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HOW MULTINATIONALS CAN WEATHER THE STORM OF COUNTRY MANDATES AND POINT SOLUTIONS

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Christiaan van der Valk, VP Strategy & Regulatory, Sovos

 

For far too long, global businesses would assume that indirect taxes including VAT ought to reside in the domain of local subsidiaries. Now, as tax administrations accelerate their digital transformation strategies, this mindset is not just untenable: it’s a profound danger to the very lifeblood of businesses’ digital transformation efforts.

Across the world, the effects of the sweeping trend of continuous transaction controls (CTCs) implemented by governments – in order to tighten up VAT enforcement – are still being felt by countless organisations and citizens.

Aiming to reduce fraud, manipulation, and errors that can be concealed in summary VAT returns and accounts, tax administrations are increasingly introducing government portals and programming interfaces that allow much more detailed and frequent data sharing with their cloud platforms. In doing so, governments can inch closer to the raw transaction data itself, from which they can analyse business-to-business supply chains and consumer transactions in real-time – without compromising on detail.

Still, it’s no surprise that what began as relatively simple mandates soon can become overcomplicated, with many types of financial and physical supply chain documents introduced over time. An initially limited scope focused on suppliers and their invoices tends to evolve swiftly. Soon enough, more buy-side processes and data are required – and more frequently.

For multinational corporations, keeping pace with real-time or near-real-time reporting of e-invoicing transaction flows is a time-intensive mission. After all, the growing complexity of the exchange of data between tax administrations, businesses, and citizens – topped off with major differences and frequent changes in country mandates – is no mean feat.

What’s more, with such extensive tax administration requirements influencing the direction of digital transformation, dataflows are being drawn into a grand design of data exchanges driven by tax logic, rather than economic logic.

 

Beyond local: the barriers to business optimisation

Undoubtedly, this is a tremendous issue for multinational firms. It’s clear that the patchwork of tax administration-driven digital transformation is complicating matters for multinational businesses – and there’s no stopping the growing trend of CTC mandates being implemented by governments globally. Each country will approach this differently, with varying levels of complexity.

Previously, the truth universally acknowledged was that VAT is a local issue, to be managed by local teams – but this is no longer the case. VAT has evolved far beyond being merely a local issue. Nonetheless, across all geographies, too many companies still favour local technology vendors to manage the flow of core financial and supply chain transaction data. These approaches contradict the need for system consolidation, global processes and data intelligence. Multinationals cannot depend on patchworks of local point solutions to manage regional VAT reporting anymore, so this is no longer a tenable solution.

To avoid missing the mark for different countries’ individual VAT reporting mandates, it’s crucial that businesses understand the increasingly complex interdependencies between digital tax and digital business, the demands on suppliers and buyers alike, and how they vary from one country to the next.

In order to achieve this, a single compliance approach is vital to keep up with changing VAT digitisation mandates, which should be centred around commonality and expert advice on the impact of these changes and how best to face them.

 

Riding the tide of change: commonality, harmony, and unity

Already, too many companies are tied up in a complex web of local contracts, SLAs, and data models. The result is that growing, expanding mandates are becoming non-functional islands within a company’s overall data strategy – which must be avoided. 

The digitisation of VAT enforcement through CTCs and further data-driven methods are flooding the world relentlessly. In an effort to close the VAT gap and enhance economic transparency, governments are introducing and expanding their mandates, requesting evermore detailed transaction data in real-time.  Rather than sink, businesses must ride this wave.

To achieve this sea change, organisations must transform their mindsets concerning the purchasing of technology to inject compliance into core business processes – taking control of their own destiny in the process. Activities such as invoicing may be regulated substantially under tax legislation in various markets, but that shouldn’t add up to a carte blanche to acquire invoicing technology purely for the purpose of tax compliance.

Instead, businesses must safeguard their power to select new technologies and applications based on economic credentials, insisting that such varying applications contribute multi-local compliance through a single expert vendor. This guarantees the exchange of business data with tax administrations exactly where it’s required. Loosely coupling enterprise and compliance functionality as twin domains that address wholly different objectives – business optimisation and tax compliance – enables businesses to reap the most rewards, preserving the flexibility needed to remain competitive in our contemporary global economy.

Ultimately, businesses that adopt this approach – taking the time to understand the specific issues that stand in the way of optimisation – will be the ones that fight the rising tide instead of finding themselves swept out to sea.

 

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HOW TO REMOVE HARD INQUIRIES FROM YOUR CREDIT REPORT

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Your borrowing history determines financing options and interest rates, but that’s not all. The score it defines is checked by lenders, recruiters, insurers, and landlords. To improve the status, you may want to remove hard inquiries from the credit report. Sometimes, this may be impossible or unnecessary.

Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are all legally obliged to delete unverifiable, unsubstantiated, or outdated information from your records. Hard inquiries, which reflect history checks, may also be erased from your file in some cases. Discover when you can and should get rid of hard inquiries, what this involves, and how long it takes.

 

What Are Hard Inquiries?

When you apply for a card, loan, or another financing option, the lender makes a decision after looking at your history. The summary of your borrowing experience helps them evaluate solvency. Your request permits access to one or more of the reports. This is when hard pulls or hard inquiries appear.

The term reflects the nature of these marks, as they impact the score. Multiple applications in quick succession can be damaging to your status. They make you look desperate for cash, so lenders doubt your creditworthiness. As a result, they are reluctant to extend credit or offer low interest rates.

On the other hand, there are credit inquiries of the “soft” type. They are not related to new financing. For example, your records may be accessed by a recruiter, an insurance company, a landlord, or yourself. Lenders leave soft pulls when they generate pre-approved offers. Such information is innocuous. It has zero influence on your eligibility in the eyes of the institutions.

 

How To Remove Hard Inquiries?

Despite its connection to your score, the impact of this information is modest. On average, every new entry knocks several points off the total, and the effects fade quickly — in a few months. Therefore, removing hard inquiries could not be worth the effort. Besides, it is only possible if they are erroneous.

One inquiry can hardly prevent you from securing a loan. But what if your records are accessed multiple times for different purposes and within a short period? This is when the effects are the most pronounced. Removing a hard inquiry can also help if you have not been a model borrower in the past. In this case, our tips to raise credit score will also come in handy. If you feel that the entries are false, challenge them as soon as possible.

Here is a caveat: an unfamiliar company name does not always point to fraud. Such entries may be legitimate, so you cannot get inquiries off the credit report. For instance, you may have provided your information to:

  • a home repair vendor who then checked your background;
  • a car dealership that contacted lenders to get the best conditions on an auto loan;
  • a mortgage servicer or website that sent it to one or more lenders.
  • A retailer that sent the data to its financing partner so you could get a store card.

 

What to Do

In case of unfamiliar pulls, you could try contacting the company mentioned on the records. If the data is not legit, remove hard inquiries. This could add a few points to your score. Here is what to do to eradicate unverifiable data:

Step 1. Collect the Information

First, gather your reports from three nationwide bureaus. Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian compile histories independently, so each of them may include false inquiries and other errors. As we have mentioned, checking your own records never affects your score.

Previously, every American was entitled to one free copy per bureau per year. Now, until April 20, 2022, you can download the files weekly due to the economic toll of Covid-19. The only official source is www.annualcreditreport.com — do not look elsewhere.

Step 2. Identify Suspicious Details

Armed with the files, you may get down to business. Pore over the records going line by line. Review them for any mistakes and fraud. The most common errors include:

  • accounts that do not belong to you,
  • false legal events like bankruptcies or evictions,
  • missed payments that never happened,
  • incorrect balances, and
  • the absence of positive information.

Unexpected hard inquiries may point to technical errors or identity theft. You may discover that fraudsters have obtained loans in your name (or tried to do this). Any incorrect, false or outdated information may be disputed formally.

Step 3. Send a Hard Inquiry Removal Letter

Every US citizen has a right to file formal disputes with the bureaus. You can challenge any information on your reports. The institutions may be reached by email, phone, or via their websites. You will need to compose a dispute letter using a special template (find it here) and send it by certified mail. Request a return receipt to have hard evidence of the exchange.

No single format exists. Express your concerns clearly and stick to the point. List the dubious items with any comments, such as suspicion of fraud. After your letter is received, the recipient will have 30 days to conduct an internal investigation. Sometimes, this window is extended to 45 days. Eventually, the agency will accept the changes, reject them, or ask for more information.

The bureau is obliged to erase unverifiable and unsubstantiated data. If you are not happy with the results, consider a redispute. It is also advisable to consult an attorney who specializes in the FCRA.

Some sources recommend including a statement of disagreement. The bureaus allow you to add up to 100 words to your reports. The benefits, however, are highly dubious. This data will not help your score, and most lenders will not see it.

 

How Do Inquiries Affect Credit Score?

In comparison with derogatories like repossessions, these items are relatively harmless. Consumers with decent scores can wait for them to vanish naturally. To understand if action is necessary, check your total on My FICO or via apps like Credit Sesame. Each removal can give up to 5 points.

A high density of hard pulls can potentially damage the total. However, this depends on their type. Multiple applications for the same service are treated collectively — as one inquiry. FICO and VantageScore have different windows for rate shopping — 45 days and 14 days, respectively.

