We do what we do because we like being the VAT ‘go-to’ guys for so many different types of businesses – big and small, European-based and US-based. We like to learn about your business, what you do and how you do it so we can let you focus on making your business successful.
Here our leadership team members talk about some of the things we do and why we do it.
Over the last 13 years we as a firm have developed a strong niche in delivering our VAT consultancy and compliance services to US businesses looking to expand in to new markets in the EU.
We have enjoyed working with some really exciting businesses that have grown from start-ups in to thriving global businesses. With our help and guidance we have seen them through to maturity and often on to mergers or acquisition by a larger business.
It’s satisfying to know we have contributed to making sure their business is set up properly in the EU from a variety of VAT perspectives; from how to organise importing and EU-wide distribution routes to the VAT treatment of delivering software services online to customers in lots of EU countries.
We have seen a great increase in demand for VAT consultancy services in the US due to a lack of what I call ‘home-grown’ advisers. Because there is no VAT system in the US and EU VAT is so different to US Sales Tax, it means that there are not many US firms producing EU VAT experts. So, US businesses are looking to the EU (or mainly the UK as we’re seeing) to fill the VAT advice gap.
Owing to my experience in advising Blue chip US businesses from the Big Four days, I understand the US business culture and understand the practical difficulties of being a US business dealing with VAT in the EU. From my experience, I know what the business needs to know, how they want it delivered and how to see our recommendations through to fruition.
So, I make sure that we cut to the chase and deliver our advice in clear and actionable pieces. Our clients really appreciate that and most continue to work with us to manage their on-going VAT compliance obligations after the initial phase of consultancy is done.
One of the things I enjoy most about our work is that we often work with people in one business and then again when they have moved on to a different business. We find that people in finance and tax roles move around quite often (especially amongst our US-based clients) to find new innovative businesses to help grow. So, when they arrive and settle in to their new role they remember how we’ve helped them and they get back in touch.
That’s really satisfying for me and our team because we think that endorsement of coming back to work with us shows we’ve done a good job and is a testament to the quality of support and advice we have given them.
I think part of the reason people come back to work with us is because we make the process of trading in and with the EU as simple as possible – we have a structured and proven approach that enables them to do their job effectively.
In working with people that we have supported before, it also makes our job easier because they have a legacy of VAT knowledge from working with us before and through our comprehensive online VAT training courses.
More than once we have been likened to an American Football Quarterback – at first I wasn’t sure what it meant (I prefer rugby) but I later understood when it was explained to me by a client. Now it seems like a great analogy and fits with what we do and how we go about it.
Let me explain.
Our Quarterback duties can be summed up as:
What that means is we step in to the business to act like the in-house VAT team – we like to become an extension of the business to give our VAT advice and support. In that way, if your business is the coach, we become your representative in guiding you through EU VAT issues.
Once your business is underway trading in and with the EU, we call the plays by setting the VAT strategy based on what we have learnt in the initial fact-finding stages of the process. Once the right VAT strategy is in place, we can help with on-going support and project coordination to lead the business towards the end goal of successfully determining their VAT position and managing VAT compliance obligations.