Archive for the ‘Infor Financial solutions’ category

IFRS 17 – compliance accelerator system- ask Synergy Software Systems.

September 1st, 2021

IFRS 17 is the newest IFRS standard for insurance contracts and replaces IFRS 4 on January 1st 2022. It states which insurance contracts items should by on the balance and the profit and loss account of an insurance company, how to measure these items and how to present and disclose this information.

This is a big change for insurance companies and data administration, financial presentation and actuarial calculations will need to change.

 

Why are IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 implemented together?

  • The insurance liability (IFRS 17) is always closely connected to the financial instruments (IFRS 9) within insurers.
  • When a client buys an insurance, the insurance liability is created and with the paid premiums are financial instruments bought.
  • Insurers want to reduce the volatility in their earnings and there are some choices within IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 which they can make which can impact the volatility.
  • Under IFRS 17 insurers can decide whether results of changing financial risk assumption go through OCI or through the profit and loss account.
  • Under IFRS 9 insurers can decide whether changes in equity will go through profit and loss or through OCI.

Both standards will impact earning volatility and hence balance sheet management choices are connected. Consequently, the IFRS board decided it is better that insurers are granted the option to implement both standards together.

IFRS 9 explains the classification and the measurement of financial instruments. Hence IFRS 9 helps to improve the information disclosure around financial instrument. Many perceive the information disclosure around financial instruments during the financial crisis as inaccurate for example impairments on financial instruments were taken too late and the amounts were too little.

IFRS 9 makes the classification of each financial instrument more logical and principle based. There are two questions which need to be answered for the classification:

  • Why is the company holding the asset; just for collecting the cash flows from the underlying asset, or is the asset also held for trading?
  • What kind of asset is the financial asset? Is it a derivative, an equity or a debt instrument? With the SPPI (solely payment of principal and interest) model it can be tested whether an instrument is really a debt instrument.

 The classification determines:

  • which accounting principle is used;
  • should the instrument be measured at fair value or at amortized cost
  • and whether earnings and losses should go through the profit and loss account or through the OCI (other comprehensive income) account.

IFRS 9 also includes a more dynamic credit loss model instructing when an insurer should take an impairment on financial assets. The model is forward looking thereby also expected future losses should be taken into account with the impairment.

 IFRS 9 also makes hedge accounting possibilities more rule based, thereby being in line with how risks are  managed within insurers.

Why does this matter?

There is a huge impact on insurers and a big change in the disclosure.

  • Almost all of the asset and liability side is hit by the combination of IFRS 9 and IFRS 17.
  • New concepts and terms are introduced.
  • The standards will impact the presented numbers. Under IFRS 17 the insurance liability needs to be based on updated assumptions which is not currently a requirement. .
  • More data with more granularity and more history will challenge internal data storage, reporting and IT performance.
  • Reporting timelines are shortened, which will challenge the systems, and the cooperation between different departments.
  • New components like the unbiased Cash Flows, Risk Adjustment, Discount Rate and CSM are introduced. This means the insurer needs to understand the IFRS 17 principles and decide how to implement IFRS 17. For example which measurement model to choose for an insurance product, which transition measure to user. Read here more about the IFRS 17 model, and here about the transition period.
  • In the balance and income statement, insurance liability will n be specified in a different way, the importance of gross written premiums will disappear, while equity will be impacted.
  • The presentation of the balance and P&L are also significantly affected.
  • Risk engines are needed to calculate the CSM and cope with all the different groups
  • Insurers need to disclose information bases on group of contracts.
  • A group is a managed group (often a product) of contracts which were all profitable, onerous, or may become onerous (decided at inception) with a certain inception year. Insurance companies can have hundreds of groups and IFRS 17 insists on this grouping to have more transparency as insurance companies cannot offset the result of one group to another

Synergy Software Systems has been implementing and supporting financial solutions in the insurance vertical for 25 years. If you need to rapidly implement a solution for IFRS 17 compliance that will sit alongside your existing erp and finance systems then call us on 0097143365589.

August 24th, 2021

A bungled data migration of a network drive caused the deletion of 22 terabytes of information from Dallas Police Department police force’s systems – included case files in a murder trial,during a data migration exercise carried out at the end of the 2020-21 financial year

“On August 6, 2021, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) and City of Dallas Information and Technology Services Department (ITS) informed the administration of this Office that in April 2021, the City discovered that multiple terabytes of DPD data had been deleted during a data migration of a DPD network drive,” said a statement [PDF] from the Dallas County prosecutor’s office.

