As we’ve previously noted, the scope of a tax technology transformation related to an SAP ECC-to-S/4HANA migration varies by company. From our extensive experience, more than a half-dozen factors can directly affect the duration and cost of a tax and ERP project. Fortunately, there are also several ways that tax and finance professionals can mitigate these factors and help support the success of a tax technology implementation.
Based on our involvement in hundreds of tax technology projects that include SAP implementations and upgrades, Vertex has identified several important actions that correlate directly with successful implementations. We believe that tax leaders and other stakeholders involved in ECC-to-S/4HANA migrations should consider taking the following steps to improve the speed, effectiveness and results of their Vertex implementations:
Quickly establish a project charter: A project charter formally describes the objectives and responsibilities of the S/4HANA to Vertex implementation. Acceptance criteria, key stakeholders (including the sponsor and project team), initial requirements, benefits (e.g., return on investment) and primary risks should be included in the charter. In some cases, the charter may include an early estimate of the implementation’s duration and cost along with a short list of key milestones in a project timeline.
Include an indirect tax expert early in the process: When an indirect tax expert is absent from the discovery process, pre-implementation or delivery of the project, the indirect tax assumptions and requirements tend to be incomplete or, worse, incorrect. Failure to address these shortcomings can negatively impact the scope, cost, duration and success of the project.
Enlist internal Vertex experts when possible: The project team requires a tax technology expert that has SAP and Vertex expertise. It is important to recognize that possessing SAP-only knowledge is different than having SAP and Vertex functional and technology experience. Fortunately, existing customers typically have Vertex expertise on staff. In those cases, it is valuable to include these resources in the planning and execution of the project.
Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information. The views and opinions expressed in Tax Matters are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinion of Vertex Inc.
Willie Thurman is a Solution Sales Consultant Manager at Vertex and previously served as a Principal Business Development Manager. As a tax technology professional with over 20 years in the business, Willie has vast experience integrating Vertex with major ERPs and financial applications and advising organizations on how Vertex can best support their business needs. Willie holds an M.S. from Penn State University in Management of Information Science.