Mr. Niraj Hutheesing, Founder Director, Cygnet Infotech was invited as a Key Speaker at Conference on Goods and Service Tax(GST) at ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chamber of Commerce & Industry of India) in association with Finance Department, Government of India. Niraj delivered a talk on ‘Impact of GST on IT Systems. The conference was hosted in Ahmedabad and Vadodara city in a span of two months.
ASSOCHAM is known as the knowledge architect of India, who has initiated a value creation endeavor and contributed to significantly playing a catalytic role shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country and constantly propelled Indian economy.
A summary of the talk addressed by Niraj - Impact of GST on IT systems, an overview of GST network and how the supply-chain channel will be aligned with the forecasted changes. For inquisitive readers, the actual talk is here:
What are the implications of GST on the IT industry?
“CTRL+ALT+DEL, We need to UNLEARN the old ways of doing business right NOW.”
The biggest implication of GST on IT is industry is – Tons of new business! GST is a bigger wave than Y2K problem. When in Y2K the 4-digit was resolved easily with a 2-digit replacement, GST is a SEA-CHANGE! While Y2K bug impacted the entire IT system, GST implementation will impact all ERP systems for all clients active within the GST network. Implementing IT in GST will make faster and speedier refunds for exporters - a less bureaucratic way of working and remove the need for taking multiple different registrations under VAT, Excise and Service tax.
If you look at it closely, the whole financial network needs to update themselves with relation to GST. Popular financial accounting systems affected are ERP, SAP, Oracle Business suite, TALLY, Saral Accounting, FACE, RAMCO ERP, Quick books, ERPNext, Microsoft Navigation ERP, Odoo, Sage Accounting to name a few. Modules like Sales, GL, Purchase, Inventory, Accounting and taxation – GST touches them ALL! Monitoring inward and outward supply, purchase and supply done by a trader - ‘Reconciliation’, ‘Reconciliation’ and more of ‘Reconciliation’ is what will be focused upon on. GST Suvidha Provider(GSP) will facilitate the industry, Chartered accountants, individual tax-payers to have a faster, quicker and better access of GST network. Further assisting them to upload/download and work on data much faster.
GST return filing is again a process which involves filing against each invoice raised for each item involved – to maintain complete transparency, promoting error-free filing and ease of doing business – GST is going digital. It’s manually impossible for a taxpayer or chartered accountant to envision return filing as manual task daily! They will be dealing with tons and tons of data in form of invoices every single day!
Complete Digitization for GST return filing comes as an extension of the approach where GSTN (Goods and Service Tax Network) aims to implement simple filing process for tax payers. Online return filing is envisioned to dramatically increase tax collections by reducing leakages with matching tools for credit, pattern detection and so on to ascertain that tax evasion can be ruled out. Digitization and automation of all processes is much sought after and promoted.
Few of the impending questions:
Why is IT solution so important in the GST ecosystem?
For any MSME or large organization, it is practically impossible to work without a robust IT system when GST is enabled. Imagine working in midst of sheer volume of data with timely reporting which goes in line item wise in each invoice, all these complications ensure that a robust IT infrastructure and scalable system is in place.
What difference does it make when IT is implemented with existing business processes?
Speed, Accuracy, Timely Reconciliation and Automated processes for reminders of discrepancies are some basic benefits of IT enabled business processes. A quality IT process will help in a higher tax compliance and easy availability of data during government departments clarifications or scrutinization.
I have an accounting software in place, do I still need to implement IT solution?
Yes. First your accounting software must be compliant with GST records keeping and an IT solution is required to file your returns online in a speedy and accurate manner if you wish to avoid dual manual labour.
Why do we do it? What should we do?
First and foremost,
- Talk to your tax consultant to understand the changes you will need in your system.
- Talk to a qualified GSP Technology Provider who can provide you a quality infrastructure which will automate your tax filling and provide you enriched API’s by which you can have speedier reconciliation of your filled returns.
What is a setback for tax-payers due to complete digitization, is a move by Government is to eradicate the cascading tax policy and smoothen the tax-structure with a flat implementation. Software and services sector face a major challenge of setting up huge data centre to cater to the huge chunk of data, best in-class IT infrastructure, eminent knowledge pool and skill set to develop intuitive software solutions, closely working with chartered accountants – learning the ropes for financial systems, in-depth know how of financial world and taxation and lot more!
What about tax-payers staying at remote location and having no internet access?
With ‘Complete Digitization’ GST will go online and will be data-driven. Internet access is a DIRE necessity. Considering, the volume of data, invoices generated, GST touchpoints will increase and return filing will be lengthier. Tax-payers struggling with legacy software, those with existing accounting software awaiting GST patch – Contacting a Licensed GSP is the Key to SUCCESS.
To sync with the new taxation policies and smoothen the transition, taxpayers i.e. traders, SME business and Corporates need to brace up fast and quick! To save businesses from disarray, they need to give a serious thought on what to do with IT system post GST implementation to make it GST compliant.
Traders at present are stuck in a maze with doubts and queries on the draft GST rules rolled out by Govt. and the other predicted guidelines. With economic digitization, they need to revisit their business strategy. An area which traders and businessmen miss-to-think is –
‘How are they planning to incorporate it in their IT systems?’
Cygnet Infotech is nominated as one of the leading technology provider for GST in India.
Stay Ahead in the GST Curve with Cygnet Infotech GSP and experience ease of doing business.