The GST regime in India has gone through massive changes since its inception back in 2017. There have been constant changes in the GST law, the release of new forms, GST updates and notifications circulating on a constant basis. Lately, there have been due date changes and introduction of new forms every other day due to the pandemic crises.
Recent announcement which confirms 1st Oct 2020 as the go-live date for e-invoicing and the new releases in the e-invoice data fields and specifications has further created a hustle.
With these constant changes, it has certainly become difficult for businesses to accommodate and implement them all. Keeping a track of the new due-dates and release of new notifications has become a tedious task considering the setbacks businesses are already facing citing the pandemic.
Hence, the IDT team needs to be equipped enough to handle the constant changes and updates. Here are a few ideas that can be implemented for a smooth workflow:
1. Switch to Cloud-based solutions:
Our 3 years of servicing corporate clients has given us an insight that many big businesses in India still prefer spread-sheets, and are dependent on ad hoc reports over a complete ERP system. The first change you should look for in the working of your Finance team is moving to an ERP. Once an ERP is in place, it becomes easier to undergo company-level changes like tax rate change or adoption of e-invoice etc.
Those already on ERP should look for cloud-based solutions for the IDT team as it is easier to manage product upgrades as per the change in GST regime over cloud. The IT teams must enable the changes that are required in their ERP software on priority to accommodate the GST changes. Businesses generally make use of the ERP software to fetch information, get HSN summary, filings and interlink all the departments among other tasks. It now needs to be re-aligned and prepare for all the changes done according to the new GST laws. The ERP system that businesses use must be equipped for the upcoming changes like e-invoicing and real-time uploading of invoices.
Security and data privacy has been one of the main concerns which often holds back businesses to adopt cloud-based solutions. However with more controls and cloud technology developments, businesses are now migrating towards cloud solutions, for the inherent benefits are available without compromising the security.
2. Define processes:
It is important to track all the GST changes and implement them accordingly. Once the changes are identified, a dedicated team can implement them effectively. A process needs to be set and followed. Information needs to travel appropriately from one point to another swiftly. Teams can use apps that are freely available or email communication for the same.
Automate the tasks that are possible to be automated. You can use GST Software applications for ease of business. Cloud-based GST Compliance and reconciliation software applications can help your team to collaborate on GST Return filing, GST Reconciliation and ITC maximization.
4. Uploading invoices and changes there-after:
The process of mandatory uploading of invoices with the GST portal will result in ‘follow-up’ changes. The changes may arise in the transaction considering delay or rejection of the supply. Thus, businesses need to take care of this entire process and manage it with efficiency. MSMEs may also have to decide and choose their vendors and dealers appropriately now that everything will be transparent and there is no scope for not showing invoices. The IDT teams need an easy to use e-invoicing solution and a GST Software Solution for seamless management.
5. Keeping track of vendors
With compliance being linked between vendors and recipients, especially from ITC claim perspective, it is necessary to know how your vendors are doing their compliance. Changing due dates, late filing and inaccurate reporting, all of these can adversely impact the businesses. Hence, keeping tab on vendors and the changes which directly are related, have to on radar constantly.
Issue is more when your vendors, especially small businesses, MSME’s do not have ERP or systems in place for their GST compliance. Government has empanelled 8 accounting and billing software applications, which are freely available for small taxpayers. Ensuring all your network is well equipped for compliance and the constant changes, will make matters easier for the businesses.
6. Government Schemes:
The government has released several schemes and measures for MSMEs to survive and thrive during this pandemic. Businesses must make the most of these schemes and avail the benefits of the measures that are being made available to them.
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