Archive for the ‘Corporate Perfomance Management’ category

VAT registration U.A.E. – act now deadlines are imminent

October 17th, 2017

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) online portal is open 24/7 to allow for taxpayers to register for VAT purposes. The FTA has also determined the deadlines for the application for VAT registration based on business turnover.
For larger companies VAT registration is required by 31 October 2017, and such businesses should
immediately consider the timeline requirement given their turnover profile and the other registration
requirements.
Businesses that are required to register for VAT will need to set up an online account on the FTA website and complete the VAT registration form.

The FTA has announced that a phased registration approach has been introduced. In particular, those businesses that meet these criteria must comply with the relevant application dates for registration:
● Businesses with an annual turnover exceeding AED 150 million must apply for registration by
31 October 2017
● Businesses with an annual turnover exceeding AED 10 million must apply for registration by 30 November 2017

● Remaining businesses with an annual turnover exceed the mandatory registration threshold
(expected to be AED 375,000) must apply for registration by 4 December 2017
Prior to the fulfilment of the VAT registration form, the FTA provides a “Getting Started Guide” that shares essential information that businesses should be aware of. This includes information on the registration criteria, registration of a VAT group, and necessity to register if only zero-rated supplies are made.

Additional details clarifying the VAT registration mechanism are found in the VAT registration guide, a document posted on FTA online portal under the “Advice” tab. This document captures the
calculation of turnover for VAT purposes, a walk-through of VAT registration through the FTA
registration portal, registration of a VAT group and types of books and records required to be held by a
taxpayer to ensure accurate tax compliance.

We strongly advise for businesses to visit the FTA website to initiate their VAT registration application by
their applicable deadline after having considered the guidance provided by the FTA and other advice
as required (for instance VAT Grouping).
Businesses should allow time to compile the required information for the VAT registration.

VAT in the U.A.E. – time to act.

October 16th, 2017


VAT, as a general consumption tax, will apply to the majority of transactions in goods and services. A limited number of reliefs may be granted.

As a result, the cost of living is likely to increase slightly, but this will vary depending on an individual’s lifestyle and spending behaviour. If an individual spends mainly on those things which are relieved from VAT, he is unlikely to see any significant increase.

The government will include rules that require businesses to be clear about how much VAT an individual is required to pay for each transaction. Based on this information, individuals can decide whether to buy something.

Implication of VAT on businesses

Businesses will be responsible for carefully documenting their business income, costs and associated VAT charges. Businesses that meet the minimum annual turnover requirement (as evidenced by their financial records) will be required to register for VAT. Businesses that do not think that they should be VAT registered should maintain their financial records in any event, in case the ministry needs to establish whether they should be registered. The FTA does have the power to conduct audits on taxable persons and subsequently impose penal measures on those that are not compliant with the law.

A business must register if the total value of their taxable supplies made within the UAE exceeds the mandatory registration threshold over the previous 12 month period, or they anticipate making taxable supplies with a value exceeding the mandatory registration threshold in the next 30 days.

The mandatory registration threshold is AED 375,000.

A business may also apply to register if they do not meet the mandatory registration criteria and the total value of their taxable supplies or taxable expenditure in the previous 12 months exceeds the voluntary registration threshold, or they anticipate that the total value of their taxable supplies or taxable expenditure will exceed the voluntary registration threshold in the next 30 days.

The voluntary registration threshold is AED 187,500.

For the purposes of understanding whether a registration obligation exists, a taxable supply refers to a supply of goods or services, made by a business in the U.A.E., that may be taxed at a rate of either 5%, or 0%. Imports are also taken into consideration for this purpose, when a supply of such goods or services would be taxable when made within the U.A.E.

VAT registration require some official documents. Before submission of an application some important documents must be completed. Businesses will get VAT registration in the form of a VAT certificate, with the help of official documents. Every VAT certificate will have a specific identification number. The identification number will be essential for all the tasks to be carried out for VAT in UAE.

The process for VAT registration and fee submission will be done online. Following documents are required for the registration of VAT in UAE.
1. Copy of Trade License
2. Passport copy of the owner/partners who owns the license
3. Copy of Emirates ID of the owner/partners who owns the license
4. Memorandum of Association (MOA)
5. Contact Details of company (complete address & P.O Box)
6. Concerned person contact details
7. Email of the concerned person
8. Copy of all bank accounts and statements including IBAN
9. Owner has any other entities?
10. Income statement for the last 12 months
11. Expected revenue and expense for the next 30 days after VAT implementation
12. Are they exporting, or importing?
13. Are they dealing with any custom department? If yes. What is the custom code?
14. Are they doing business with any other G.C.C. country? (Country name)
15. If these are representing more than one entity, whether they want one tax group number for allof the entities, or separate tax numbers for each entity.
16.Experience of business (Owners or directors involved in any previous businesses before for the last 5 years?)

The submission of the documents will be done when you have registered online.
After online VAT registration and fees payments, you will be allowed to submit the documents. After the verification of the documents and completion of the process, a VAT certificate will be provided.

VAT will be charged at 0% in respect of the following main categories of supplies:

Exports of goods and services to outside the GCC States that implement VAT
International transportation, and related supplies
Supplies of certain sea, air and land means of transportation (such as aircrafts and ships)
Certain investment grade precious metals (e.g. gold, silver, of 99% purity)
Newly constructed residential properties, that are supplied for the first time within 3 years of their construction
Supply of certain education services, and supply of relevant goods and services
Supply of certain Healthcare services, and supply of relevant goods and services

The following categories of supplies will be exempt from VAT:

the supply of some financial services
Residential properties
Bare land
Local passenger transport

Registered businesses and traders will charge VAT to all of their customers at the prevailing rate and incur VAT on goods/services that they buy from suppliers. The difference between these sums is reclaimed or paid to the government.

VAT-registered businesses generally:
• must charge VAT on taxable goods or services they supply
• may reclaim any VAT they have paid on business-related goods or services
• keep a range of business records which will allow the government to check that they have got things right.

VAT-registered businesses must report the amount of VAT they have charged and the amount of VAT they have paid to the government on a regular basis. It will be a formal submission and it is likely that the reporting will be done online.

If they have charged more VAT than they have paid, they have to pay the difference to the government. If they have paid more VAT than they have charged, they can reclaim the difference.

Please note there will be a year end rush on consulting services we have already received over 100 inquiries for software consulting support so don’t leave it too late.

Security security security

September 26th, 2017

You never know when some item that queries or alters data in SQL Server will cause issues.

