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Getting Help For GST: 5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Choosing A Partner Or Solution

The GST or Goods and Services Tax regime has invited quite a bit of deliberation from different quarters, and with good reasons too. Whether it the pre-implementation discussions or the post-implementation concerns, experts have spent a lot of time deliberating on the various aspects of this tax regimen. The current focus is on finding ways to implement the GST using tools that can guarantee easy compliance with changed laws.

To ensure effective compliance companies need to analyze multiple solutions. However, not all businesses are equipped to understand the changes rightly. There are only handfuls which have the expertise to evaluate the different solutions available in the market. As a result, smaller businesses are grappling with GST related challenges. They are also not sure about which partner to choose during this transition to make it smooth and hassle-free. It is important to understand that businesses will have different sets of requirements. All the GST Suvidha Providers and ASPs or Application Service Providers have been trying to come up with solutions that can cater to specific business needs.

1. Maintaining Records: One of the first things that you need to consider is maintaining annual records. You will come across many market plans that provide solutions for six months or on a quarterly basis. However, all businesses have to ultimately file annual returns. So, when a business is using a solution meant for 6 months only, it will need to adopt another solution when this is over. At that time, all records must be shifted seamlessly. There are also companies which charge clients depending on how they long they have been associated with them. So, costs of transferring records when you are choosing a partner.

2. Offline Advantages: Given that the new tax regime is digital in nature, it is absolutely imperative that businesses adapt to the Internet technologies. At the same time, there is very less or practically negligible web connectivity in rural India. These function as important centers of small and medium sized businesses. So, the partner you choose should offer offline capabilities too to be able to store records of invoices that can then be updated from time to time. So, tax professionals will have the freedom to access and edit this data from anywhere.

3. Flexibility of Operation: The model which any business will choose should basically allow it to import data through different formats. So, you should be able to get data from manual entries and also from excel-based imports. The model must also allow you to enter data on clouds and to keep the data there for later edits. This plug-and-play architecture will shorten adaptation time and is recommended when you are choosing a partner.

4. Supports: Regardless of how effective the technology is, when you run a new system, there are bound to be lots of queries and teething troubles. So, you need an infrastructure that is equipped to handle these queries. It should work 24×7 like a multi-linguistic call center offering real-time technical supports to users. This model must also be backed by trained professionals which will offer counseling, free demonstrations and even personal visits, if needed. This kind of support system is a must for the Tier II and III towns that make up hubs of SMBs.

5. Editing Advantages: While the GST is meant to make the taxation model very effective, there is however the problem that many players are not yet accustomed to the digital methods. They have always followed traditional ways of handling taxes. Data that has been filed with GSTN cannot be changed and this is an issue for many people who have a rather complex supply chain and may work with many vendors. So, chances of invoice discrepancies and gaps in transactions are unavoidable. These can be changes only once returns have been filed. However, there are players that provide advanced features in their packages whereby pre-filing changes are possible.

These are some factors to bear in mind when looking for partners and solutions. You need a provider that allows you to switch from one to another model in required without any additional formality or payments. Besides these factors, there are many others which should be properly evaluated before a partner is chosen for GST implementation. It would be a mistake to choose a solution simply on the basis of low prices or being lured by free trial offers. You need a partner that can offer you a combination of expertise and experience. It should also have direct presence in the most important cities throughout India.

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About Abhay Singh (64 Posts)

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