Introducing VAT IT & ITESOFT partnership.
Part 1 of our latest 5 part series, introducing our newest partners, VAT IT.
Join Nick Dunnett, Managing Director of ITESOFT UK and Jamie Breslaw, Global Finance Operations Manager of VAT IT as they introduce themselves, and their businesses.
Taking a quick look at where the companies originate, why they do what they do, and how they can help anyone in the Finance or AP world.
Part 1 of a new 5 part ITESOFT Insider View series.
Watch the video, listen to the podcast or read the transcript below.
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Introducing VAT IT & ITESOFT
Nick Dunnett: Welcome to the latest ITESOFT Insider View.
My name is Nick Dunnett and I am the managing director for ITESOFT in the UK, I have been with the organisation for just over 10 years.
I am delighted to welcome along Jamie from VAT IT, one of our partners.
Jamie, would you like to introduce yourself.
Jamie Breslaw: Thank you, I have been with VAT IT for two years now based in our London head office.
My background, I spent 5.5 years, wonderful years, at BDO based in Baker Street, learning my trade in the accountancy profession, and then worked my way into industry.
Into the quirky and exciting tax field with a passion for helping clients and for VAT.
That is my background.
Who is VAT IT?
In terms of VAT IT, we have been around since 2000.
We had two founders that started the business based in South Africa, driving around in an old banger, it was old Toyota conquest, researching and finding entrepreneurial solutions for clients in the largely unknown area of VAT reclaim.
Essentially our business was grown out of finding solutions for clients.
Now we have built it from those humble beginnings into a large global business.
We have 46 branches worldwide, speak 53 different languages and have relationships with tax offices all over the world.
We have branches in Virginia and New York if you are going left to right, to Sydney on the other side.
That’s essentially us, with 13,000 clients that we are helping to service, and continually growing as we reach out to try and help more clients that are largely unaware of this field.
The VAT IT Value Proposition.
Nick: Ok, thank you, so what is it that you are offering to your customers that is unique in the way you are doing it?
Jamie: So for us we have this unique blend between people and technology.
So essentially, there are mechanisms within law (EU Law) that allow you to reclaim VAT, many companies don’t have the knowledge, it is administratively very heavy.
There are language barriers, different legislation in each country etc.
We overcome all those barriers and deal with it end to end for our clients, and just charge a contingency fee.
What this means for our clients is that there is no cost that you have to build into a budget upfront. It is purely recovery at the end if you are not already recovering the VAT.
No Upfront Costs!
There’s no upfront costs, no hidden costs, it is pure cash back to the business when a lot of companies are just expensing the VAT on those foreign transactions at the moment.
The other thing that we like to see ourselves as, with the international tax landscape, is that a lot of our clients have come to us because they are dealing with a truly global business. Where they can’t manoeuvre through one point of contact the international landscape.
So rather than them building a network of 10 to 20 accountants and advisors around the world, they deal with us and have one dedicated point of contact.
We coordinate your operations with our network of branches, our relationships with tax offices worldwide, and assist with visibility in the reporting so that our clients have that ease of service.
Using technology, but also with those smart people there to help support, educate and add value to your business.
Saving Money For Businesses Of All Sizes
Nick: Brilliant, I guess the amount of money that people can reclaim is highly variable.
Jamie: Absolutely, so it is variable depending on the client, as we help SME’s to Large Enterprise, sometimes the recovery on a service costs, service based can be employee heavy, the more employees the more opportunities there are.
If you have less employees travelling abroad, but they are higher level, the recovery can still be high.
With goods, its not necessarily an employee play, it is the movement of goods & transactions within that international landscape that pick up foreign VAT, whether correctly or incorrectly, where we assist our clients and make sure that they are doing things compliantly, and that they are recovering what they can.
The ITESOFT Story.
Nick: Thank you, so let me give a little bit about ITESOFT as well, so that your customers and anyone new to this knows a bit more about us.
Historically quite similar in the way that we were founded. Again, entrepreneurial, single individual in our case. Based in the South of France near Montpellier.
He was looking at his own office, in the corner he had a shoebox full of everything that was helping him run his small IT consultancy.
He had contracts, client contracts, expenses, invoices, you name it, its in there. He looked at the box and said there has to be a way of digitalising this and supporting the business processes that go with it.