14TB were recovered, presumably from backups, but “approximately 8 Terabytes remain missing and are believed to be unrecoverable.”

The Home Office initially issued a statement saying the data loss was down to a “technical issue”, which had been resolved, There must have been some technical resolution because the Home Office later said it was not a technical issue after all, and in fact a “housekeeping error” with Home Secretary Priti Patel saying: “Home Office engineers continue to work to restore data lost as a result of human error during a routine housekeeping process earlier this week.”

In a letter published by The Guardian, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) deputy chief constable Naveed Malik, lead for the organisation on the Police National Computer (PNC), said approximately 213,000 offence records, 175,000 arrest records and 15,000 person records had potentially been deleted in error. The DNA database connected to the PNC saw 26,000 records corresponding to 21,710 subjects potentially deleted in error, “including records previously marked for indefinite retention following conviction of serious offences”. The letter also said 30,000 fingerprint records and 600 subject records may have been deleted in error.

The PNC dates back to the 1970s. The current iteration is a Fujitsu BS2000/OSD SE700-30 mainframe based in a Hendon data centre, running Software AG’s natural programming language-using ADABAS database. The UK’s territorial and regional police forces, Serious Fraud Office, Security and Secret Intelligence Services (MI5, MI6), HM Revenue & Customs, and the National Crime Agency all make use of it. They have controlled and 24-hour access from remote terminals and through local police force systems.

These incidents highlight the importance of backups and backup and recovery processes. How often do you test whether you can restore your back ups? Does this still work for restoring older back ups when you upgrade? Has a move to the cloud changed the retention of your back ups, the frequency of upgrades, or the ease or time for restore?

e-invoicing in KSA and Dubai – does your system meet the requirements? Ask Synergy Software Systems.

July 16th, 2021

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Kingdom announced e-invoicing for resident companies, which was published on December 4, 2020. e-invoicing will become mandatory for tax payers from December 4, 2021.

The aims of the e-invoicing mandate are to provide more transparency, and enhance consumer protection and anothee benefit of e-invoicing implementation is the readability of the invoice formats

. Companies registered in Saudi Arabia should immediately start updating or changing their systems and processes to support issuance of e-invoices. This may be a little challenging. However, the key to successful implementation is to start early.

Note that Dubai has also announced similar legislation.

If you need to upgrade or change your system or to .add additional functionality to your systems to comply with the invoicing mandate then please contact us 009714336589

On this blessed occasion of Eid, we wish you and your family good health, wealth and prosperity. And don’t forget to take a reflection on you and your business this Summer.

IFRS 17 and IFRS9 – Insurance contracts – are you ready? Ask Synergy Software Systems

June 1st, 2021

IFRS 17 is the newest IFRS standard for insurance contracts and replaces IFRS 4 on January 1st 2022. Mainly to make the financial statement easier to compare across insurance companies and among industries

It states which insurance contracts items should by on the balance and the profit and loss account of an insurance company, how to measure these items and how to present and disclose this information.

This is a big change for insurance companies because data administration, financial presentation and actuarial calculations will need to change!

IFRS 9 explains the classification and the measurement of financial instruments. Hence IFRS 9 helps to improve the information disclosure around financial instrument. Many perceive the information disclosure around financial instruments during the financial crisis as inaccurate for example impairments on financial instruments were taken too late and the amounts were too little.
IFRS 9 makes the classification of each financial instrument more logical and principle based. There are two questions which need to be answered for the classification:
• Why is the company holding the asset; just for collecting the cash flows from the underlying asset, or is the asset also held for trading?
• What kind of asset is the financial asset? Is it a derivative, an equity or a debt instrument? With the SPPI (solely payment of principal and interest) model it can be tested whether an instrument is really a debt instrument.
The classification determines:
• which accounting principle is used;
• should the instrument be measured at fair value or at amortized cost
• and whether earnings and losses should go through the profit and loss account or through the OCI (other comprehensive income) account.
IFRS 9 also includes a more dynamic credit loss model instructing when an insurer should take an impairment on financial assets. The model is forward looking thereby also expected future losses should be taken into account with the impairment.
IFRS 9 also makes hedge accounting possibilities more rule based, thereby being in line with how risks are managed within insurers.

