Permanent work from home a possibility. Is your biz prepared?

Recently, a well-known FMCG company in India put up its headquarters for lease. The reason? It has asked the 300 employees serving at its headquarters to permanently work from home. While this is an unusual and rather unexpected turn of events, especially because remote working is generally expected of IT companies and not other sectors, it could set the ball rolling for other companies in India.

The last three months of the nationwide lockdown due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus initially saw companies struggling to work remotely, then gradually adjusting and adapting to various technologies and software that facilitate remote working. Most companies seem to be reporting a rise in productivity now that travel time has been cut down and small talk and chatter has been reduced as virtual meetings are to the point.

While a widespread availability and ease of use of technologies to collaborate and stay in constant contact has enabled people to smoothly adapt to the new work-from-home setup, some functions of a business might beg to differ. As a business that might be considering extending remote working or largely adapting to the remote working culture, an important function of the business viz. a tax function’s needs must be taken into consideration before office spaces bite dust.

A business’s tax function is likely to face a number of challenges and a resourceful cloud-based automation should be able to help the function manoeuvre through, even while working from a remote location.

Missing deadlines
While the Government has been considerate and has pushed deadlines for filing GST returns in light of the lockdown, your business’s tax function will be returning to a truckload of tasks when they resume work and there will be a high probability of missing deadlines even then. An automated filing system can help your tax function from missing deadlines by easily accessing the company's ERP software using a virtual private network and a secure log in.

Compliance issues
Keeping up with compliance is extremely important as any discrepancies not only take long to be corrected, it can cause huge losses to the organization. If a business adapts to a remote working system they need to ensure that their tax technology provider can ensure DSC generation for digital signatures and other confidential documents through secure virtual private networks.

Data collation and storage
Probably one of the biggest challenges for the tax function but one that is of extreme importance is collating and storing of important financial data. For filing monthly GST returns, the tax function needs data on sales and purchase, input credit data, sale returns, export data, stock transfer data etc. If a business plans to make work from home a permanent operation, they need to ensure that their tax function has access to a cloud-based collation and storage facility for all of the company’s financial data. 

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