Bruce Schneier recently commented on FaceID and Bluetooth security, the latter of which has a vulnerability issue. I was amazed to see his piece on infrared camera hacking. A POC on using light to jump air gaps is truly frightening. It seems that truly anywhere that we are processing data, we need to be thinking (see https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/09/attackers-can-use-surveillance-cameras-to-grab-data-from-air-gapped-networks/)

Airborne attacks, unfortunately, provide a number of opportunities for the attacker. First, spreading through the air renders the attack much more contagious, and allows it to spread with minimum effort. Second, it allows the attack to bypass current security measures and remain undetected, as traditional methods do not protect from airborne threats. Airborne attacks can also allow hackers to penetrate secure internal networks which are “air gapped,” meaning they are disconnected from any other network for protection. This can endanger industrial systems, government agencies, and critical infrastructure. With BlueBorne, attackers can gain full control right from the start. Moreover, Bluetooth offers a wider attacker surface than WiFi, almost entirely unexplored by the research community and hence contains far more vulnerabilities

Finally, unlike traditional malware or attacks, the user does not have to click on a link or download a questionable file. No action by the user is necessary to enable the attack.

Fully patched Windows and iOS systems are protected

– the Equifax breach for example must worry everyone who has ever had credit in the USA. (Hackers broke into Equifax’s computer systems in March, which is two months earlier than the company had previously disclosed, according to a Wall Street Journal report.)

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that a cyber breach of a filing system it uses may have provided the basis for some illegal trading in 2016. In a statement posted on the SEC’s website, Chairman Jay Clayton said a review of the agency’s cybersecurity risk profile determined that the previously detected “incident” was caused by “a software vulnerability” in its EDGAR filing system (which processes over 1.7 million electronic filings in any given year.) The agency also discovered instances in which its personnel used private, unsecured email accounts to transmit confidential information.

So let me suggest take a good look at your systems and be honest – do you feel safe?

Microsoft has released Microsoft 365, a complete, intelligent solution, including Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely. Watch Satya introduce it.

What about your websites?
Although acts of vandalism such as defacing corporate websites are still commonplace, hackers prefer to gain access to the sensitive data residing on the database server and then to sell the data.

The costs of not giving due attention to your web security are extensive and apart form direct financial burden and inconvenience also risks:
• Loss of customer confidence, trust and reputation with the consequent harm to brand equity
• Negative impact on revenues and profits arising e.g. from falsified transactions, or from
employee downtime
• Website downtime – is in effect the closure of one of the most important sales and marketing channels
especially for an e-business
• Legal battles and related implications from Web application attacks and poor security
measures including fines and damages to be paid to victims.

Web Security Weaknesses
Hackers will attempt to gain access to your database server through any way they can e.g. out of date protocols on a router. Two main targets are :
• Web and database servers.
• Web applications.

Information about such exploits are readily available on the Internet, and many have been reported on this blog previously.

Web Security Scanning
So no surprise that Web security should contain two important components: web and database server security, and web application security.

Addressing web application security is as critical as addressing server security.

Firewalls and similar intrusion detection mechanisms provide little defense against full-scale web
attacks.
Since your website needs to be public, security mechanisms allow public web traffic to
communicate with your web and databases servers (i.e. over port 80).

It is of paramount importance to scan the security of these web assets on the network for possible vulnerabilities. For example, modern database systems (e.g. Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL) may be
accessed through specific ports and so anyone can attempt direct connections to the databases to try and bypass the security mechanisms used by the operating system. These ports remain open to allow communication with legitimate traffic and therefore constitute a major vulnerability.

Other weaknesses relate to the database application itself and the use of weak or default passwords by
administrators. Vendors patch their products regularly, and equally regularly find new ways of
attack.

75% of cyber attacks target weaknesses within web applications rather than directly at the
servers. Hackers launch web application attacks on port 80 . Web applications are more open to uncovered vulnerabilities since these are generally custom-built and therefore pass through a lesser degree of
testing than off-the-shelf software.

Some hackers, for example, maliciously inject code within vulnerable web applications to trick users
and redirect them towards phishing sites. This technique is called Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and may
be used even though the web and database servers contain no vulnerability themselves.

Hence, any web security audit must answer the questions “which elements of our network
infrastructure are open to hack attacks?”,
“which parts of a website are open to hack attacks?”, and “what data can we throw at an application to cause it to perform something it shouldn’t do?”

Ask us about Acunetix and Web Security
Acunetix ensures web site security by automatically checking for SQL Injection, Cross Site Scripting,
and other vulnerabilities. It checks password strength on authentication pages and automatically
audits shopping carts, forms, dynamic content and other web applications. As the scan is being
completed, the software produces detailed reports that pinpoint where vulnerabilities exist

Management reporter 2012 CU16 recent hotfixes

September 10th, 2017

Hotfix 3813390 can be downloaded here:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/Files/customer/MgmtReporter/Downloads/Servicepacks/ManagementReporter2012-CU16-Hotfix-3813390-en-us-update.exe

This hotfix addresses the issue where user security may be removed during Company to Company mapping when there is a SQLException.
If a SQLException occurs during the AX 2012 Companies to Company integration task, such as SQL server being offline, then users may be removed from the security groups in Management Reporter Security and from reporting tree definitions.
Once the cause of the SQL exception is corrected, the data mart integration task will complete, and users will once again be synchronized from Dynamics AX and added to Management Reporter Security, except they will have new user IDs.
The users with new IDs are then not added to the groups/trees that they were in previously.
This issue is logged as bug 3813390. Hotfix 3813390 prevents this issue from occurring.


Hotfix 3815274 is an optional hotfix that can be applied to CU16.
It can be loaded to revert a CU16 change with reporting tree rollups.
The hotfix will allow children nodes to be rolled up to a parent that contains a Dimension filter.
Before making any changes, be sure to have a backup of the MRServiceHost.settings.config file.
You can then do the following:
1. Open the Management Reporter Configuration Console.
You will need to be logged in as a user that has the Administrator role in MR, when starting the console.
2.Stop both the Process Service and the Application Service.
3.Navigate to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics ERP\Management Reporter\2.1\Server\Services\MRServiceHost.settings.config”
4.Edit the config file in Notepad and then add the following line.
This will change the functionality such that dimension filters on summary tree units will be ignored (pre-CU15 functionality):

This new line should be added before the

1.Save your changes and close Notepad.
2.In the Management Reporter Configuration Console, start the Process Service and the Application Service.
Once the services are restarted, re-generate your reports for the changes to be applied.

Hotfix 3815274 can be downloaded here:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/files/customer/MgmtReporter/Downloads/ProductReleases/ManagementReporter2012-CU16-Hotfix-3815274-en-us-update.exe

GDPR Affects All European Businesses – What about the G.C.C. and U.A.E.?

August 19th, 2017

See our previous article on this topic for why your company may be affected if you are a branch of a European company, or have branches in Europe, or trade with a European company.