Out of that, some 30 years ago, the journey that ITESOFT has been on to deliver that for organisations was born.
Understanding Clients Needs.
That’s what we are about as an organisation, for us, it is about understanding that our customers world is incredibly complex and changing all the time.
With more information being thrown at them, more documents coming towards them, and supporting them in that way.
Having more people involved in processes, processes that need to change and evolve as the world moves faster and faster, organisations need to speed up to keep up.
On top of all of that, there is government legislation, there’s compliance requirements, there is the detection of fraud and the prevention of fraud.
Helping customers in all 3 of those areas is absolutely critical to us and we ensure and want to make sure that we deliver business digital transformation for organisations that allows them to operate in a smarter, faster and safer way.
That’s absolutely critical. By being smarter, by using AI technology that we have built and developed for them, they are able to see returns and improvements up to a factor of 10.
Smarter. Faster. Safer
By using a business process engine, that is recognised by Gartner, we are able to ensure that the ability to adapt ad evolve with processes can happen.
And by using some unique fraud detection elements we can look at the documents, we know that documents are the basis for some 85% of fraud that happens in a business environment.
We are able to look at the graphometry changes that may have happened to those original documents by people editing them in photoshop and things like that to manipulate those documents so we can notify people. And we can the notify in advance because the worst thing in fraud prevention is paying out the money and then trying to claim it back. If you can stop it before it happened that’s the best possible thing.
Technology To Support Businesses.
Jamie: I think the beauty around what you said around the digitalisation, and that you have technology set up to essentially make that process more efficient.
We have a custom-built technology for a VAT reclaim setting, with the complexities in things like legislation. Different rules for different countries. We have that built into our rules engine.
And then using OCR built in to be able to efficiently scale to be able to read 1000’s of invoices is just an absolutely massive pull that is going to save so much time, cost, administrative burden. People can be doing value added tasks and there’s really good synergies in what we do.
Guaranteeing 85% Capture Rates.
Nick: Absolutely, absolutely. Our AP solution is allowing us to guarantee a level of at least 85% throughput from this. The majority of our customers are seeing well over 90% in what they are able to achieve.
This means that we are getting it there. We are turning a piece of paper, or an email invoice received, into a digital document that is being stored in a legally compliant way to enable organisation to process that more quickly, more efficiently, see those 10X savings.
Get those invoices into a position where they can pay them more quickly and give them the time to look at things like the VAT implications of this.
Jamie: and then us coming in and compliantly, in line with legislation, providing that claim. Where ultimately our fee is determined on the tax office giving us the finds back.
So, for us to get a refund for you, and therefor ourselves, it all has to be compliant.
And that compliance point in an international landscape is a difficult one to manoeuvre, where we can help our clients.
The Synergies Between VAT IT & ITESOFT
Nick: I think the key synergy between what we are both offering here, is the ability to give customers either, indirect money back through improvements and performance, or direct money back in terms of reclaims on VAT.
But all of that goes straight back onto the bottom line for our customers and to their business.
And so, the synergy is that, the quicker you get the invoice through the process, you can make that reclaim more quickly, which reduces the delay in that.
There’s always a delay, it’s going to governments, but if you reduce that as much as possible, and mean that companies aren’t sitting there waiting for 2 or 3 years to be able to get this money, back, it can happen much more quickly.
Save Time. Save Money.
Jamie: And that’s just the time factor, a lot of companies will say it isn’t in the project plan for this year and we don’t have the budget for it.
What I urge those companies to do is to say, well if you deal with this now it is going to save you so much time with your current processes so just get on with it.
And at the same time, when implementing something like ITESOFT, essentially by engaging with our services in partnership together, essentially, we can help fund the implementation as a return on investment.
So, there is no reason, or even a requirement for you to have this factored into budget.
Don’t be scared of change, don’t wait, go ahead with this and let’s use these partners that we trust to assist our business.
Nick: Absolutely! Wonderful! Thank you, Jamie, for that introduction to VATIT.
Jamie: Thank you.
Nick: Thank you to you for joining us on this episode of the ITESOFT Insider View.
We look forward to joining you next time. We are going to continue some of these discussions and look at some specific examples of industry sectors where there has been benefits and e can talk through that.
Hopefully, you can join us for that one too.
Want to know more about VAT IT? Get in touch with Jamie directly on LinkedIn!
Or check out the VAT IT Website.