The tax reformation is new for the oil-reliant UAE economy, which has enjoyed a luxuriant tax-free lifestyle for the longest time. As a result of collapsing oil prices, some goods and services are subject to the lowest rate of five percent excise—to boost non-oil revenue.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) advised oil-exporting Gulf countries to introduce taxes for the same reason. In addition, IMF recommends levy of taxes on business profits as well. According to a Forbes report, the UAE is expected to draw US$3.3bn revenue from its first tax-imposed year. The VAT makes perfect sense because of its economic diversification efforts to re-establish fiscal balance. But following the announcements on the five percent VAT, which came into effect on 1st January, there has been some struggle in understanding its implementation.

Mr. Vikas Panchal, business head of Tally Solutions speaks more about the successful launch of ERP 9 Release 6.3, which offers a seamless VAT experience for businesses and consultants.

Excerpts from the Interview:

The country’s proposition as a tax-free haven has changed. Apart from the software launch, what role does Tally Solutions play to ease the change?

Tally Solutions was started in 1968 and we have qualified experience in this business for more than 30 years. Being one of the leaders in statutory compliance, we understand the requirement to implement a solution that satisfies the VAT scenario for all business enterprises.

First, we conducted a lot of pre-VAT sessions for business owners who cannot afford to extract that form of quick expertise. We carried out more than 500 VAT sessions for nearly 8,000 businesses in order to build a foundation and bring exposure in the right way. In addition, we also have live webinar sessions for people who are not able to travel to other locations. The webinars allow them to attend sessions and gain better insight. The contents are available at zero cost on our website, YouTube and social media. The registration for a session is quite simple on the website. Our intent is to keep all channels open for people to understand general information on VAT how to implement Tally. There is a also a toll-free number to address all queries.

When was the VAT accounting software ERP 9 Release 6.3 launched?

We launched the software in mid-December before the VAT was implemented. This gave our existing customers sufficient time to migrate to a VAT enabled software. Most of our customers were able to generate VAT invoice on January 1.

VAT is a new complex system for businesses of all kinds in the UAE. Can you give us an example on the working mechanism of the software?

The current version Tally.ERP 9 Release 6.4 is totally complaint with the VAT regulation defined by Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in UAE and by The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) KSA. So far, we have incorporated all the requirements. One of the key strengths of the software is its simplicity. It can be seamlessly implemented for total accounting and business management solution.

For example, businesses using the software can continue with their business operations such as purchase and sale, and all the VAT complexities will be managed by the software. Concerns such as the technicalities of statutory compliance is completely wiped out and the configurations are in sync with the regulations to generate reports.

Who are the target users?

All businesses naturally becomes our target customers. But it is ideal for SMEs and mid-sized enterprises to implement the software. The Tally software is suitable for one man show run businesses which want to manage everything from operations to finances. As the business grow advanced features can be enable and works well for large organisations as well.

How suitable is the software for tax accountants and consultants?

The software is a tool which will help VAT accountants and consultants to implement accounting and statutory compliance for customers in a much much better way. Our software provides 100% assurity on the reports generated. The users have to take a look and verify it.

You said the software is highly reliable because of its up-to-date compliance with VAT regulations. Can you elaborate?

We closely work with Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well. Ultimately, they are the people who will verify and certify. So any statutory report generated by the Tally software provides complete confidence in its accuracy. Since we work well with ICAI we are invited to participate in their events and share our knowledge in terms of IT implementation in this space.

We are very very proactive in incorporating the amendments the government has introduced. For example, the designated zone amendment that came after January 1 is incorporated in our software. We ensure any amendment that is introduced will be incorporated within a short span.

So how do your clients feel about the VAT-ready experience the software brings?

The feedback has been really amazing. We have ensured to capture a few customer testimonials. Initially, the customers were skeptical of its first-time implementation, but they slowly realised the complexities are taken care of by the software. At this point, all our customers are really cherishing the solutions it offers.

In the May 2018 issue, tax expert Mohamed Fathy, General Manager of Dubai-based consultancy Al Dhaheri Jones & Clark spells out the intricacies of VAT and its impact on the UAE economy

Vikas Panchal – Business Head, Tally Solutions – Middle East

Vikas heads business development and operations for Tally Solutions Pvt. Ltd in the Middle East. He completed his MBA and did a Management Program from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He holds 20 years of comprehensive experience in channel development and direct sales in IT Industry.

Prior to working with Tally Solutions, Vikas held key positions at Sify Limited (Leading Broadband Company) and SSI Limited. His past experience and various levels of responsibilities hold testimony to his versatile personality. Vikas has been associated with Tally for almost 10 years and deeply understands the company’s vision and goals.

Currently as the Business Development and Operations Head for Middle East, he is largely responsible for building and leading MENA Strategy to achieve Tally’s dominance in the region. He prepares the company’s annual strategy and ensures its effective execution. Building a stronger distribution network, working in sync with the country leads to achieve a wider dominance in countries of operations through channel expansion and development, are some of the core areas he oversees. He is closely working with influencers (CA’s and CPA’s) to monitor industry developments and influence those developments to support overall goals for all. While he is not working, Vikas loves to travel and watch movies.