From May 25, 2018, companies with business operations inside the European Union must follow the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to safeguard how they process personal data “wholly or partly by automated means and to the processing other than by automated means of personal data which form part of a filing system or are intended to form part of a filing system.”

The penalties set for breaches of GDPR are up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover.
For large companies like Microsoft that have operations within the EU, making sure that IT systems do not contravene GDPR is critical. As we saw on August 3, even the largest software operations like Office 365 can have a data breach.

Many applications can store data that might come under the scope of GDPR. the regulation has a considerable influence over how tenants deal with personal data. The definition of personal data is “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.”
GDPR goes on to define processing of personal data to be “any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.”

That means that individuals have the right to ask companies to tell them what of their personal data a company holds, and to correct errors in their personal data, or to erase that data completely.

Companies therefore need to:
- review and know what personal data they hold,
- make sure that they obtain consents from people to store that data,
– protect the data,
- and notify authorities when data breaches occur.

On first reading, this might sound like what companies do – or at least try to do – today. The difference lies in the strength of the regulation and the weight of the penalties should anything go wrong.

GDPR deserves your attention.

The definitions used by GDPR are broad. To move from the theoretical to the real world an organization first needs to understand what personal data it currently holds for its business operations, and where they use the data within software applications.

It is easy to hold personal information outside of business applications like finance and erp and crm e.g. inside Office 365 applications, including:
• Annual reviews written about employees stored in a SharePoint or OneDrive for Business site.
• A list of applicants for a position in an Excel worksheet attached to an email message.
• Tables holding data (names, employee numbers, hire dates, salaries) about employees in SharePoint sites.
• Outlook contacts, and emails. Skype business,
• Social media sites
• Loyalty programmes
• T@A systems
• E commerce sites
• Mobile apps e.g. What’s App

Other examples might include contract documentation, project files that includes someone’s personal information, and so on.

What backups do you have of the customer’s data?
What business data do your staff hold on BYOD devices e.g. in What’s App?

Data Governance Helps
Fortunately, the work done inside Office 365 in the areas of data governance and compliance help tenants to satisfy the requirements of GDPR. These features include:
• Classification labels and policies to mark content that holds personal data.
• Auto-label policies to find and classify personal data as defined by GDPR. Retention processing can then remove items stamped with the GDPR label from mailboxes and sites after a defined period, perhaps after going through a manual disposition process.
• Content searches to find personal data marked as coming under the scope of GDPR.
• Alert policies to detect actions that might be violations of the GDPR such as someone downloading multiple documents over a brief period from a SharePoint site that holds confidential documentation.
• Searches of the Office 365 audit log to discover and report potential GDPR issues.
• Azure Information Protection labels to encrypt documents and spreadsheets holding personal data by applying RMS templates so that unauthorized parties cannot read the documents even if they leak outside the organization.

Technology that exists today within Office 365 that can help with GDPR.

Classification Labels
Create a classification label to mark personal data coming under the scope of GDPR and then apply that label to relevant content. When you have Office 365 E5 licenses, create an auto-label policy to stamp the label on content in Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business found because documents and messages hold sensitive data types known to Office 365.

GDPR sensitive data types

Select from the set of sensitive data types available in Office 365.
The set is growing steadily as Microsoft adds new definitions.
At the time of writing, 82 types are available, 31 of which are obvious candidates to use in a policy because those are for sensitive data types such as country-specific identity cards or passports.

Figure 1: Selecting personal data types for an auto-label policy (image credit: Tony Redmond)

GDPR Policy

The screenshot in Figure 2 shows a set of sensitive data types selected for the policy. The policy applies a label called “GDPR personal data” to any content found in the selected locations that matches any of the 31 data types.

Auto-apply policies can cover all Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint and OneDrive for Business sites in a tenant – or a selected sub-set of these locations.


Figure 2: The full set of personal data types for a GDPR policy (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Use classification labels to mark GDPR content so that you can search for this content using the ComplianceTag keyword (for instance, ComplianceTag:”GDPR personal data”).

Caveats:
It may take 1-2 week before auto-label policies apply to all locations.
An auto-label policy will not overwrite a label that already exists on an item.

A problem is that classification labels only cover some of Office 365. Some examples of popular applications where you cannot yet use labels are:
• Teams.
• Planner.
• Yammer.

Microsoft plans to expand the Office 365 data governance framework to other locations (applications) over time.
Master data management
What about all the applications running on SQL or other databases?
Master Data Management MDM is a feature of SQL since SQL 2012. However, when you have many data sources then you are relay into an ETL process and even with MDM tools the work is still significant.

If you have extensive requirements then ask us about Profisee our specialist, productized MDM solution built on top of SQL MDM that allows you to do much of the work by configuration.

Right of Erasure
Finding GDPR data is only part of the problem. Article 17 of GDPR (the “right of erasure”), says: “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay.” In other words, someone has the right to demand that an organization should erase any of their personal data that exists within the company’s records.

Content searches can find information about someone using their name, employee number, or other identifiers as search keywords, but erasing the information is something that probably also needs manual processing to ensure that the tenant removes the right data, and only that data.

You can find and remove documents and other items that hold someone’s name or other identifier belonging to them by using tools such as Exchange’s v Search-Mailbox cmdlet, or Office 365 content searches.
What if the the data ahs to be retained because the company needs to keep items for regulatory or legal purposes, can you then go ahead and remove the items?
The purpose of placing content on-hold is to ensure that no-one, including administrators, can remove that information from Exchange or SharePoint.

The GDPR requirement to erase data on request means that administrators might have to release holds placed on Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business locations to remove the specified data. Once you release a hold, you weaken the argument that held data is immutable. The danger exists that background processes or users can then either remove or edit previously-held data and so undermine a company’s data governance strategy.

The strict reading of GDPR is that organizations must process requests to erase personal data upon request.
What if the company needs to keep some of the data to satisfy regulations governing financial transactions, taxation, employment claims, or other interactions? This is a dilemma for IT. Lawyers will undoubtedly have to interpret requests and understand the consequences before making decisions and it is likely that judges will have to decide some test cases in different jurisdictions before full clarity exists.

Hybrid is even More Difficult

Microsoft is working to help Office 365 tenants with GDPR. However, I don’t see the same effort going to help on-premises customers. Some documentation exists to deal with certain circumstances (like how to remove messages held in Recoverable Items), but it seems that on-premises customers have to figure out a lot things for themselves.

This is understandable. Each on-premises deployment differs slightly and exists inside specific IT environments. Compared to the certainty of Office 365, developing software for on-premises deployment must accommodate the vertical and company specific requirements with integrations and bespoke developments.

On-premises software is more flexible, but it is also more complicated.
Solutions to help on-premises customers deal with GDPR are more of a challenge than Microsoft or other software vendors wants to take on especially given the industry focus of moving everything to the cloud.