Why are IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 implemented together?
• The insurance liability (IFRS 17) is always closely connected to the financial instruments (IFRS 9) within insurers.
• When a client buys an insurance, the insurance liability is created and with the paid premiums are financial instruments bought.
• Insurers want to reduce the volatility in their earnings and there are some choices within IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 which they can make which can impact the volatility.
• Under IFRS 17 insurers can decide whether results of changing financial risk assumption go through OCI or through the profit and loss account.
• Under IFRS 9 insurers can decide whether changes in equity will go through profit and loss or through OCI.
Both standards will impact earning volatility and hence balance sheet management choices are connected. Consequently, the IFRS board decided it is better that insurers are granted the option to implement both standards together.

Likely impacts
• New concepts and terms are introduced. for example components like unbiased Cash Flows, Risk Adjustment, Discount Rate and CSM
• The standards will have an impact on the presented numbers. Under IFRS 17 the insurance liability needs to be based on updated assumptions which is currently not the case with IFRS 4.
• Faster disclosure is needed, which needs faster processes within the organization
• Insurance liability needs to be specified in a different way, the importance of gross written premiums disappears, while equity will be impacted.
• Risk engines are needed to calculate the CSM and cope with all the different groups
• The general ledger system will change as new measurements are introduced
• Big impact on presentation of the balance and P&L
• More data is needed. with finer granularity and with more history, which challenges internal data quality and consistency and IT performance.
• Reporting timelines are also shortened. both challenging the systems but also the cooperation between different departments.
• Staff training will be needed.

To find out more about the requirements contact us or your auditors.
To update your financial software or to acquire software to support IFRS 17 please call Synergy Software Systems on 009714 3365589


Quickly identify and fix your performance bottleneck

May 4th, 2021

Are you responsible for a busy SQL server, for example, the Finance Department’s systems, documentation management, CRM, BI, or a Web Server; perhaps a busy file and print server, or something else entirely.

Were you responsible for installing the application running the workload for your company? Is the workload business critical, i.e. TOO BIG TO FAIL?

Do users, or even worse, customers, complain about performance?

If you are responsible to keep the workloads running in your organization that would benefit from additional performance, please read on – even if you don’t consider yourself a “Techie”.

Windows and VMs are both factors of high latency that impacts performance.

Variables Affecting the Performance of the Applications

There are many variables that affect the performance of those applications. The slowest, i.e. the most restrictive of these is the “Bottleneck”. Think of water being poured from a bottle. The water can only flow as fast as the neck of the bottle, the ‘slowest’ part of the bottle.

In a computer hardware the bottleneck will almost always fit into one of the following categories:

  • CPU
  • DISK
  • MEMORY
  • NETWORK

With Windows, it is usually very easy to find out which one the bottleneck is in, and here is how to do it (like an IT Engineer):

  • To open Resource Monitor – click the Start menu, and type “resource monitor”, and press Enter. Microsoft includes this as part of the Windows operating system and it is already installed.
  • Notice the graphs in the right-hand pane. When your computer is running at peak load, or users are complaining about performance, which of the graphs are ‘maxing out’? This is a great indicator of where your workload’s bottleneck is to be found.
Resource monitor

What You Can Do to Improve Application Performance

Once you have identified your bottleneck – the slowest part of your ‘compute environment’ then, what can you do to improve it?

The traditional approach to solving computer performance issues is to throw bigger and more powerful hardware at the solution like an extra disk or a new laptop, or putting more RAM into your workstation, or on the more extreme end, buying new servers or expensive storage solutions.

How do you decide when it is appropriate to spend money on new or additional hardware, and when it isn’t. Well the obvious answer is; ‘when you can get the performance that you need’, with the existing hardware infrastructure that you have already bought.

You don’t replace your car, just because it needs a service or tuning?

Let’s take disk speed as an example. Look at the response time column in Resource Monitor. Open the monitor to full screen or large enough to see the data. On the Overview tab, open the Disk Activity section so that you can see the Response Time column.

Do it now on the computer you’re using to read this. (You didn’t close Resource Monitor yet, did you?) This shows the Disk Response Time, or , how long is the storage taking to read and write data? Of course, a slower disk speed = a slower performance, but what is considered a good disk speed or a bad speed?

