggestions. Your automation partner, if they are worth their fee, will separate the sales pitch from the pertinent data, and should have the experience to give you the straight answers if the vendor’s seem a little…crooked. If your firm has allegiances with a certain vendor over a competitor, as is often the case, you may not benefit from unbiased consultation here. However, if you have chosen the right firm, they will have a live environment and partnerships with multiple vendors, and can really play with your scenarios to find the most logical solution, while demonstrating before your eyes how they got there. Logic wins, after all, once you’ve taken greased palms out of the equation.
Step 3: Evaluation Process
After the demonstrations, there are likely to be additional questions and concerns that have arisen, and those should be discussed. Also, a scorecard of the different solution options can be made and addressed by stakeholders, your tax and IT teams, and your tax automation partners, who will continue to separate the fact and fiction.
Step 4: Vendor Selection
Congratulations, you have made a very important choice.
Step 5: Solution Proposal
After the selection is made, your automation partner should create a solution proposal, which outlines the project budget and timeline. Project details, calendar, and resource planning will need to be hammered out here.
If you look around a little, you will find that even though the process may have a different naming convention, it is still essentially the same. How, then, can you choose the right firm to shepherd you through this process, from the first meeting to production and beyond?
Perhaps we can shed some light on that here.
The Tytho Advantage
Whether or not you choose to work with Tytho, we want to spend some time talking about why a firm like ours could suit your needs perfectly. We are a small firm. We have focus. You aren’t going to be lost in the shuffle. You will have a chance to interact with our top professionals, our managing partners, our subject matter experts; the whole team. Now, if you like the idea of a Big 4 approach, be comforted by this: several of our top experts have big 4 experience; they left to join a smaller team where they can have more impact. Some of our consultants and associates started out with Sabrix, back before Thomson Reuters bought it and re-branded it into ONESOURCE. Others came from the Vertex world. You’ll get the value of big-4 experience, the ERP and tax expertise, the project veterans, the in-house bolt-on custom integration experts, and the hard-won knowledge of the myriad ways in which these projects try and fail, or better; succeed.
At Tytho, we have our own SAP ECC 6.0 system, running the best, most up-to-date Vertex and ONESOURCE software and connectors, as well as our own products; Tytho Indirect Tax Logic (ITL) and Vat Number Validation Tool. Tytho ITL, for your information, is a solution that works within SAP’s native tax solution, to enable complex transactions in a highly configurable and transparent way. Effectively, it functions like a bolt-on, without the added cost.
Beyond our active SAP system, we have partnerships with Vertex and Thomson Reuters which allow for custom solutions to be available when needed. For instance, we recently enjoyed a successful go-live of ONESOURCE Compliance Software for a large media company’s EMEA operations, in which 30+ entities in 18 countries moved their compliance to a centralized, single compliance solution. For this project, Tytho partnered with Thomson Reuters, who created a custom data extract to send pertinent AR and AP data to the Compliance tool. The effect: increased control, centralization and consolidation of the media company’s EMEA compliance operation. This was possible because of our vibrant partnership with Thomson Reuters.
To request our assistance with vendor selection, or for a demo of one or more of the products that we offer, please contact us to begin the conversation!