Solutions like auto-label policies are unavailable for on-premises servers. Those running on-premises SharePoint and Exchange systems must find their own ways to help the businesses that they serve deal with personal data in a manner that respects GDPR. Easier said than done and needs to start sooner than later.

SharePoint Online GitHub Hub

If you work with SharePoint Online, you might be interested in the SharePoint GDPR Activity Hub. At present, work is only starting, but it is a nway to share information and code with similarly-liked people.

ISV Initiatives

There many ISV-sponsored white papers on GDPR and how their technology can help companies cope with the new regulations. There is no doubt that these white papers are valuable, if only for the introduction and commentary by experts that the papers usually feature. But before you resort to an expensive investment, ask yourself whether the functionality available in Office 365 or SQL is enough.

Technology Only Part of the Solution

GDPR will effect Office 365 because it will make any organization operating in the European Union aware of new responsibilities to protect personal data. Deploy Office 365 features to support users in their work, but do not expect Office 365 to be a silver bullet for GDPR. Technology seldom solves problems on its own. The nature of regulations like GDPR is that training and preparation are as important if not more important than technology to ensure that users recognize and properly deal with personal data in their day-to-day activities.

August 7th, 2017

The latest upgrade of Dynamics 365 Enterprise for Finance and Operations was more than just a name change.
A major are of enhancement is embedded Powwr BI analytics.

Analytical Workspaces and Business Intelligence Reports (via Power BI) are now directly embedded into the ERP. With these tools, users are able to access powerful, data driven reports without having to leave the Dynamics 365 interface thereby delivering a seamless experience.

Some of the benefits of embedded Analytical Workspaces include:
• Power BI readily available without navigating away from Dynamics 365
• Service Licenses already included in the purchase price for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
• Ability to drill-down past visuals for more in depth data analysis
•Role and task based security for all reports
• Ability to personalize workspaces with a variety of Power BI tiles

With Power Apps you can also view Power BU reports on your mobile devices.

The term embedded business intelligence (BI) refers to experiences that use highly intuitive and fluid visualizations to provide insights that are relevant to a task, so that user is more informed and can make better choices. Embedded BI is used throughout the user interface. At a technical level, building rich visualizations requires a powerful charting framework, and also an efficient way to access aggregated data that enables the display of fluid visualizations. Finance and Operations meets both of these requirements, so that application developers can build rich and deep embedded BI–enabled scenarios.

In Finance and Operations, perspectives reside within the analytics collection in the Application Explorer. Perspectives have undergone a major upgrade and now incorporate the following improvements:
• Model new aggregate models and customize existing aggregate models as a star schema within Application Explorer.
• Modeling for key performance indicators (KPIs) in Application Explorer is supported.
• Model data entities by referencing aggregate models and expose those models to external reporting tools, such as PowerBI, as OData endpoints. Data entities canbe consumed within Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
• Consume aggregate models directly in the programming model by using X++ or C# code. You no longer have to write MDX code to consume aggregate data.
• Aggregate data is similar to the behavior of detailed data. For example, aggregate data can be enriched with extended data types (EDTs) and enumerations, and you secure these by using Finance and Operations security concepts.
• By default, aggregate measurements are real-time. A system administrator, can manage the latency of aggregate data and controls based on available resources and business needs, without having to deal with the complexity of scheduling and external tools.
• Finance and Operations perspectives enable easier and more predictable modeling that takes advantage of business concepts that are already available throughout Finance and Operations. This lets developers re-use existing business models, and thus makes the modeling process quicker and easier.

Projects that were generated by using perspectives from Dynamics AX 2012 and later can be upgraded to Finance and Operations metadata equivalents.

Measures are aggregate numbers, such as Total Sales or Number of Orders.
Dimensions are slicers, such as Product, Vendor, or Customer, that help you analyze the measure.

For example, the measure of Total Sales isn’t useful unless it can be sliced by Product, Region, and Customer. Aggregate measurements are the evolution of AX 2012 analysis cubes.
Whereas a cube was based on a multidimensional online analytical processing (OLAP) technology, an aggregate measurement abstracts the underlying technology. Therefore, you no longer have to know about the underlying implementation technology. The underlying technology infrastructure now also takes advantage of improvements with in-memory real-time technology.

The integration of Finance and Operations and Power BI enables data mash-up scenarios that require access to external data sources that are supported through Microsoft Power Query for Excel.

Users can personalize workspaces by embedding tiles that are hosted on PowerBI.com.
Users can also add direct links to reports that are hosted on PowerBI.com.
In this way, users can access and interact with the reports without leaving the application. Power BI content (PBIX files) that partners and ISVs develop can be embedded directly into the application.
PBIX files that are associated with a model file are automatically published in Power BI Embedded as part of the application deployment process.
Additionally, add X++ extensions for embedded reporting scenarios that require the following functionality:+
• Drill-down navigation into detailed pages in response to user interactions
• Report filters that are based on user and session context information, such as company or date range
• The ability to navigate directly to a specific tab on a Power BI report via menu items

If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition July 2017 update, the following Power BI content is available:
•Actual vs budget Power BI content
•Benefits Power BI content
•Cash overview Power BI content
•CFO overview Power BI content
•Compensation Power BI content
•Cost accounting analysis Power BI content*
•Credit and collections management Power BI content
•Employee development Power BI content
•Financial performance Power BI content*
•Fixed asset management Power BI content
•Learning Power BI content
•Practice manager Power BI content
•Production performance Power BI content
•Purchase spend analysis Power BI content
•Recruiting Power BI content
•Sales and profitability performance Power BI content
•Vendor payments Power BI content
•Warehouse performance Power BI content
•Workforce metrics Power BI content

We have great response from customers to Power BI- and yes it also works with Ax 2012 and other data sources. If you would like to book a place on one of our Power BI training courses then contact us on 0097143365589

Power BI updates July-August 2017

August 6th, 2017

Power BI Desktop July Feature Summary
New table & matrix visuals are now generally available;
Easier to drill on either the rows or columns;
Power Bi now honours new lines in content, either when it’s in the data you load from source or when you specify it in a DAX function.
Custom visuals store is brought into the Power BI Desktop. From the Home ribbon, open the store, to browse visuals and add those to your Desktop.
◦ Responsive layout for visuals (preview)
◦New waterfall chart option – breakdown
◦ Bidirectional cross filtering for DirectQuery is now generally available
◦ Quick measures from the community: Star rating, Concatenated list of values
◦ Add Column from Examples enhancements

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-july-feature-summary-2/

Responsive visualizations are also coming to Power BI
Power BI responsive visualizations change dynamically to display the maximum amount of data and insight, no matter the screen size.
As a visualization changes its size, Power BI prioritizes the data view, for example removing padding and legend tweaks such as moving the legend to the top of the visualization – automatically, so the visualization remains informative and beautiful even as it gets smaller.