Scott Lowe, has written a great post that you can read here…TechRepublic: Use Resource Monitor to monitor storage performance that perfectly describes what to expect from faster and slower Disk Response Times:

Response Time (ms). Disk response time in milliseconds. For this metric, a lower number is definitely better; in general, anything less than 10 ms is considered good performance. If you occasionally go beyond 10 ms, you should be okay, but if the system is consistently waiting more than 20 ms for response from the storage, then you may have a problem that needs attention, and it’s likely that users will notice performance degradation. At 50 ms and greater, the problem is serious.”

I hope when you check on your computer, the Disk Response Time is below 20 milliseconds. What about those other workloads that you were thinking about earlier. What’s the Disk Response Times on that busy SQL server, the CRM or BI platform, or those Windows servers that the users complain about?

Your Two Options

When the Disk Response Times are often higher than 20 milliseconds, and you need to improve the application performance, then it’s choice time and there are two main options:

  • Storage workload reduction software like DymaxIO™ fast data (Diskeeper®, SSDkeeper®, and V-locity® are now new DymaxIO fast data software). This tool will reduce Disk Storage Times by allowing much e of the data that your applications need to read, to come from a RAM cache, rather than be read slower disk storage. RAM is much faster than the media in your disk storage.
  • Contact us to trial this. You don’t even need to reboot.
  • If you have tried the DymaxIO software, and you still need faster disk access, then, it’s time to start getting quotations for new hardware. It does make sense though, to take a couple of minutes to install DymaxIO first, to see if that can be avoided. The software solution to remove storage inefficiencies is typically a much more cost-effective solution than having to buy hardware! A software solution to a software problem.

Improve Your Application Performance by Decreasing Disk Latency like an IT Engineer – call us to learn more 0097143365589

10 X Faster Reports on SQL! Run Time from 30 Mins to 3 Mins! Ask Synergy Software Systems

April 27th, 2021

The performance degradation of applications running on Windows, and VMs is getting inherently worse. This includes latency issues, queries or reports timing out, crashes, missed SLAs, back office batch jobs bleeding over into production hours, and the litany of “shadow IT” problems that wreak havoc.

Even after migrating to a brand-new flash array, performance problems return because the root source of the problem still exists. The fact is, 30-40% of performance is being robbed by small, fractured, random I/O being generated due to operating system I/O inefficiencies. This is a software problem that is solved by our software.

DymaxIO™ fast data software will quickly:

  • Increase performance automatically – no tuning required. Simply install and watch performance problems disappear.
  • Optimizes writes so maximum payload is carried with every I/O operation.
  • Speed up I/O intensive applications like MS-SQL/Oracle, CRM, ERP, File Servers, Imaging, Web Servers, Backups, VDI.

Install our software on your most troublesome servers and see 30-50% or more of the noisy, garbage I/O offloaded and performance dramatically improved.

What is the true cost of software development?

January 9th, 2021

There ahs been much talk of both devops and citizen developers.
While these new paradigms are welcome and bring many benefits that does not mean that they replace other proven systems of software development.

There are reason why some consultancies quote significantly lower times to develop than other- usually tis lack of knowledge/awareness of what needs to be considered or they deliberately cut corners in areas like security, validation, documentation, testing, and so on.

If that sounds harsh then take a look a this recent post:
A report published last week by the Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ) estimates poor software quality collectively cost companies in the U.S. an estimated $2.08 trillion in 2020.

Endpoint security against cybercrime – 7 key questions

December 17th, 2020

7 Vital Questions to Ask

Endpoint security has never been more important, more complex—or more challenging— than it is today. Given the multitude of solutions and of vendors , it is very difficult to sort through all of the competing claims to find what’s truly effective.

1. Will this solution run on all the devices in my environment?
2. How long will deployment take?
3. What will the members of my team need to know or learn in order to work with this platform
4. What types of preventative controls are in place?
5.From where does the vendor get its threat intelligence?
6. How does this solution integrate with incident response workflows? 7 Is 24×7 professional support available from the vendor?
7. Can this solution be integrated with other security services, products, or platforms from the same vendor to reduce costs and complexity?

Why Comodo?- Zero Percent Infection and Breaches for Customers

Comodo offers the only cybersecurity that stops undetectable threats.
Cloud-native cybersecurity with auto-containment stops ro-day threats that AI, ML, & other technologies miss.


Historical s scores and statistics from millions of endpoints on thousands of different networks of enterprise customers. It shows zero percent infection and breaches.

