Project Management support for VAT implementation

Sector: Retail

Why is it important?
Company, being one of the largest Retail players in the Gulf Region, had started implementing VAT from the beginning of 2017. The group operates in the region through more than 850 retail stores and uses five different ERP modules for recording the transactions in the entire supply chain.

In the entire VAT implementation project, we played an important role of a Project Manager and the key tasks which we undertook were as below:

While executing the engagement we encountered complexities in identifying various types of transactions which would be impacted under VAT due to controls and responsibilities spread across the organisation. The risk of missing out on any transaction was quite high as the ERP modules did not have sufficient monitoring/control. To overcome this, we had multiple rounds of discussions with business teams to validate the business scenarios to ensure completeness and discussed the same with IT teams handling the respective ERP modules so that the transactions-specific VAT logics were built in the systems.

Our role in the entire project was to identify the risk areas not only from a control perspective but also from tax position, compliance standpoint, commercial aspects, etc. As the engagement involved liasioning with multiple stakeholders, different teams, etc., coordination and completing the project on time was crucial. Considering this, our role was to monitor the entire project plan closely, and get the timelines aligned with cut-off date, i.e. 31 st December 2017. We had a full-time team at the company location for more than six months to work on the project.

Another challenge which we had to overcome was continuous co-ordination with business teams for process changes and providing real-time inputs and suggestions to the IT team on the system implementation front.

Apart from successful implementation, we also assisted the Company in overall trainings across the business operations such as finance, procurement, operations, HR, legal, sales and marketing, IT etc. All such trainings were conducted in multiple batches spread across a period of two months in both UAE and KSA for trainings related to respective VAT laws.
We also supported the Company extensively by conducting trainings for their AP /AR teams working from centralised location at India. We also assisted Company in liaising with FTA for resolving queries from time to time and provided real-time support during User Acceptance Tests (‘UAT’).

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