VAT for the U.A.E. some updates – July 2017

July 15th, 2017

Any taxable person must retain VAT invoices issued and received for a minimum of 5 years.

Imports
The place of supply will determine whether a supply is made within the UAE (in which case the UAE VAT law will apply), or outside the UAE for VAT purposes. For a supply of goods, the place of supply should be the location of goods when the supply takes place – with special rules for certain categories of supplies (e.g. water and energy, cross border supplies).

For the supply of services, the place of supply should be where the supplier is established – (with special rules for certain categories of supplies e.g. cross border supplies between businesses).

VAT shall be payable in addition to the custom duties paid by the importer of the goods and cannot be deducted against. VAT shall be computed on the value that includes the customs duties.

Some goods that are imported may be exempt from customs duties but be subject to VAT.

VAT is due on the goods and services purchased from abroad. In case the recipient in the State is a registered person with the Federal Tax Authority for VAT purposes, the VAT would be due on that import using a reverse charge mechanism. In case the recipient in the State is a non-registered person for VAT purposes, VAT would be paid on import of goods from a place outside the GCC. Such VAT will typically be required to be paid before the goods are released to the person.

Exempt and zero rate
- The VAT treatment of real estate will depend on whether it is a commercial or residential property.
Supplies (including sales or leases) of commercial properties will be taxable at the standard VAT rate (i.e 5%).
- Supplies of residential properties will generally be exempt from VAT to ensure that VAT does not constitute an irrecoverable cost to persons who buy their own properties. To ensure that real estate developers can recover VAT on construction of residential properties, the first supply of residential properties within 3 years from their completion will be zero-rated.

There is a difference between exempt goods and zero rate. (for example zero rate might be raised in future).
VAT will be charged at 0% in respect of the following main categories of supplies:
• Exports of goods and services to outside the GCC;
• International transportation, and related supplies;
• Supplies of certain sea, air and land means of transportation (such as aircrafts and ships);
• Certain investment grade precious metals (e.g. gold, silver, of 99% purity);
• Newly constructed residential properties, that are supplied for the first time within 3 years of their construction ;
• Supply of certain education services, and supply of relevant goods and services;
• Supply of certain Healthcare services, and supply of relevant goods and services.

The following categories of supplies will be exempt from VAT:
• The supply of some financial services (clarified in VAT legislation);
• Residential properties;
• Bare land;
• Local passenger transport

Financial Services
It is expected that fee based financial services will be taxed but margin based products are likely to be exempt.
Generally, insurance (vehicle, medical, etc) will be taxable.
Life insurance, we understand will be treated as an exempt financial service

The VAT treatment of standard financial services and Islamic finance products, the treatment of Islamic finance products will be aligned with the treatment of similar standard financial services

Businesses that meet requirements the Legislation (such as being resident in the UAE and being related/associated parties) will be able to register as a VAT group. For some businesses, VAT grouping will be a useful tool to simplify accounting for VAT.

Offsetting VAT.
VAT registered businesses will be able to reduce their output tax liability by the amount of VAT that relates to bad debt which has been written off by the VAT registered business. The legislation will include the conditions and limitations concerning the use of this relief.

A scheme will be introduced to allow a UAE national who is not registered for VAT to reclaim VAT paid on goods and services relating to constructing a new residence which will be privately used by the person and his family. This will allow the recovery of VAT on such expenses as contractor’s services and building materials.

To avoid double taxation (where second hand goods are acquired by a registered person from an unregistered person for the purpose of resale), the VAT-registered person will be able to account for VAT on sales of second hand goods with reference to: the difference between the purchase price of the goods, and the selling price of the goods (that is, the profit margin).

The VAT which must be accounted for by the registered person, will be included in the profit margin. The legislation will include the details of the conditions to be met in order to apply this mechanism.

VAT on expenses
A VAT registered person incurs input tax on its business expenses, and this input tax can be recovered in full when it relates to a taxable supply that was made, or intended to be made, by the registered person. In contrast, where the expense relates to a non-taxable supply (e.g. exempt supplies), then the registered person may not recover the input tax paid.

VAT will not be deductible in respect of expenses incurred for making non-taxable supplies. Furthermore, input tax cannot be deducted when it is incurred in respect of specific expenses such as entertainment expenses e.g. for employee entertainment.

VAT on expenses that were incurred by a business can be deducted in the following circumstances:
• The business must be a taxable person (the end consumer cannot claim any input tax refund).
• VAT should have been charged correctly (i.e. unduly charged VAT is not recoverable).
• The business must hold documentation showing the VAT paid (e.g. valid tax invoice).
• The goods or services acquired are used or intended to be used for making taxable supplies.
• VAT input tax refund can be claimed only on the amount paid or intended to be paid before the expiration of 6 months after the agreed date for the payment of the supply.

In certain situations, an expense may relate to both taxable and non-taxable supplies made by the registered person (such as activities of the banking sector). In these circumstances, the registered person would need to apportion input tax between the taxable and non-taxable (exempt) supplies.

Businesses will be expected to use input tax (ratio of recoverable to total) as a basis for apportionment in the first instance – (there will be the facility to use other methods where those are fair and agreed with the Federal Tax Authority).

Compliance and returns
Penalties will be imposed for non-compliance. Examples of actions and omissions that may give raise to penalties include:
• A person failing to register when required to do so;
• A person failing to submit a tax return or make a payment within the required period;
• A person failing to keep the records required under the issued tax legislation;
• Tax evasion offences where a person performs a deliberate act or omission with the intention of violating the provisions of the issued tax legislation.

No special rules are planned for small or medium sized enterprises. The FTA will provide materials and resources available for these entities to assist them in their enquiries.

A supplier registered or required to be registered for VAT must issue a valid VAT invoice for the supply. To be considered as a valid VAT invoice, the document must follow a specific format as mentioned in the legislation. In certain situations the supplier may be able to issue a simplified VAT invoice.

Government entities
Supplies made by government entities will typically be subject to VAT. This will ensure that government entities are not unfairly advantaged as compared to private businesses. Certain supplies made by government entities will, however, be excluded from the scope of VAT if they are not in competition with the private sector or where the entity is the sole provider of such supplies. It is likely certain government entities will be entitled to VAT refunds – this is designed to avoid budgeting issues and provide a level playing field between outsourced and insourced activities. For the supplies provided for government entities, the treatment of such supplies shall depend on the same supply and not on the recipient of the supply. Therefore, if the supply is subject to the standard tax rate, the treatment would remain the same even if it is provided to a government entity.

