SAP Concur plugs into VATBox to automate claimsby
Corporate expenses management giant SAP Concur has teamed up with specialist developer VATBox to analyse and automate VAT claims using artificial intelligence (AI).
The partnership between SAP Concur and VATBox will give Concur users access to an AI-powered compliance engine that assesses the global figures coming out of the expenses and accounts payable workflow, explained SAP director of product marketing, Rachel van der Merwe.
“SAP Concur expense data will flow into VATBox at the back end, where finance tries to drive visibility on VAT potential, or the unqualified claims you’re making.”
The VATBox online compliance reporting system is based on a library of international sales tax regulations that automates VAT filing and recovery. The program reduces the risk of non-compliance penalties and allows users to analyse and monitor the amounts being claimed, she added.
Covid accelerates demand
The Covid pandemic heightened the need for automated tools because so many countries have introduced temporary changes to their VAT rates and regimes.
“How do you manage that?” asked van der Merwe.
“What you see is companies thinking about how [they] can bring money that is due back in, while governments are wondering how they are going to pay for Covid. Down the line, that changes the way governments will look at monitoring and auditing expenses. The compliance risk will go up while they look to maximise cashflow into the business. VATBox will help them strike that balance.”
Covid hasn’t just changed VAT rules and regulations; corporate spending patterns have changed too, she continued. Pre-Covid, a lot of travel and expenses spending went on airfares on which VAT couldn’t be claimed claim back.
“Spending has gone down and normalised globally, but the types of expense have shifted, for example with higher mileage costs as people drive more, and more has been spent on office suppliers,” said van der Merwe.
Another factor driving demand is the potential for making historical claims, which can go back four years in the UK. “Spending that the organisation made pre-Covid is money you should be getting today,” she added.
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