Tax consultants: Here’s why you should recommend GST software to your clients
- Goods and Services Tax
- Jan 20, 2018 | Hardik Lashkari
Imagine an entity operating on a large scale in a metropolitan city issuing hundreds of invoices to its customers manually. Yes, you read that right — MANUALLY. Such a scenario seems impractical to imagine. However, six months after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), many Indian businesses continue to operate without the assistance of GST compliance software.
While some businesses only issue bills manually, others implement entire accounting procedures on a manual basis. Many others issue bills or conduct their accounting electronically, but use software without GST compliance features.
GST compliance software shouldn’t be considered discretionary. Rather, GST compliance automation software is vital for helping businesses save time, eliminate errors, and comply with GST provisions easily, quickly, and securely.
Tax consultants such as GST practitioners and chartered accountants understand the need for GST compliance software. Receiving bills as hard copies and then entering them online before preparing and filing GST returns (GSTR) are tedious tasks requiring huge amounts of time and effort. Hence, it’s important for tax consultants to recommend their clients use GST compliance software, for both their benefit as well as that of their clients.
Manual processes vs. GST software
Retrieval of data according to GSTR-1
All invoice details of B2B transactions, i.e., goods or services supplied by a registered taxpayer to another registered taxpayer, must be reported on GSTR-1.
These details include:
- Recipient GST identification number (GSTIN)
- Recipient name
- Invoice number
- Invoice date
- Place of supply
- Total invoice value
If a business that issues numerous invoices continues to bill customers manually, they will be burdened with retrieving details from each individual invoice.
GST compliance software, however, retrieves invoices on a single click, extracts the details, and automatically inputs these details on the GSTR-1 form.
Manually recording data online to file GSTR
After a business retrieves data from invoices manually, the next step is to record this data online according to the needs of the GST portal. For tax consultants, maintaining accuracy in this process is cumbersome. Not only does it consume a lot of time, but recording details manually introduces a higher risk of duplication and error.
GST compliance software, on the other hand, automates the entire process, thereby minimizing the risk of filing forms with incorrect data.
Correction of data requires taxpayer approval
While adding or editing invoice data electronically, tax consultants often require the taxpayer’s approval. In order to give this approval, however, taxpayers must go back through the bill, and then communicate with their tax consultant, which takes time and effort.
If a business uses GST compliance software, however, all data is available online, allowing taxpayers to easily match the data from GSTR with the bills previously issued to customers (B2B and B2C).
Revision of returns not allowed
For businesses, checking the accuracy of the data their tax consultants enter online is a tedious task. Since GST returns cannot be revised, any data filed is considered final. A business is at risk for paying large penalties or fees if the data in its books doesn’t match the data filed in the GSTR.
GST compliance software enables the taxpayer to preview the return before it is filed. Hence, taxpayers can cross-examine the data to ensure accuracy.
Features of GST compliance software that make operations especially quicker and more accurate
The same data is filed in both GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B
It is very important that data filed in GSTR-1 matches data filed in GSTR-3B. GST compliance software makes data reconciliation easy. If any discrepancies are found, the software issues an alert so that discrepancies can be addressed.
Reconciliation of invoices and ITC
GST compliance software also matches purchase invoices with sales invoices uploaded by the suppliers. Matching of ITC data is very important, and GST compliance software quickly handles mismatches and ensures they are corrected in a timely manner.
Mobile app access
Taxpayers can even view GSTR details right from their mobile phones. Return filing success or failure information, filing reminders, and more can be tracked with a single touch.
Multiple users or state management
Using GST compliance software can help centralize information, since multiple GSTINs can be matched to a single user account. Filing GST forms for multiple states or multiple business units is handled through a single dashboard.
Through GST software, businesses can also link their existing ERP or billing systems.
The time has come for businesses in India to understand the important benefits of using GST compliance software. Avalara is an experienced application service provider (ASP) and partner of authorized GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs). To understand how our cloud-based application, Avalara TrustFile GST, can help you with GSTR-1 to -9, contact us through https://www1.avalara.com/in/en/products/gst-returns-filing.html.