Transitional rules
Special rules will be provided to deal with various situations that may arise in respect of supplies that span the introduction of VAT. For example:
• Where a payment is received in respect of a supply of goods before the introduction of VAT, but the goods are actually delivered after the introduction of VAT. This means that VAT will have to be charged on such supplies. Likewise, special rules will apply with regards to supplies of services spanning the introduction of VAT.
• Where a contract is concluded prior to the introduction of VAT in respect of a supply, which is wholly or partly made after the introduction of VAT, and the contract does not contain clauses relating to the VAT treatment of the supply, then consideration for the supply will be treated as inclusive of VAT.

There will, however, be special provisions to allow suppliers to charge VAT in situations where their recipient is able to recover their VAT but where there is no VAT clause.

Payments and claims
Note that VAT will be payable in full not after netting off input tax which will then have to be claimed. This is more of a challenge for cash flow and business risk, especially given the penalties for late payments.
Refunds will be made after the receipt of the application and will be subject to verification checks, with a particular focus to avoid fraud.

The FTA may provide its views on various matters in the law. Taxpayers may choose to challenge these views. However, penalties may be imposed on taxpayers who are found to violate any tax laws and regulations.

Other Emirates
It is expected that businesses will need to complete additional information on their VAT returns to report revenues earned in each Emirate. Guidance will be provided to businesses with regards to this. It is expected that the rules will be relatively straightforward for most businesses and will be based, for example, for B2C transactions, on the location of the transaction (e.g. in a retail environment, the location of the shop).

Prophix read what the analysts say – budgets, forecast, planning, staff planning -Ask Synergy Software Systems

July 4th, 2017

A Strong Ranking for Prophix in BPM Partners Latest Market Survey

BPM Partners recently published their latest CPM (aka BPM) market survey, “The Pulse of Performance Management 2017: The Next Generation of Solutions for Budgeting, Forecasting, Consolidation, Reporting, and Analytics”.

The author and BPM Partners CEO, Craig Schiff, brings to that analysis his considerable experience and focus on analytic applications, BI, and BPM.

‘BPM Partner’ emphasizes its role as a vendor-neutral advisory services firm that helps clients address their performance management challenges. To that end, their report carries with it a high level of credibility and objectivity. With that in mind, we are pleased to see that PROPHIX received a solid 5th ranking in this year’s report. and was also the vendor with the largest increase in ranking year over year – something .

Additionally, the report pointed to PROPHIX’ particular strengths including: “ease of use, low total cost of ownership, powerful modeling, detailed salary planning, collaboration and ability to address ‘Beyond Finance’ requirements.” This last point is important A key conclusions of the report is that “the next generation of performance management solutions needs to support initiatives that are company-wide…enables the successful execution of strategic, financial, and operational plans.” PROPHIX is well positioned to address that very need.

The report is based on input from earlier in the year, and since that time PROPHIX has continued to roll-out significant enhancements.

Also recently published is the Dresner market study. “The report examined user perceptions, intentions, and realities associated with enterprise planning. It uses a trademark, 33-criteria, vendor performance measurement system. 2017. ….The survey base provides a cross-section of data across geographies, functions, organization size, and vertical industries.”

The report states: “A leader in both Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models, Prophix is best in class for a wide variety of measures including sales professionalism, product knowledge, responsiveness, business practices, contractual terms and conditions, follow up after the sale, value, product completeness of functionality, integration of components within product, ease of administration, customization and extensibility, technical support product knowledge, responsiveness, consulting professionalism, and overall integrity.
It maintains a perfect recommend score.”

“To be recognized as a leader for the third consecutive year, is a huge win for Prophix,” said Alok Ajmera, President & COO, Prophix Software. “The study represents the voice of the customer, the people who know and are using the product frequently, there is no better endorsement.”

To learn more contact Synergy software Systems the certified MEA implementation partner for Prophix.

VAT registration nears for the GCC – what should you be doing now – contact Synergy Software Systems

May 29th, 2017

VAT (Value Added TAX), which is also called as ‘tax on consumption’ , is a tax that is payable while purchasing any product. VAT is applied as particular percentage of the cost of goods and services, hence it can not be considered as a charge on companies. It is a general tax amount, which is added by the producer to the inputs before they are sold as new offerings.

All UAE businesses subject to the Value-Added Tax have to submit their tax declaration statements on a quarterly basis after the VAT law goes into effect starting January 2018, according the Ministry of Finance.

The threshold for VAT registration put at Dh375,000 as per the ministry’s announcement this week.
It is optional to register between Dh187,500 and Dh375,000 .

UAE businesses will be able to start VAT registration in Q3 2017 and it is compulsory to be registered by Q4 2017.

Businesses will be able to register online using eServices.

The UAE businesses, subject to the tax, have to keep all files that allow competent authorities to audit their transactions and commercial activities, with the nature of the needed documents to be announced over the coming period. Businesses will be required to keep records which will enable the authorities to identify the details of the business activities and to review transactions. The specifics regarding the documents which will be required and the time period for keeping those will be communicated in due course.

Review your finance systems’ readiness for rapid implementation to meet these requirements. There will be a shortage of skilled consultants, and there are several holidays (EID, Diwali, Christmas, New Year, National Day etc. its also budget time, and preparation for year end audits,to fit in during the last quarter. Allow time for collection of your trading partners VAT registration ids, for report development and update, for testing and for staff training.

All six of the GCC member states: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain – have now signed and approved the VAT framework.

Registered businesses will be expected to submit VAT returns on a regular basis. It is expected that the default period for filing VAT returns will be three months for the majority of businesses. Registered businesses will be able to file their returns online using eServices.

Exemptions:
We understand that:
Health, education services, international transportation, import gold for investment purposes, commodities and exports are exempted from VAT in UAE.
Residential buildings for sale or lease during the first three years in which the building is completed, some financial services and empty plots of land are also exempted from VAT.

The GCC Member States will appreciate the VAT on financial provisions. The Banks and Financial House are ineligible for VAT in terms of the services provided, instead, they might be eligible for input tax based on tax recovery rates determined by each Member State.

The Federal Tax Authority has also announced a 100 per cent tax on tobacco, energy drinks and 50 per cent on carbonated beverages. This is separate from VAT.

The General Authority for Zakat and Income Tax (GAZT) in KSA reportedly warned businesses, during an awareness session that took place at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce on Monday 16 May 2017, that penalties will be applicable in the cases of violation of VAT laws and regulations.

Penalties

The following types of Penalties will apply in each of the following cases:
• Case 1: Businesses required to register for VAT and that fail to register shall be liable to double the net tax due.
• Case 2: Committing an error in filling the tax return shall result in paying an additional 50% of net tax declared.