If you request different types of credit — mortgage, credit cards, auto loans, etc. — within a few weeks, this will look suspicious. Still, you should look at the rest of your records to see if it matters. The impact is relatively small, as these entries affect only a 10th of your FICO total. For VantageScore, the effects are also slight.

 

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay On Your Credit Report?

Generally, any information of this kind should disappear in 24 months. The impact on your score is also fairly short-lived — it will last up to 12 months. Indisputable items will not vanish before expiry. All you can do is wait until the credit inquiries drop off on their own.

If the data is false, initiate formal disputes and have it deleted. The duration will depend on the number of items and reports. Note that all three agencies work independently. You need to contact the bureaus that made the mistakes, as no other organization may correct their records.

Each internal investigation will take between 30 and 45 days. If the inquiries are erased, the score will jump automatically. Typical cases of fixing span 3-6 months. Considering the impact of hard pulls, disputing credit inquiry data could also be unnecessary. If no fraud has been detected, and your history is otherwise correct, just wait.

 

Should You Get Help With Removing Hard Queries?

As you can see, these entries have only a slight impact on your score. They can be deleted in case of fraud or reporting errors. Opening disputes by yourself is not the only option, as credit fixers can do it for you. Check creditrepair.com reviews to see how this works. A professional agency will help you remove hard inquiries fast.

 

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MANAGEMENT COACHING: WHY IT COULD BE THE BEST OPTION FOR YOU

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Often, people think of coaching as a separate external career path. What they don’t realise is that most business leaders are essentially coaches in themselves. It’s beneficial for managers and employees to learn coaching skills, as it not only helps them improve their work ethic, but also helps everyone around them. Here’s how it could be an option for you, and how you can get into it.

 

You’ll Help Staff To Adapt

As a manager or employee looking into coaching to better themselves and those around them, one of the biggest benefits they’ll get is learning how to adapt and change with situations. Change is inevitable within a business, from technological demands, changing consumer patterns or a company restructure.

If you’re able to coach staff effectively, then they will be prepared to deal with any big changes that may come. For example, many people were unprepared for the impact of COVID-19 and whilst coaching won’t make it go away, it could help them adapt to workplace changes.

 

You Can Help Improve Productivity

On a similar scale, you may find that employees that have support and coaching around them will be more productive. There are many reasons why you would want to look into increased productivity levels within your business, but the main one can boil down to growth and profit.

Coaching can help to play a key role in improving an employee’s confidence level in terms of how they work. For example, you could coach your employees to become leaders themselves. A team full of leaders is a team that will work hard and help each other out when there are any issues, leading to overall increased productivity.

 

How To Get Into Coaching

Of course, it can actually be quite difficult to understand where to start with coaching. Some may learn how to coach from their management and personal experiences, whereas some may require to be coached themselves.

If you’re a manager or business leader of some kind, you should consider looking into coaching techniques when helping to support your team. This will be especially important when trying to uplift employees higher into the business. That way, they will have the tools and resources ready to make their transition easier.

There are plenty of online and other digital methods to help get yourself into management coaching courses. They usually last a few weeks and primarily will give you expert advice and lessons to get you where you need to go. Try coaching courses to help you mentor your team and other managers to be more effective within their roles. That way, everyone will benefit from your course and extra work.

 

Understanding Strengths And Weaknesses Of Team Members

If you’ve become a coach within your organisation, then you will most likely be better equipped to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. This will help you find the areas to improve not just for the entire organisation, but for individual employees too.

Traditionally, managers would do this simply by sitting and observing how they work. Not only does this increase unwanted attention and pressure that could actually distract an employee, it also is not a true reflection on how they work. With modern approaches to identifying individual strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to learn from heightened awareness and knowledge.

This could help you further down the line with assigning tasks and responsibilities, as well as help prepare the team more effectively going towards a long-term goal. You will not only empower yourself but also your employees to take ownership and fix problems alone, with you nearby to help them, not berate them. At the end of the day, you should all be working together.

 

Improved Self-Awareness Of The Organisation

Managers who are capable of coaching their team members should be equipped enough to help everyone become more self-aware. The manager may have gone away to focus on coaching techniques that have helped improve themselves and their skills.

This could change the way a manager thinks when asking someone a question. They may find they are more emphatic in the way they ask something, or it could trigger different thoughts than it did beforehand. Essentially, you may find that you will be able to ask better questions that add more value and purpose.

 

A Sense Of Fulfilment

Of course, any manager that becomes a coach as well as a worker will most likely receive some form of fulfilment in what they do. That’s because they will have played a vital role in helping to improve a colleague and individuals work habits, or even on a more personal level.

What some managers don’t realise is that you don’t have to commit time and effort without receiving anything back in return. Indeed, they need to think on a bigger scale that would allow them to reap more rewards in themselves.

 

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