With Comodo you can “Protect without Detection.” The cloud-native framework delivers you zero day protection against undetectable threats while defending your endpoints from known threat signatures. Automatic signature updates simplifies deployment across your entire environment to lower operational costs

Contact us about Advanced Endpoint Protection 0097143365589

OMAN VAT update November 2020 -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 27th, 2020

The International Monetary Fund, Oman’s economy is expected to shrink by 10 percent this year, the biggest contraction in the Gulf, and its fiscal deficit could widen to 18.3 percent of GDP from 7.1 percent last year.

Last year Oman enacted on June 15 an electronic system for registering excise taxpayers, setting the stage for residents to be taxed on products deemed harmful to public health and the environment after a 90-day grace period. The Omani “sin tax” involves a 100% levy on tobacco, pork, alcohol and energy drinks and a 50% tax on carbonated drinks. This year it increased the tax on alcohol to 100%

Oman announced that it expects to introduce an income tax on high earners in 2022, the finance ministry said in a 2020-2024 economic plan, new details of which were published late on Sunday, as the Gulf state seeks to restore finances battered by low oil prices.

The plan also aims to redirect state subsidies to those groups who need it, rather than subsidize all users. Electricity and water tariffs will be changed gradually in the coming years, the document said.

Meanwhile Oman Royal Decree No. 121/2020 was passed, and the VAT Law was published by the Official Gazette of Oman on 18 October 2020. The date of implementation is expected to be 16 April 2021 (i.e. 180 days from the date of publication of the VAT Law). The Executive Regulations will clarify certain aspects of the VAT Law and those are expected to be published soon by the Official Gazette.
In the next 4-5 months’ time, businesses in Oman should consider the implementation impacts on the entire business, operations, procurement, sales, administration, human resources, information technology, etc. We advise an internal steering committee with a representative from each function.

The VAT Law published is exhaustive with the benefit of the experience of other GCC VAT Laws.

Registration
Muscat has set a voluntary registration threshold of 19,250 Omani riyals and mandatory registration for businesses and individuals with turnover of at least 38,500 riyals.
Non-resident businesses that provide taxable supplies will be required to VAT register. Unlike resident businesses, there will be no minimum threshold that needs to be met before nonresident businesses must register for VAT with Omani authorities. A non-resident business will probably have an option to appoint an agent in Oman – that does not have to be jointly and severally liable, nor a fiscal representative of the principal. More detail is expected in the executive regulations.
Rules for digital service providers based outside of Oman are still in development. Digital service providers based outside of Oman, as well as e-commerce services, will need to pay careful attention to regulations over the coming months to ensure compliance.

VAT impact assessment,
Administration:

• VAT registration and gathering information from customers
• VAT recovery issues and VAT grouping
• VAT litigation avoidance strategies

The VAT fiscal impact,
• budgets, cash-flow, working capital, etc. Financial record keeping it is to be expected, that any company found to have kept inadequate records or issued incomplete invoices may be subject to potentially severe fines.
IT impact,
Ascertain the impact on the accounting system software and hardware such as gathering and loading data, developing statutory reports, amending other financial reports.
• The law sets out rules for proper record keeping and invoicing. All VAT-registered entities must keep specified records, including customs and invoicing documentation, and retain these records for at least 10 years. Archive storage space/cost and the impact of future planned system upgrades needs to be considered.
• The law specifies mandatory filing requirements, including documentation required when filing VAT returns. Now might be a good time to look at both document management systems and RPA e.g. for data entry validation, or VAT reconciliation or for data entry to government websites.

Process and documentation impact,
Redefine the processes under VAT – quotes, contracts and terms and conditions will need revision. Update your process documents for audit purposes.
VAT is a transaction-based tax, so the underlying legal documentation (ie, the contract or terms) detailing the supply of a good or service is the start of the review process. Review your contracts to determine the Omani VAT impact. Does the contract account for VAT (and/or other taxes)? When a contract is ‘silent on VAT’, this could well mean that the amounts specified therein are treated as inclusive of VAT. To avoid misunderstanding, such “silent” contracts should ideally be updated. Parties may need to (re)negotiate the considerations to account for non-recoverable VAT.
Businesses should also review the contracts to determine whether they reflect economic reality. Are the parties to the contracts the actual supplier and recipient of the service or goods? This is important in relation to the invoices issued by the supplier and, the right of the recipient to potentially recover VAT.
To apply the correct VAT treatment of the supply of a service or good, the supplier may need to obtain additional information from the recipient.
Contracts and/or terms and conditions may need to be revised in order to collect or store such information and to ascertain the correct Omani VAT treatment of the services or goods supplied.

