Vodafone, HP and KPMG link up to help Indian enterprises with GST

31 October 2017 Consultancy.in 4 min. read
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A consortium of KPMG, HP and Vodafone Business Services (VBS) has come together to offer ‘GST Ready Solutions’ (Goods and Services Tax), as firms across the market scramble to restructure and become compliant with the new GST tax regime. While KPMG will provide the software and cloud-based solutions specific to GST, HP will provide the hardware, and Vodafone the connectivity.

The April 2018 introduction of a nationwide goods and service (GST) tax is aimed at creating one overarching tax, streamlining a range of state and central government taxes, which have previously produced considerable administrative burdens on businesses. The GST is dual-based, with portions going to both central government coffers and state treasuries. With the cross-India rollout of the tax now imminent, stress levels are soaring in the country, as businesses attempt to adapt to the new regulations. The aim of the new regime is to create an umbrella taxation system that removes tedious administrative burdens for businesses. However, the transition to the regime requires the extensive modification of firms’ internal indirect tax practices, and most firms appear to lack preparation for the large-scale changes required.

As a result, organisations have been turning to the consulting industry to help with restructuring, particularly the Big Four firms, which includes EYKPMGPwC and Deloitte. In May this year, consulting firm KPMG joined forces with HP India to form “GST Solution,” aimed specifically at the lower segments of the market. In essence, the project was designed to assist millions of independent traders and Small and Medium Enterprises with the transition to the new tax regime.

The collaboration aimed to provide solutions for every step of the transition, from generating invoices (both purchase and sales) to managing the ledger, generating reverse charges, and even ensuring tax credit reception. While KPMG provides the software through GST-specific cloud-based solutions, HP provides the hardware for the operations. The partnership also has other features, including a helpline managed by tax experts, introductory training programs, and even testing protocols. The team will also extend its operations to larger firms, assisting them with filing their GST returns when required.

Vodafone, HP and KPMG link up for GST

Commenting on the partnership, Arun Kumar, Chairman and CEO of KPMG India said, “GST, as a seamless, unified direct taxation system across India represents a historical transformation that makes India a true common market. To implement GST, six million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) need to adapt their invoicing approaches, an enormous endeavour. To help these MSMEs make the transition and alleviate associated IT challenges, KPMG has joined hands with HP to launch a comprehensive GST invoicing solution, GST solution. KPMG is proud to assist in advancing the adoption of GST and in fact to be associated with all of the signature initiatives of the Government of India.”

Technological solutions

Meanwhile, Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director of HP India had said, “The Indian economy has evolved tremendously, aided by reforms and technological advances. HP has participated in every significant milestone of Central and State Governments digital journey starting from printing the first computerised Railway ticket to enabling several Digital India initiatives. GST is a major tax reform and we are confident that the GST Invoicing solution from HP and KPMG will enable traders & MSMEs in the country make a smooth transition to the new tax regime and enhance their contribution to India’s economic growth.”

With India set to become home to as many as 850 million internet users by 2025, technology is quickly become integral to any major solution for business problems. Now, telecom company Vodafone’s consulting arm, VBS has joined the team to add a connectivity dimension to the operations, transforming it to "GST Ready Solutions." On the VBS platform, solutions are available for an affordable price, starting from an EMI of Rs. 630 per month on a 24-month basis. A Vodafone statement said, “solutions also include cloud storage for secure data backup, registration, migration and e-sign services, and professional guidance and support.”

Outside of the EMI schemes, a package of GST Ready solutions can range from Rs.12,990 to Rs. 36,490, based on the range of services demanded. On Vodafone's inclusion in the solutions partnership, Nick Gliddon, Director of VBS said, "We are excited to offer a first-of-its-kind integrated GST solution for SMEs, start-ups and SOHOs – our GST Ready Solutions for Business, to help them embark upon the digital journey. At Vodafone Business Services, our endeavour is to make all businesses digitally ready to take their business to the next level. We are happy to be associated with HP and KPMG in India and provide a seamless experience to our customers by being the first service provider in the country to offer an integrated GST solution."