5 Steps For Implementing Value Added Tax In UAE

Posted by Stuart Watts on October 17, 2017

Tax In UAE

By January 2018, architecture and engineering businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will need comply with Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations. Here are our 5 steps for implementing VAT in the UAE and discover how ERP software can support you with VAT compliance...

Organisations often don’t have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution in place, which is critical to the successful implementation and ongoing management of Value Added Tax in UAE. ERP enables businesses to quickly and accurately track, manage, report and audit financial details like VAT, along with the other core financial, resource and project management functions. Effectively an ERP integrates an organisation’s business information - including finance and accounting, customer relationship management, human resources, resourcing and project management – all of which will be affected in some form by the introduction of VAT.

So with this in mind, how should your business approach the implementation of VAT? And how can an ERP solution support you with VAT compliance? This blog outlines a step by step process to help you prepare your business for VAT.

  Tweet it out: '5 steps for implementing VAT in the UAE'


Free eGuide

Are you on track for VAT compliance?



1. Not Preparing Is Preparing To Fail

Prepare a VAT implementation project plan and inform all the necessary internal and external resources, as VAT is not just a finance project. It affects all transactions and touches IT systems, finance, human resources, legal teams and even inter-organisation transactions.

Appoint a project lead who will liaise with all the key stakeholders – neither the introduction of VAT nor selection of an ERP is something a manager or C-level executive can do on their own. It’s essential to get buy in from others in the business to ensure all parties understand their role within VAT processes and how an ERP solution can support them in their daily life.

2. Undertake An Impact Assessment

Complete an impact assessment to understand VAT, its commercial effects, and to prioritise issues. This is a key step as it sets the foundation for implementation. The assessment should review the various effects VAT has at organisational, operational and financial levels and outline which systems, controls, reporting and governance processes will need to be amended or introduced. It should also highlight training requirements.

3. Review Your Systems In Detail

Establish what systems you need to ensure your business will be VAT compliant. It’s important to review whether your current systems enable you to easily configure tax codes and calculations to ensure you can track this complex tax. You will need to establish if you can easily manage VAT compliance within your invoices and identify if you have a quick and simple way of pulling together accurate data for your VAT return. If your business typically uses error-prone spreadsheets and disparate systems, it will be much harder to report on VAT accurately and to demonstrate compliance, thus leaving your business at risk of stiff penalties. If you don’t have this infrastructure in place, it is worth exploring an ERP system, like Deltek, as they are designed to support with VAT compliance.

4. Create A Road Map And Stick To It

Develop a road map which outlines the changes required. It is worth starting out by mapping the transaction footprint to understand the VAT obligations across the business. This will help you to understand the changes required at different levels within the organisation and should form the basis for making changes across different verticals in the organisation including IT, project delivery and human resources.

5. Test, Test, Test… And Test Again

Register for VAT and test your business systems to ensure they are capable of compliance and reporting. It’s really important to test your VAT system, processes and controls ahead of 1st January 2018 so that you can be confident your new systems and processes are working correctly. And when you need to submit your first official VAT return, allow for extra time to ensure it is complete and accurate.

Deltek’s ERP Solution Can Support You With VAT Compliance


Deltek’s ERP solution is purpose-built for the Architecture and Engineering (A&E) industry and is used by over 12,000 A&E businesses worldwide. It offers a robust financial and project management solution that gives organisations complete visibility into their business and projects from a single, integrated platform. It’s also designed to aid VAT compliance and has done since VAT was first introduced in other countries over 30 years ago.

If you’re thinking about reviewing Deltek, it’s worth noting that SSH, #3 in 2015’s Top Ten Architecture Practices in the Middle East, believes Deltek ERP will support the business with VAT. Sean Dewhurst, Change and IT Director at SSH said: “Deltek software means that we are well positioned to implement VAT processes swiftly and be confident that we can comply with the new regulations.” Ultimately Deltek will remove the administration burden associated with VAT compliance, freeing you up to run your architecture and engineering projects successfully.


Are You VAT Compliant?

Find out how your business can prepare, with our free eGuide.

Download Your Copy