• Case 3: Exaggerated tax refund claims shall be subject to a penalty 50% of the original amount reported.
• Case 4: Late filing of tax return would result in a penalty of SAR 1,000 and an extra 5 to 20% of the unpaid tax. The percentage varies depending on the number of days of delay.
• Case 5: Non-registered person who issue an invoice with VAT shall pay SAR 1,000 or double the amount of the net tax (whichever is higher).
• Case 6: Not keeping records of the required documents shall result on a penalty of SAR 1,000 or 2% of the monthly average taxable supplies (whichever is higher).
• Case 7: Non-compliance with GAZT inquiries in providing relevant information shall result in a penalty of SRA 1,000 or 2% of the average monthly taxable supplies (SAR 20,000 maximum) or whichever is higher.

Power BI premium is now available

May 20th, 2017

The introduction this month of Power BI Premium promises greater flexibility in terms of: licensing, scaling and ease of deployment. See the announcement on powerbi.microsoft.com,

The license flexibility gives Organizations greater control over its user’s level of access, fully enabling capabilities for some, while others who just need to view and interact with reports will be able to do so without licenses.

Similar to many other Microsoft cloud-based products and services like Dynamics 365, Power BI Premium comes with greater scalability, to allow organizations to scale up or down based on their changing business needs over time.

Premium also provides the ability to manage Power BI reports on-premises with Power BI Report Server.
Power BI Report Server on-premises is fully compatible and cloud-ready. This is particularly of interest for those looking into a Local Business Data (on-premises) deployment of Dynamics 365 for Operations. The new service will be generally available late Q2 2017.

Microsoft has also just released the new Process Analyzer Content Pack for Power BI for Dynamics 365 Version 8.2 and higher. Use this content pack to monitor and analyze your business processes based on the detailed process information stored in your Dynamics 365 system.

There was also a recently introduced Microsoft Power BI content pack for Social Engagement with a new Engagement Analytics report; and of course there still tne Engagement Performance and Team Performance reports previously released.

The Engagement Analytics report provides additional insights regarding engagement on social media with metrics based on location, sentiment, tags and authors. The data model is also enhanced to include these additional dimensions to give more power to explore and to analyze your Social Engagement data.

VAT planning- GCC framework is published

May 10th, 2017

The GCC’s unified agreement for value added tax (VAT) has recently been published (in Arabic only) by the
Saudi Ministry of Finance on their website.

This unified agreement sets out the framework under which VAT can be implemented in each of the
GCC member states. The framework includes agreement on certain matters but still allows member
states discretion on how to treat others.

Once the agreement is ratified, each member state can issue its own local law and implement VAT.

The UAE intends to implement VAT with effect from 1 January 2018 but other states may take another 6 months or so.

The framework paves the way for implementation, for a basic rate of VAT of five percent with certain supplies of goods and services zero rated or VAT exempt. We understand that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) will release the UAE’s law on VAT towards the end of June. This will detail how the UAE will interpret the GCC framework and how it will deal with those matters where it has discretion. These will include whether to treat certain supplies as zero rated or VAT exempt.

The local law will detail conditions for:
VAT deductions,
VAT grouping
Rules for recovering VAT in respect of financial services
Reporting formats

There is no indication of how VAT will apply to free zones.

The MoF has recently been holding a series of public awareness sessions, outlining how they
propose to apply VAT to those areas where the GCC framework allows discretion. The UAE has also
taken steps to set up its own Federal Tax Authority (FTA), which will be responsible for all VAT
matters in the UAE.

The framework provides information to start planning for VAT.

VAT will impact all businesses in the UAE, either directly or indirectly.

So carefully review your systems and review their processes to understand the impact of VAT and to determine what needs to be done to be fully compliant with the new laws.

Do you need to recruit? Train?

Budget for auditors, or consulting support, or system modifications or upgrades?

What contracts are in place beyond 1 January 2018 -how will those be impacted by VAT?

All businesses will be required to maintain extensive and proper books of account because complete, verifiable
documentation will be essential to support a VAT refund claim and avoid penalties for non-compliance.

Accounting systems should be able to identify and record VAT – payable and receivable, – across the entire supply chain. Ensure that your systems will enable you to:
- hold VAT registration ids by trading partner
- hold VAT codes by item fro the relevant tax rate or exemption.
- identify and record rebates,
- exemptions,
– or other special VAT treatments on particular transactions.
- generate commercial documents like invoices or till receipts with VAT shown
- deal with rebate and returns
- create timely, accurate statutory returns
- work with current interfaces.
- product auditable accounts.

We have already received several dozen inquires to assist with this transition, if you need assistance with your business systems to comply with VAT then please contact us in good time – year end is a holiday season and also a busy time for new system go live, and for financial audit preparation.

ASC 606 is coming in 2018

April 17th, 2017

ASC 606 is an updated accounting standard issued by FASB and IASB that is designed to ensure revenue recognition is consistent across industries, geographies, and capital markets. It is intended to increase financial statement comparability across companies and reduce the complexity in revenue recognition.

It applies to virtually all sectors where there are “contracts with customers” (exceptions include leases, insurance, and financial instruments).

The transition period for ASC 606 is underway. If it affects your business then save yourself the hassle and start planning and re-evaluating your contracts now. Don’t underestimate the time or effort required to bring your systems and processes into compliance especially if you are also having to update your systems to accommodate the introduction of VAT.

While it may appear that the changes primarily take place in 2018, there is a 2-year accounting retrospective. Take advantage of this time to prepare for conducting business under this new guidance.

VAT Phase 1 – open for registration.

March 20th, 2017

An event aimed at all businesses to explain the rules of the new VAT system will cover the general application of the new VAT rules and will not focus on any specific industry sector.​ Several workshops are scheduled across the U.A.E.

Dubai
Date:12/04/2017
Morning session
Time:09:00 AM-12:00 PM
Afternoon session Time: 02:00 PM-05:00 PM
Attendees:500
Place: Please note that the exact venue details will be sent to you 72 hours before the event.

Similar events will be held on 18th and 30th April in Dubai.

An excise briefing will be held Excise Tax briefing. An event aimed at businesses involved in the import, production and sale of tobacco products, carbonated drinks and energy drinks to explain the rules of the new Excise Tax system , ​will be held 10 May in Dubai.

An event aimed at small and medium businesses to explain the rules of the new VAT system. The event will cover the general application of the new VAT rules and will not focus on any specific industry sector.​
City:Dubai
Date:16/05/2017
Time:09:00 AM-12:00 PM

Similar session are planned for other Emirates details: https://www.mof.gov.ae/En/Pages/workshops.aspx

VAT in the U.A.E. what steps should you be taking- ask Synergy Software Systems

March 13th, 2017

By January 1, 2018, it is expected that value added tax (VAT) will be applied at a rate of 5 per cent on most goods and services in the UAE and wider GCC region. The Unified Agreement, previously referred to by the working title of a framework agreement, is an overarching agreement that will be concluded by all six GCC nations. The best acronym, albeit long, is “GCC UAVAT”.

