Increasingly retailers that wish to operate in multiple countries can face costly and legally challenging issues around managing different fiscal regulations. A crucial element in the fight against fraud, fiscalisation ensures that a retailer’s transactions are recorded and that the appropriate VAT is paid for a particular country (read in French here).
When operating in two or more markets that use fiscalisation, help with compliance is crucial, as is working with a retail EPOS systems partner that has already achieved certification and processes to support the varied requirements.
At Eurostop we have identified five key questions to consider when thinking of expanding your business overseas:
Which retail POS should I choose?
Choosing a POS system that can meet fiscal legal requirements, handle multiple currencies, yet has an easy to use interface for staff, is critical. Having a POS that is intuitive improves customer service and reduces training time for staff, important in an industry when staff levels fluctuate to meet seasonal demand.
How do the related retail processes work?
While it’s important to have a POS system that processes sales that meet local tax requirements, it’s vital also to consider how it connects to your other systems. Unified retail EPOS systems help managers view transactions and stock movements across the whole business, including multi-channel as well as in specific countries. You may also have different fiscalisation requirements that need to be considered, depending on the nature of the goods, or for example, if there is an instore café, where the transaction needs to be recorded in a different way.
What reports are required by authorities?
Each country has specific tax laws which require different reports. These may also differ across payment methods, for example, cash, credit, vouchers, currencies and internal international bank cards can all require different reporting. Working with a specialist retail software provider helps to identify what your requirements are right from the start and how best to achieve them.
How are sales reported to the authorities?
Some countries in Europe (Poland, Italy and Hungary as examples) enforce the use of a network connected, certified receipt printer which communicates directly with the fiscal authority. However, software-based approaches are increasingly being introduced to meet new regulations. These define a process, for which POS software providers must demonstrate compliance.
Often these approaches mean that each transaction must be signed using a certification process provided by the tax authorities. The signature is formed using a number of elements, such as Register ID, receipt no, previous transaction, transaction date and time, amount, VAT amounts at applicable rates. This data is submitted to the authorities immediately via a secure web service, and once recorded, the customer is provided with a receipt.
Because each transaction is signed and contains the signature of the prior transaction, it creates a traceable history which allows the detection of missing or altered transactions, helping to reduce fraud.
How do I choose the right supplier?
Choosing the right supplier with certified software that meets the fiscalisation laws can save a lot of time and costs. At Eurostop we have experience of working with many international retailers (including M & S International, FatFace and Trespass) and are experienced in software development to meet local fiscalisation laws.
We have recently achieved certification for our retail EPOS systems, e-pos touch, to comply with French fiscalisation laws. With this certification it means that retailers can trade in France knowing that their POS complies with French fiscal law, (introduced in January 2018).
To comply with the French fiscal requirements, we integrated our retail EPOS software with EFSTA (a leading fiscal software developer) middleware solution “Electronic Fiscal Registers” (EFR). Retailers will be able to show the tax authorities that they comply using certified POS software, and the transaction process is straightforward, secure and transparent to retailers and their customers.