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- Written by Stanley K Wong
- Category: GST System Changes Articles
I have been asked during my training about any recommendation acquiring right software for GST system compliant. I have done the research based on the feedback from the delegates and what the software can cater for GST system compliant. Therefore I wish to highlight the criteria for choosing software which can provide functions and features for GST operation. I refer to the acquisition of accounting software. Organization may need to consider the implication if they have business systems more than accounting software.
Let start to discuss about the criterion for choosing right accounting software:
1. Industry Practice
GST compliant software is generally applicable for different industries on the market today. However, certain industries use dedicated brand of software for their operation and accounting requirements. These organizations may not use accounting software that are registered and certified by the Customs. It is normal as many international brands will not register with Customs as they are not only working for Malaysia.
You shall choose the software that is popular in your industry despite of these software are not registered with Customs. The setting shall be identical despite of some customization and modification work may need to alter to fit each organization. This may bring more configuration and customization in the accounting software to fit Malaysian GST Operation.
You shall determine the software that you can buy based on your budget. You can’t afford to buy software which is far beyond your budget. The price range for the license cost may vary very wide from a few hundreds to a few millions.
You have to determine the license cost, maintenance cost and implementation cost when you decide to acquire, upgrade, develop or configure the software.
License cost is one off while maintenance cost shall recur on annual basis. Implementation cost can grow very high if the scope of GST for the organization is not properly defined in GST Implementation Blueprint.
3. Procurement Options
You have to determine the procurement options on whether to buy standard certified accounting software, customized and upgrade existing or replace with new software.
Software vendors may approach you about their products. The procurement options may lead you to decide on whether you deal with the principal, channel partners and/or independent software resellers. The consulting rate may change by selecting different option. Procurement is also about to work out the number of consultants required and the grade of consultants required.
Please do not keep the lead time for decision making too long as it will reduce the available time for deployment.
4. Content of GST Requirements
The content of GST requirements includes GST-03 and GST Audit File. GST-03 is a submission form to be generated by the accounting software. It can generate delimited text file (TAP) to submit online.
International accounting software may not able to generate it within their software as they focus on global market. It needs workaround to get the GST-03. You have to check the options given by software vendors. Some will generate GST-03 through its business intelligence tools, Add-in module in MS Excel, customization and development of GST-03 for GST compliant.
As many organization are using multiple sources of business systems and GST Audit File requires keeping detail purchases and supplies transactions. This will give the challenges to the organizations which the accounting software will post the summary from the front-end systems. As there are multiple sources of business data, it is not possible to load all details into your accounting software. It is necessary for the organizations to keep multiple sources or develop a GST engine to keep all data into a single database. Multiple sources of GAF will then the option to overcome the challenges of producing single GAF which is huge size in accounting software.
5. Timeline and Availability of System Consultants
The timeline is getting tight towards April 1, 2015. The system consultants will fully occupy to deploy their accounting software. If you are too late to start preparation for GST System Changes, you may not have a consultant available to serve you. You may get overseas consultants to do the implementation as local consultants are fully occupied.
6. External Resources from other countries
It is normal that software organizations will call overseas consultants to fly in Malaysia and conduct implementation for their customers. As the consultants are from overseas such as Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China, please take the responsibility to make sure they understand Malaysian GST mechanism. Working culture may sometimes bring some hiccup during the project. GST Committee in the organization must know the requirements and not depend on the overseas consultants. Therefore the GST Implementation Blueprint and GST System Changes Blueprint are necessary.
The above criteria may serve as guidelines for organization to determine and select accounting software for GST System Compliant. It may have other consideration such as integrity with ERP, e-Commerce and Front-End Operation systems. Therefore please try your best to take into consideration of all critical factors to determine and select accounting software that fit for GST purpose.
You can download the PDF version of this article for your perusal.