Dell Technologies is a multi-national computer technology company based in the United States. Following its $60 billion acquisition of EMC Corp in 2016 – the largest technology merger in history — Dell Technologies is now the world’s largest privately controlled technology company, with USD $74 Billion in revenue and more than 140,000 employees worldwide.
Until 2016, Dell used Concur as their T&E solution and operated their VAT recovery efforts in a decentralized manner. The Dell’s team found themselves sifting through boxes of receipts and reviewing hundreds of thousands receipts manually, a task doomed to failure from the start.
According to Eoin Fitzgerald, VAT Director, Dell EMC and EMEA VAT Leader, Dell recognized that the company needed a better solution to streamline their VAT recovery efforts. They realized that hiring additional resources was not on option, and, as a technology company, sought a technology-based solution for VAT reclaim.
Dell partnered with VATBox, an automated, enterprise-wide, cloud-based VAT recovery solution, to streamline its domestic and EMEA VAT recovery process, and to provide full visibility, compliance, and data integrity into all VAT spend.
Dell provided VATBox with hundreds of thousands of invoices that they would have had to process manually. The results? VATBox found millions in VAT potential. Whereas the Dell team had been concentrating on processing only larger invoice amounts above €50, VATBox’s automated extraction tool processed, analyzed and submitted every single invoice, no matter its size. With a large percentage of Dell’s VAT recovery coming from T&E invoices below €50, the VAT refunds on these smaller invoices added up significantly.
Fitzgerald and his team were amazed to learn that Dell had been missing out on millions of their VAT reclaim potential because they had not considered the smaller invoices, says Fitzgerald, “Though we were looking for the gold, we actually missed half the picture.” The visibility to the data showed that 62% of Dell’s invoices were below €50, meaning the team was only analyzing 38% of the total invoices. Watch the video here.
Fitzgerald explains that the connection between VATBox and Concur makes the data extraction process seamless. VATBox gathers all the data into its portal, does all the required checks and matching, determines eligibility and whether it’s qualified and can be claimed. Dell then uses VATBox’s user-friendly dashboard to slice-and-dice the data across the company’s entities. Data can be viewed by specific entity, country or category, etc. Companies have full visibility into their refund potential, disqualified invoices and actual reclaims. One can drill down over and over, up to the actual invoice level. In addition, the VATBox dashboard offers attractive visual tools to help the tax team present the data.
As Fitzgerald quipped, “That’s what makes me smile.”
Fitzgerald describes the eye-opening experience of learning that the company had a high percentage of disqualified invoices – of which its potential VAT could not be recovered because of missing evidence. VATBox’s dashboard indicates exactly which invoices were disqualified, and the reason for the disqualification, such as invalid invoices, missing supplier tax ID or company name, or invalid VAT information.
“This is not hard, it’s not time consuming or resource intensive and it’s one that is actually really effective. When you can see the kind of information that you can share, it’s very powerful, and it’s that kind of information that you would not have had access to before.”
Dell is working closely with VATBox to improve its invoicing process and to reduce its disqualification rate by training employees to understand the implications of their actions. Also, with positive results on VAT recovery for T&E, Dell plans to expand its relationship with VATBox into the realm of AP invoices, as well as expanding into new regions, domestic and foreign.
As the founder of the company, Michael Dell, has famously said, “Technology is about enabling human potential.” Says Fitzgerald, “In my view, VATBox has ultimately used technology to enable Dell to recover more VAT than we ever dreamed about.”
Founded in 2012, VATBox implements the highest level of data security and compliance with all international rules and regulations of the various jurisdictions, and offers companies 360⁰ visibility into their VAT spend and recovery. Let us show you too how your company can thrive in today’s complex financial times. Request a free demo here.