It’s official: 2018 is the start of implementation of a value-added tax (VAT) across the Gulf states. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has finally joined the VAT bandwagon, and member states has introduced the tax starting from January 2018. A Unified Agreement for VAT, which lays down the guidelines for country-specific VAT legislation, was signed by each of the six governments. This is the first time that companies in the GCC will have to collect it.

VAT is collected at nearly every stage of the supply chain, from raw materials to the final product sold in stores. Ultimately, the consumer ends up paying for the tax but businesses are still responsible for collecting the money on behalf of the government, and reporting on how much they collected, along with how much they were able to deduct based on their own costs.

It’s also important to make provisions and plan ahead going forward, and to bring a culture of change management to the organization. This means that the vast majority of GCC companies will not only need to ensure they accurately determine and report on VAT requirements but, even more important, do it efficiently by automating this whole new process and integrating it into their day to day operations.

Salesforce is the best-in-class customer relationship management (CRM) system, and if you haven’t currently integrated it with your financial systems then this is the best time to do so. As it will offer a number of benefits in handling VAT and it’s day to day effects on your business processes. Some of the benefits of integrating the systems are:

A full view of every customer. The benefits of integrating Salesforce CRM with your financial system begin and end with the customer. You get a complete view of the sales process and reduce the errors that come with entering a customer into two different systems. Another benefit of this integrated approach comes with the collaborative tools that allow the sales and finance teams to get on the same page.

The elimination of blind spots. When you integrate the financial system to Salesforce, users are always up-to-date with the latest information. The sales team also enjoys the ability to verify pricing in real time and the increased visibility into the timing of revenues.

One-click wonders. When Salesforce works together with your financial system, you can convert a quote in Salesforce into an order in in the financial system with one click. Likewise, you can use one click to create a project or task in the other system from a Salesforce opportunity.

Salesforce Chatter. The collaboration tool available to Salesforce users allows the sales team and finance department to communicate more frequently and conveniently when both teams are on Salesforce.

Take advantage of dashboards. Role-based dashboards allow the sales team and finance department to manage their own KPIs, but also gain an awareness of how activities in their own department affect measures in the others. Dashboards help teams prioritize a limited number of objectives, giving clarity to their purpose, and they are fully customizable, reporting on what is important to the user. Sales managers will want to watch the impact of sales promotions and other measures on the finance department, while sales reps might be interested in gamification metrics that tell which rep is winning on that promotion.

Integration for all. The capability of integration of Salesforce CRM to any other system is amazing and can also be almost effortless. Salesforce has out of the box connectors for many systems and Changi is partner with a lot of middle-wares that can also be used for a hassle-free integration and all you need to do is point, click and connect.

Offers all-in-one access. Employees won’t have to switch systems to get what they need. They can stay logged into one system to get everything done.

Increases productivity. Teams do a lot of cutting and pasting data to ensure it appears in all systems. However, manual tasks can lead to mistakes and turn into a time-waster. Salesforce can be configured to have automated checks and balances to ensure both systems have the same information. The time spent duplicating data will go away and employees get more done.

Provides effortless access to data. System integration allows data to be accessed from all the integrated systems. The more data you have and can convert into meaningful information, the more information you have for making better decisions.

Enhances communication. One department may be more comfortable with Salesforce while another prefers to work with a different system. Integrating the two systems allows each team to work in the system they prefer, which streamlines communications and leads to more information sharing.

Automates workflows without any code. Since integrated systems play nice together, their workflows can be automated with point-and-click.

Provides more insights. With Salesforce, you achieve a “360 degree view” of the customer. Whereas, your employees get more detailed and relevant reports that will help them make better decisions and take the best actions.

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Please get in touch to find out more details on Salesforce, how we can help integrate your business tools and systems with Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or Marketing Cloud. We would be happy to offer a free consultation and also share more details and features of the Salesforce platform.