The unity referred to in the GCC UAVAT is a unity of purpose. The GCC UAVAT is intended to make sure that VAT is introduced in the GCC in a coordinated fashion. It does not necessarily mean that each national VAT law will be identical, nor that those national laws will all become effective on exactly the same date.

The rate of VAT has been confirmed at 5 per cent, a figure that was agreed at GCC level in mid-2016.
Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al Tayer. Speaking to reporters after a joint press conference with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF in Dubai, Al Tayer said 100 food items, health, education, bicycles and social services would be exempt from VAT. Further information was provided by the Bahraini information affairs minister, who held a press conference attended by the under-secretary for finance in Bahrain. The Bahraini minister confirmed that basic food and other consumer commodities, medicines and medical supplies will be exempt from VAT. The list of exemptions signals a clear intention on the part of the GCC authorities to temper the mildly regressive nature of VAT.

VAT is an indirect tax applied at every stage of the supply chain, the end effect of the levy is on consumers who finally pay the tax while buying a good or service. Businesses collect and account for the tax, in a way acting as a tax collector on behalf of the government. A business pays the government the tax that it collects from the customers while it may also receive a refund from the government on tax that it has paid to its suppliers. The net result is that tax receipts to government reflect the ‘value add’ throughout the supply chain. VAT is said to be a “self-policing” tax because of the netting-off of input tax from output tax at each successive stage of the production and distribution cycles. Thus, administration is not confined to the national tax authority. As taxable entities, VAT-registered businesses also have administrative responsibilities. Work must be undertaken in that important regard.

There are four important stakeholders in this VAT episode: – governments (beneficiary), businesses (tax collectors), consumers (taxpayers) and consultants (VAT experts). VAT is a tax on consumption. It is ultimately paid by the consumer, in other words “the public” in some shape or form. The public does, therefore, need to be aware.

The businesses that are required to collect the VAT and deposit it with the government are the most worried . They will have to perform an extra function, which could result in additional hiring and costs, or risk of fines, although they do not receive a direct economic incentive. It is not just a question of simply collecting and remitting, , being in the ‘middle’ may bring several complexities.

if the UK and EU VAT regimes are anything to go by, the complete legislative picture will comprise a number of layers. All businesses in the UAE will need to record their financial transactions and ensure that their financial records are accurate and up to date.
– Businesses that meet the minimum annual turnover requirement (as evidenced by their financial records) will be required to register for VAT.
- Businesses that do not think that they should be VAT registered should maintain their financial records in any event, their turnover may change, and the in case the government tax team may need to establish whether they should be registered.

Registration for VAT is expected to be made available to businesses that meet the requirements criteria, three months before the launch of VAT. Businesses will be able to register online using eServices

Registered businesses will be expected to submit VAT returns on a regular basis. It is expected that the default period for filing VAT returns will be three months for the majority of businesses. Registered businesses will be able to file their returns online using eServices.

Details of the Tax Law will be made to the press and details will be published on the Ministry of Finance website. The primary source of information regarding the UAE VAT Law is the Ministry of Finance website.

There may be some special rules on VAT for organizations such as government entities as well as refunds available in some circumstances, especially where international obligations require us to make those refunds.

Everyone is urged to fully comply with their VAT responsibilities. The government is currently in the process of defining the exact fees and penalties for non-compliance.

VAT-registered businesses generally:
• must charge VAT on taxable goods or services they supply;
• may reclaim any VAT they’ve paid on business-related goods or services;
• keep a range of business records which will allow the government to check that they have got things right

If you’re a VAT-registered business you must report the amount of VAT you’ve charged and the amount of VAT you’ve paid to the government on a regular basis. It will be a formal submission and it is likely that the reporting will be made online.

If you’ve charged more VAT than you’ve paid, you have to pay the difference to the government. If you’ve paid more VAT than you’ve charged, you can reclaim the difference.

VAT differs from sales tax which is only imposed on the final sale to the consumer. This contrasts with VAT which is imposed on goods and services and is charged throughout the supply chain, including on the final sale. VAT is also imposed on imports of goods and services so as to ensure that a level playing field is maintained for domestic providers of those same goods and services.

Not all businesses will need to register for VAT. In simple terms, only businesses that meet a certain minimum annual turnover requirement will have to register for VAT. That is, many small businesses will not need to register for VAT. The specific conditions (such as minimum annual turnover) that will help identify businesses that do not need to register for VAT are not expected to be announced before October.

Four-step guide to help companies in the UAE to prepare for VAT implementation, (which can take between eight and 12 months). It may take longer if some of the activities are outsourced, for example IT.
1. Impact assessment
• Complete an impact assessment to understand VAT and its commercial effects.
• Prioritise issues and prepare for implementation.
• This is a key step.
• The assessment looks at its various effects on the organisational, operational and financial levels.
• Typically, an impact assessment needs between eight and 12 weeks to complete and that leaves a relatively short time, no more than nine months, to affect implementation.

2. Project preparation
• Prepare a project plan and secure the necessary internal and external resources and ensure the stakeholders in the business are informed.
• VAT is not just a finance project. It affects all transactions and so touches every aspect of the organisation.
• VAT affects IT systems, finance, human resources, legal teams and even inter-organisation transactions.
• IT systems are integral to the process because they need to be updated to handle the VAT.
• Preparation will entail a cost that companies will need to budget.

3. Design and implementation
• Based on the impact assessment, they need to develop a road map for identifying the changes required, understanding the scheduling requirements and planning for work.
• Implementing the changes across various levels in the organisation starts with mapping the transaction footprint to understand the VAT obligations of the business. This should form the basis for making changes across different verticals in the organisation such as IT, supply chain and human resources.
• Businesses need to design the systems and reports and train their staff on the process requirements for VAT.
• This may require a new software/ new release, or upgrade, Consider:
 COA changes,
 Contract changes
 Order, receipt and invoice formats
 Cash flow and budget updates
 Impact on open orders on1 Jan 2018
 Whether any interfaces are affected
• Businesses must implement necessary changes to systems, controls, reporting and governance in good time.

4. Registering and testing
• Businesses need to register for VAT .
• They need to test that their business systems are capable of compliance and reporting.
• Businesses need to integrate the changes made into the operations and train relevant staff about their new roles and responsibilities to achieve the desired result.
• Testing the VAT system, processes and controls during a “live” phase (expected from January 1, 2018) is important to allow for the complete and accurate completion of the first VAT return.
• Make sure to test adequate volumes of data – e.g. processing a quarterly Vat return on all sales and purchase transactions may involve a lot of processing for some companies.
• Make sure to test interfaces.