“ACL technology helps our customers perform reliable and secure data analysis, remain compliant with regulations, and better manage their tax risks.”
Gwenaelle Bernier, Associate Partner, VAT, Customs and Indirect Taxes, Fidal Direction Internationale
Fidal Direction Internationale is the largest law firm in France, with 2,300 employees and over 1,300 lawyers who specialize in tax and legal issues. Fidal notably helps clients achieve full compliance with Europe’s extremely complex VAT laws. Frustrated by limited-volume spreadsheet software and technical tools that required significant IT assistance, the Fidal team implemented ACL software. The solution helps Fidal minimize financial risks for clients navigating tax regulations to avoid costly penalties. ACL software has boosted efficiency, offers seamless access to heterogeneous data, and eliminates file size limitations. ACL gives Fidal’s tax and legal professionals an early warning system to identify client tax issues before they lead to fines and revenue leakage.
Fidal Direction Internationale is France’s largest law firm, with 95 offices in France, one in Brussels, and partners in 150 countries across five continents. Fidal offers legal and multidisciplinary global tax consulting services for companies of all sizes – from SMEs to large enterprises.
Complying with Europe ’s complex VAT laws has become a major challenge for Fidal’s clients. Information systems and data represent the core of business operations, so full tax management visibility is critical to organizations of every kind.
To support their work analysis, Fidal’s tax and legal professionals needed seamless data access and the ability to reconcile large data files in a variety of formats. They were eager to optimize performance and improve customer service through greater efficiency, faster testing, and exhaustive access to both errors and opportunities. Full data coverage, rather than random sampling, was essential. The team’s existing spreadsheet software could only handle small files and other technical tools required significant IT intervention. Fidal wanted a powerful solution that offered secure, independent data access – without limits or multi-platform complications.
The French Tax Administration and many EU governments use ACL software, so the solution was a natural choice for Fidal. ACL can also streamline reporting, and effortlessly processes unlimited file sizes.
Fidal kicked off its ACL implementation by using ACL Training Services to train 30 lawyers. Once training was complete the lawyers were able to immediately apply the audit analytics to client projects. The rollout began with Fidal’s international department, which serves multinational companies with complex IT systems and data sets. ACL is now being deployed into offices across the region.
ACL quickly provided a significant ROI for both Fidal and its clients. With audit analytics, the team can minimize financial risks for companies managing tax administration regulations. One Fidal client avoided a £440,000 tax penalty, thanks to an ACL data analysis project. The solution has boosted internal performance and, on average, ACL equips staff to slash the time needed for data analysis from eight hours to just two.
ACL analytics also help Fidal pinpoint tax risks related to information systems. Staff can easily audit and chart all company data analyses – a task that now takes nearly 50 percent less time to complete. With ACL technology, Fidal is defining a policy of continuous tax management across the entire enterprise. One multinational Fidal client used ACL to overhaul VAT audit methodology in its accounting systems. Staff now independently access and analyze large data feeds from SAP and cross-reference the data to isolate potential business issues. With ACL, the client took greater control of its tax risks and has effectively avoided heavy tax adjustments and penalties.
Using ACL, Fidal staff have become experts in managing tax authorities’ computerized accounting audits (or “e-tax audits”), which combine high-level understanding and IT systems management with deep knowledge of tax issues.
ACL technology enables Fidal Direction Internationale to: