Newsroom, Products, VAT | 15. May 2024

Driving Innovation in Tax Management: Insights from eClear’s Lars Franke

We provide an inside look into our strategies, featuring insights from Lars Franke, our Tax Innovation Manager. Lars is instrumental in transforming innovative concepts into real-world solutions that meet industry regulations. by

In an era of global trade, tax compliance has become a major challenge for businesses, with 70% of multinationals considering it their top operational risk (Deloitte, 2023). At eClear, we’re at the forefront of tackling this challenge through cutting-edge tax innovation management.

Understanding Tax Innovation Management

Tax innovation management strategically develops and implements new methods, technologies, and processes to streamline tax compliance and improve accuracy. In today’s complex and ever-changing regulatory landscape, businesses must adapt proactively to avoid penalties and optimise their tax strategies. Effective tax innovation management goes beyond mere compliance, unlocking opportunities for cost savings and operational efficiencies.

eClear’s Approach

At eClear, we begin by deeply understanding our clients’ business requirements and the broader market needs. This ensures our solutions are not only compliant but also tailored to address their specific challenges.

Lars Franke, eClear’s Tax Innovation Manager, emphasises this crucial first step: “The first and most important step is always to understand the business requirements and the market needs. Therefore, we try to analyse and understand the business concept as good as possible.”

Once we understand these needs, we translate them into a cohesive concept integrating both business and technical aspects. This concept serves as a common language for business experts and technical teams, ensuring alignment and accurate capture of all requirements.

Our collaborative approach continues throughout development, where the concept is divided into smaller, manageable technical requirements. These are then developed into detailed functional components that meet the specified business needs. Continuous dialogue and iteration ensure a robust, compliant, and effective final product.

This structured yet flexible approach enables eClear to adapt rapidly to regulatory changes and deliver innovative tax solutions that set new industry standards.

Role of Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is essential in tax innovation. We systematically capture, organise, and share knowledge across our organisation, equipping our teams with the latest information and best practices. This empowers us to develop and implement cutting-edge tax solutions that are both compliant and innovative.

Strategies and Tools

eClear employs various strategies and tools to foster knowledge sharing:

  • Confluence: Our central hub for documenting business requirements and technical concepts, fostering seamless team collaboration.
  • Jira: We leverage Jira to break down technical requirements into manageable tasks, enhancing clarity and streamlining progress tracking.
  • Microsoft Teams: This omnipresent platform facilitates real-time team communication, ensuring everyone is informed and aligned.

As Lars emphasises, “I encourage the team to have open and transparent discussions regardless of the topic and role in the team.” This open communication creates an environment where knowledge flows freely and efficiently, enhancing our capabilities and ensuring our clients receive the most advanced and reliable tax solutions

Integration of Tax Innovation and Product Management

At eClear, integrating tax innovation into product management is fundamental. This approach ensures our solutions meet regulatory requirements and address our client’s unique needs.

“After we understand the business requirements in total, we can start to translate this information into our concept,” says Lars. “This is a mixture of both business and technical requirements brought together.”

This holistic approach has led to the successful launch of several impactful products:

  • FileVAT: Our flagship service automates the entire VAT filing process in the EU across multiple jurisdictions, reducing errors and ensuring timely compliance. Its intuitive platform provides valuable insights, simplifying compliance and optimising tax strategies for clients.
  • ClearCustoms: This comprehensive solution streamlines customs declarations and clearance processes, ensuring smooth cross-border trade and minimising delays.

Challenges in Tax Innovation Management

Tax innovation management faces significant challenges in today’s rapidly changing landscape

  • Complex and Evolving Regulations: Tax laws are increasingly complex and vary across jurisdictions, requiring businesses to adapt to maintain compliance constantly.
  • Technological Integration: Integrating new technologies like AI and blockchain into existing tax compliance systems while ensuring regulatory alignment poses a significant hurdle.

Looking Ahead

  • Digitalisation and Real-Time Reporting: The move towards real-time tax reporting and the digitalisation of tax authorities demand more sophisticated and responsive compliance solutions.
  • ESG Considerations: As ESG criteria gain prominence, tax regulations will evolve to reflect these priorities, adding another layer of complexity to compliance efforts.

eClear’s Solutions

eClear is proactively addressing these challenges through innovative approaches:

  • Microservices Architecture: This flexible approach allows us to adapt our solutions quickly to new or updated regulatory requirements. As Lars explains, “This gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to implementing new or updating existing functions.”
  • Advanced Analytics and Automation: We’ve integrated these into our platforms to help clients stay ahead of regulatory changes and meet compliance deadlines efficiently.
  • Commitment to ESG: Our solutions support sustainable and ethical business practices.

By staying at the forefront of technological advancements and regulatory trends, eClear is well-positioned to tackle the complexities of tax innovation management and pave the way for a more streamlined and efficient future for our clients.

eClear’s Corporate Culture and Employee Empowerment

eClear’s corporate culture supports its role in tax innovation by valuing creativity, collaboration, and continuous learning. The company’s environment is built on principles of openness, transparency, and mutual respect, aiming to create a setting where innovation can flourish as employees feel recognised and are motivated to share their ideas. Lars highlights the importance of effective communication: “Communication is key in my role … to ensure that we are always on the same page when it comes to the latest business or technical developments.”

Open communication is encouraged with regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and informal discussions, facilitating a continuous exchange of ideas and feedback.

Through these efforts, eClear aims to maintain its role in the industry, striving to provide innovative solutions that respond to client needs.

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