Invoicing
Chapter 8 of the law outlines invoicing requirements. Any person making a taxable supply of goods or services will be required to issue a tax invoice, which may be in the form of an e-invoice rather than in paper format.
The details required to be disclosed on a tax invoice, the language in which invoices must be issued, rules for simplified tax invoices, and other similar requirements are expected to be set out in the executive regulations. Currently, it is expected that invoicing will be permitted in English and that use of Arabic will not be compulsory. The executive regulations are expected to specify when a business will be exempt from issuing tax invoices.
The requirement to issue tax invoices is also triggered in other circumstances, e.g., the receipt of advance payments that generate a requirement to account for VAT, or the making of deemed supplies.
For businesses issuing invoices in a foreign currency, the VAT amount must be stated in Omani Rials (OMR) and be converted using the average purchase and sale price of the relevant currency published by the Central Bank of Oman on the date on which the VAT is due. The tax authorities are expected to clarify whether any other conversion methods will be permitted.
This may affect your accounting system because you may sue different rates contractually or for corporate budgets or period end revaluation.
User training
e.g.
– how to add a customer TRN,
– how file a return,
– how to draft anew quote or contract.
– system changes

Transition management
Based on the VAT implementation in other GCC countries, there are challenges to be expected during the process. Complacency is a major risk, as is starting the implementation and transition activity late, and not allowing adequate time to test system and process changes.
Consider for example instances in which goods or services are paid for prior to the law coming into effect, but are only delivered once the law is in place?
The regulations indicate that VAT will have to be paid in such circumstances. However, further questions are raised in terms of invoicing and filing. More details are expected to be provided on precisely how compliance will function under these transitional circumstances
Appoint a proven implementation expert, to walk you through each type of business transaction and its treatment to avoid penal consequences.

Place of Supply
Understanding the concepts of “Supply”, “Place of Supply” and “Time of Supply” is critically important for effective implementation of Oman VAT. The place of supply shall be determined on the basis of the final consumption place of the supply, regardless of the product originating place,. When the supplies are consumed within Oman, they shall be levied to VAT. Services supplied outside of Oman to its residents will be treated as supplies in Oman. Some exemptions will apply to certain services provided to end-users outside of Oman.

For services, the place of supply depends on (i) the type of recipient (is the service business-to-business or business-to-consumer?) and (ii) the type of service. Special rules may apply to certain services such as real estate related services or electronically supplied services (or e-services). Real estate related services and e-services are always deemed to be supplied where the real estate is located respectively where the recipient is located. Particularly, overseas business-to-consumer suppliers of e-services should be aware that they will need to charge, collect and remit Omani VAT to the tax authorities.

Businesses in Oman which import services or goods may need to account for Omani VAT by means of a reverse charge mechanism. Such VAT would in principle be recoverable if and to the extent the business renders VAT taxable activities.
e-services are subject to VAT when the recipient of such services is located or residing in Oman. A reverse charge mechanism applies in case of business-to-business supplies of e-services, under which the burden of VAT is shifted from an overseas supplier to the Omani recipient. As of April 1, 2021, foreign and domestic e-service suppliers should obtain customer information (ie, verified VAT number) to determine their customers’ status (business or consumer).

Free zones
Businesses operating within free zones, special economic zones and duty free zones are likely to be subject to special VAT rules. Concessional VAT treatments are likely to be applicable for supplies within, to and from the customs duty suspension zones, free zones or special zones. Importers, who avail themselves of customs duty suspension benefits under the GCC Common Customs Law, would also likely be eligible for similar benefits under VAT. Dealing with this may require your accounting system to be able to handle a ‘reverse charge’ process.
Responsible person
All businesses will be required to have a responsible person who oversees VAT compliance. This person is liable to any penalties for failures to comply. This is similar to the UK’s Senior Accounting Officer concept, where a person can be fined up to £5,000 for not taking appropriate actions to stay compliant.
In Oman, the responsible person can personally be fined up to 10,000 OMR (nearly £20,000) with a prison sentence of up to one year. The fine can be doubled and the jail sentence doubled for repeat offenders. Any late submissions are subject to a 1% fine on the owed tax every month.
The severity of the punishments put the responsible person under considerable pressure to get things right. In a complex business, multiple users make VAT decisions, often with minimal VAT training and if you are relying on others to input data correctly then it’s imperative they do it correctly as the consequences of non-compliance are life changing.
If I were in this position, I would be doing everything in my power to achieve full compliance by using the best resources and tax technology available to me. I would also document all my recommendations.
The sensible way to mitigate the possibility of non-compliance is to minimise the risk of human error. For large businesses this means automating their VAT determination. Integrated finance/erp systems and RPA are two obvious solutions.
Most enterprise level businesses will be processing thousands of transactions a day, so human error will naturally occur when choosing tax codes, especially while VAT is a new concept in the country and wider region. Eventually staff become complacent or change jobs and new hires induction and training is less risky with automated systems.
Contact us for more information on systems we have already localised for VAT compliance, and how RPA automation can reduce cost and risk.

