Taxamo by Vertex helps Ubisoft automate international indirect tax compliance
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy’s video game series including Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and The Division. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. Award-winning and phenomenally successful, Ubisoft is continually recognized for its innovation and responding to its customers’ voracious appetite for gaming content.
Selling its gaming products and services to an increasingly global digital audience meant that Ubisoft needed to comply with a growing number of different tax obligations and liabilities in all the countries its customers make purchases from. As sales of Ubisoft’s subscription model surged and its customer-base continued to expand into new international territories, indirect tax management was becoming increasingly time consuming.
A crucial requirement for Ubisoft was also to create a seamless experience for the customer at all stages of the purchasing journey. Ubisoft’s tax collection and remittance process was tracked and managed via multiple systems alongside Excel spreadsheets - an approach that had worked effectively for a long time. But as the volume of international transactions increased, it was clear the existing system was going to become more labour intensive and an automated system needed to be implemented.
With each new country entered, each new threshold reached in different territories and compliance requirements in existing regions constantly changing, the finance team’s valuable time was being eaten up by manual tax management processes.
Ubisoft recognized that managing these additional tax complications manually was not efficient. Françoise Thomas, Accounting Director, Ubisoft explains: “The games industry is booming and to continue to give our customers the very best experience we need to evolve our offering to meet their needs”.
“Our new subscription model and success introducing our brand into new territories meant that our existing manual processes needed to be updated to efficiently manage future growth and business models. It was clear that we needed to find a way to streamline and automate indirect tax calculations and compliance on all sales.”
Why Taxamo by Vertex?
Having at first considered building its own in-house tax solution, Ubisoft also decided to review the leading indirect tax solutions on the market. It was during this process that it discovered Taxamo by Vertex. From the outset, Ubisoft was impressed with the tax automation specialist’s proactive approach to understanding its unique business requirements.
Taxamo by Vertex set itself apart from other third-party tax solution providers by demonstrating its understanding of the complexities of international indirect tax legislation, with a strong expertise on European tax rules. As international tax experts, Taxamo by Vertex fully understood Ubisoft’s indirect tax challenges around sales of both digital and physical goods and was able to demonstrate how it could support this transactional process.
Taxamo by Vertex was also able to support Ubisoft’s need for seamless integration with Zuora, the software behind its subscription model. Additionally, Ubisoft was impressed with the ease of use of the Taxamo by Vertex solution and the accessibility of the dashboard enabling real-time access to sales and tax data.
Françoise Thomas continued: “Taxamo by Vertex took the time to understand our business model and our indirect tax management challenges. As we expand into new territories, Taxamo by Vertex's expertise of the international tax landscape was invaluable. The Taxamo by Vertex team has been extremely responsive to our requirements from the outset and is a true business partner who works with us to support our current and future needs from a tax perspective.”
Business Benefits and Outcomes
The Taxamo by Vertex solution now manages Ubisoft’s international indirect tax compliance related to the EMEA zone. Streamlining and simplifying the process, Taxamo by Vertex applies customer location determination logic on each transaction as they happen.
The Taxamo by Vertex dashboard tracks and offers visibility of all tax threshold statuses and provides an audit trail of exactly how indirect tax is calculated in each country.
With real-time access to all its indirect tax management information in one central location, Ubisoft can archive all sales and tax information in the Taxamo by Vertex portal allowing for a comprehensive audit trail on all online sales. Taxamo by Vertex's seamless integration with Zuora enabled Ubisoft to go live with its subscription model very quickly. Now when a customer upgrades or downgrades their monthly subscription all indirect tax implications are automatically calculated as part of the purchasing process, meaning the customer experience is seamless.
Samy Toupet, IT Project Manager ERP, Ubisoft, said: “Not only is our business growing rapidly, our approach to delivering gaming content to our customers is evolving too. Taxamo by Vertex was able to quickly integrate into our eCommerce ecosystem to support our changing business.
“The automation of this entire process means that the finance team now has more time to work on other projects and deliver more value-add to the business. Taxamo by Vertex's dashboard gives us access to real-time sales data in one place and enables us to optimize our financial forecasting, planning, and reporting processes. We’re a fast-paced, rapidly growing and evolving business and Taxamo by Vertex has answered our indirect tax management needs for automation, scalability, traceability and compliance.”