“ACL Analytics Exchange will significantly improve the productivity of our entire audit team – giving us the tools to discover improper tax practices and more efficiently share information.”
Krasimir Stefanov, Executive Director, National Revenue Agency, Bulgaria
Based in Sofia, the National Revenue Agency of Bulgaria (NRA) collects and administers the country’s income, corporate, VAT (value added tax), and social security taxes at more than 30 offices nationwide. The NRA was eager to improve their data access and analysis in order to better detect improper practices and tax evasion. The NRA chose the ACL Analytics Exchange platform and completed a national implementation that will promote greater audit efficiency, seamless information exchange between regional offices, and more effective internal controls. ACL’s Authorized Distributor, Logen, provided end-to-end implementation services, including a comprehensive user training program and support, to help the NRA maximise its electronic auditing strategy.
The National Revenue Agency (NRA) collects and administers income tax, patent taxes, VAT, corporate taxes and obligatory social security contributions, including contributions to health insurance, pension insurance, and additional mandatory pension insurance. Based in Sofia, with approximately 8,000 employees working in more than 30 territorial directorates across Bulgaria, the NRA also controls the Administrative Register of Social Securities, which oversees labor contracts, declarations and more.
With an eye on increasing tax collection and federal government revenues, the NRA was eager to implement a reliable control system that would also conform to EU requirements. The internal audit team had been using manual processes and basic spreadsheet software – with low file size capacities and technical limitations – to complete day-to-day audit work. The agency needed to quickly analyse data from the multiple accounting and ERP systems used by the various companies it is required to audit.
The NRA evaluated numerous solutions through a tender procedure mandated by public procurement law and ultimately selected ACL Analytics Exchange. The implementation project involved the delivery and installation of ACL Analytics Exchange for 300 users, plus a full training program and file definitions for the 20 most commonly used accounting and ERP systems in Bulgaria. The new analytics provide direct system access to all the necessary information from company databases that are being audited.
The Analytics Exchange installation took approximately one week to complete for about 300 computers in multiple NRA locations. In total, the Analytics Exchange rollout was finalised in just six months – from start to finish. This was well within the timeline developed to manage the project.
All new ACL users also participated in a comprehensive training program delivered by an ACL-certified instructor at Logen. “In one word, it was excellent,” said NRA Executive Director Krasimir Stefanov. “The training was clear, consistent and provided an appropriate level of technical detail. The instructor’s professional skill and attitude also made the material both understandable and interesting.”
The NRA audit team expects ACL Analytics Exchange to significantly enhance audit productivity and to help uncover irregular tax practices and evasion. Immediately after completing an ACL training course, one NRA auditor used Analytics Exchange to pinpoint irregular tax procedures these findings will ultimately recover lost budget revenues. Analytics Exchange also helps the internal audit team effectively share information, regardless of where they are located, and to promote stronger organisational practices.
Specifically, the NRA is now able to extract and gather data, perform detailed analyses, prepare reports, and save the results in the secure repository. The team also uses this technology to automate standard audit procedures and promote the inter-agency exchange of information. Analytics Exchange also makes it easier to report findings and exceptions to NRA management, promoting timely follow-up on critical audit results.
By automating audits with predefined and approved analytics, the NRA can ensure that all staff members – not just technical specialists – harness the power of data analysis in their daily work, preventing critical knowledge loss if a key team member leaves the agency. Direct access to disparate company ERP and accounting systems ensures that vast data quantities and short audit timelines are no longer an issue for the NRA team. It quickly handles the “heavy lifting” and gives auditors the time and tools they need to dig deeper for anomalies and exceptions.