Exemptions:
Supply of foodstuffs, medicines and medical equipment is to be determined by the decision of the President, after coordination with the competent authorities. Some of the basic foodstuff will also be exempted from five per cent VAT. In addition to financial services, provisions of healthcare and education and their related goods and services, other exemptions are undeveloped lands (bare lands); resale of residential properties; local passenger transport; and renting real estate for residential purposes, Investment gold, silver and platinum, supplies of international goods and passenger transport and related services; supply of rescue aircrafts, boats and auxiliary ships; supply of crude oil and its oil derivatives and natural gas; import of maritime, air and land transport vehicles for transport of goods for commercial purposes as well as import of related services; and supplies for the disabled and charity organisation have been designated as zero rated.

Sector challenges

Retail sector: Certain food items may be zero-rated as per the VAT Law. The list of items which are zero-rated is not yet published. Businesses need to map the product with the list (consider the composition of the product, purpose, etc.). Incorrect classification could lead to a wrong zero-rating position.

Pharma sector: Medicines and medical equipment are zero-rated. However, the zero-rating is expected to apply in cases where the medicines are approved by / registered with the Competent authorities. The approval could be generic, or it may apply for certain period / certain class of medicines. For each sale / purchase there may need to be validation whether the medicine is approved to apply zero-rating.
Financial services: Banks and large financial institutions should classify their products into margin / fee-based income because margin is exempt from VAT and fee-based income is subject to VAT. Businesses must also consider the customer location because margins earned from a customer outside Oman will be zero-rated.
Certain charges which are penal may have a different VAT treatment. In the majority of the transactions, Islamic finance products will follow the treatment of non-Islamic finance products; however, there are some exceptions. The financial services sector may have a substantial portion of income which could be exempt, input tax apportionment.
Logistics sector: International transportation, i.e. movement from Oman to outside Oman and vice-versa is zero-rated whereas local passenger transport is exempt and local transport of goods is subject to VAT at 5%.
However the entire transportation journey involves freight forwarder, agent, shipping line, feeder operator, etc,. so ascertain the VAT impact on different charges for providing services. More clarity is expected from the Executive Regulations.
Export of services: Providing services to a customer based outside Oman is zero-rated subject to certain conditions. One important condition is that the benefit of services should accrue to the customer outside Oman. In other words, benefit should not be received by any other person in Oman. This may be subjective and depend on the arrangement with the customer and the nature of charge / services. It is advisable to identify such arrangements and to evaluate the VAT treatment. Other GCC countries are divided in terms of VAT treatment on such transactions.
It is likely that sector-specific guidance will be issued by the Oman Tax Authority to clarify the VAT treatment for different industry verticals.

Exempted Supplies from VAT
Some supplies based on transactions and others on nature will be exempted from VAT.
Supplies exempted based on transaction include:
• Any supplies transacted between the same group of the VAT group (e.g. a parent company and subsidiary or branches)
• Any supplies transacted between the same group of the VAT group (e.g. a parent company and subsidiary or branches)
• Business ownership transferred by one taxable person to another
• Any insurance claims made within the Sultanate of Oman
• All imports made by Armed forces, Army, and Air force in Oman
• All imports made by diplomats, embassies, consular bodies, international organizations. (subject to conditions)
• Supplies imported for charities and not-for-profit organizations
• Supplies brought to Oman by travellers and passengers as gifts or personal use only
• All supplies imported for people with special needs including medical aid equipmentIn addition to receivers’ or person utilizing the supplies, some supplies will be exempted from VAT by nature of product/service:
• Financial Services
• All Health Care services including the imports of medical supplies and equipment
• All educational services including the import of supplies for educational purpose
• Resale of the Real-estate and leasing of real estate properties for residential purposes only
• Non-developed land i.e. empty or barren land
• All local means of transportation for passengers

Registration process

The registration process is likely to start in January 2021 according to the Tax Authority in Oman. All registration process will be through its online e-services portal. The Applicant will have to provide the company ownership and business-related information. The necessary information required to register with the portal may include:
• Copy of trade license
• ID card and Passport copies of business owner and partners
• Company’s Memorandum of Association
• Contact details, E-mail for registration and other contact details
• Bank account details
• The income statement for the last 12 months
• Nature of business and activities performed
Each registering entity will be allotted a VAT registration identification number other than their currently held tax number.

Filing returns
Article 72 of the law prescribes the following minimum information to be provided in the periodical return:
• Value of taxable and exempt supplies;
• Total value of imported goods;
• Amount of output VAT on revenue transactions;
• Amount of recoverable input VAT on costs; and
• Net VAT due for the period.
Article 73 provides an option to amend tax returns within a period of 30 days from the date of discovery of any error or omission.

VAT payment
VAT will be payable to the tax authorities within 30 days from the end of the VAT period, together with the filing of the return. Unpaid VAT will be subject to a penalty of 1% of the tax due per month or part month, unless waived by the tax authorities in accordance with article 82 of the law

Mode of Payment
All entities entitled against the VAT requirements will have to deposit the VAT returns electronically through the E-Services portal.

VAT recovery
VAT recovery will normally only be possible in the case when the recipient has received a tax invoice which adheres to the Omani VAT invoice requirements. These requirements include details on the supplier and recipient. Any incurred VAT on incorrectly issued invoices (e.g, wrong issuing party, wrong VAT rate and/or other missing requirements) may not be recoverable. Businesses operating in Oman should define policies to ensure a proper VAT administration and invoicing.

A VAT group is a facility that allows two or more taxpayers to be registered for VAT purposes as a single taxpayer. The VAT group scheme is of interest to taxpayers with a restricted VAT recovery rate which is part of a group with non-restricted businesses. Inclusion of such payers in the VAT group may provide for (additional) VAT recovery.
Although VAT may be recoverable, the recovery itself generally takes a certain period of time. This cash flow aspect should be one of the considerations during the (re)negotiation process, particularly with large supply contracts spanning several years.

If you need advice on preparing for VAT and updating and automating your financial or erp systems then we have implemented VAT for more than a hundred companies in UAE, KSA and Bahrain. we are gold Partners for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fiinance, Infor Sunsystems and UiPAth RPA.

Call u son 0097143365589

Power Bi- October Server update, discounted Synergy training, and end of support for PBi on Windows 7

November 6th, 2020

After 10 years, support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020. In line with this, Microsoft will stop support for Power BI Desktop on Windows 7 on Jan 31st 2021. After that, Power BI Desktop will only be supported on Windows 8 or later version.

The January 2021 release of Power BI Desktop Optimized for Report Server will be supported in accordance with the Modern Lifecycle Policy i.e. supported until the next release (currently scheduled for May 2021), after which it will only receive security updates until January 2022, after which support will stop.

As always there were many enhancements to Power BI Report Server in the latest monthly update (October 2020)

Reporting

Modern ribbon
Canvas watermarks
Total labels for stacked visuals
Added general visual option to maintain layer order
Gradient legend
Relative time filter
Slicer improvements
New options for expand/collapse icons
Icons now scale with font size
Ability to customize indentation for child items
Ability to further customize slicer header text
Mobile authoring enhancements
New phone emulator
Updated visualization pane
Support for overlaid visuals
Bookmark available in the Mobile layout view
Turn off gridlines and snap to grid
Visualizations

Line chart dot formatting options
Modeling

Enhanced Dataset Metadata
Performance improvements to IF and SWITCH functions
Support for Excel financial functions
Model view enabled for live connect
Updates to Model view
Data preparation

Automatic Table Detection from Excel files
Automatic Table Detection from JSON files
Global option to disable automatic type detection
Other

Export data source to PBIDS in Power BI Desktop
Desktop splash screen dismiss

To learn more about Power BI there is still time to join our discounted webinar introduction course on 14th November – $100

contact us for details: 0097143365589