The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has fuelled the development of technologically-based taxation products and solutions. It has enabled a slew of procedures to be automated, ranging from GST registration to return filing and all in between.
Alabama has been attempting to solve for the automation of these activities and workflows in India in the field of cloud-native tax goods. “The GST regime can assist save a significant amount of manual labour. “Not many people understand this,” says Manjula Muthukrishnan, MD of Avalara, a US-based software company.
“Look at how the entire GST regime has worked—mandating returns online, bringing up e-bills, and then the multiple compliance target dates—it has driven several firms to shift,” she says.
The pandemic has also forced many firms to go online, which has boosted the demand for tools and solutions that may help them with their GST requirements. According to Muthukrishnan, the business community, particularly SMEs, is only now beginning to automate their taxation and bookkeeping workflows, which creates a great opportunity for various solution providers such as Avalara.
“Because of its sheer size, India has significant prospects in both direct and indirect taxation,” adds Muthukrishnan. Deep engineering and significant R&D efforts are required for tech organizations trying to provide effective solutions to the multiple touchpoints in the processes. Avalara has used India as an engineering hub.
Furthermore, Avalara seeks people that can help with both tech accounting and taxation. The company has professional accountants and tax lawyers on staff who contribute directly to the goods. Muthukrishnan says that the company plans to interact with the developer community to a much deeper degree than it is presently active to make product engineering even more efficient. “We are launching a substantial campaign to improve our developer community integration. Otherwise, we’ve been quite open in terms of hosting a lot of technological platforms, where AI and ML are debated and experimented with in-depth to streamline and automate processes,” Muthukrishnan continues.
However, in a typical and crowded market, things are not easy. Regulations and deadlines, according to Muthukrishnan, were the key reasons for many enterprises to shift online. This behavioural shift is difficult to achieve. There is an increasing demand for product firms to build relatively basic goods that cover the entire GST regime while keeping pricing in mind.
Furthermore, some people are accustomed to a particular product and like to stick with it, making it difficult to grab and keep the market.
“Customers frequently inquire about security and privacy. This is a constantly monitored region, and we need to transfer that confidence to the market, to the customers,” Muthukrishnan says. According to her, the company collects only transaction data from businesses to optimize goods while maintaining customer anonymity.