Opal Wave’s BPC Cloud, the unique cloud-based version of the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) system can help organisations avoid significant penalties for failing to comply with two important new initiatives.

The solution, containing a suite of essential accounting templates, supports businesses in complying with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative pioneered by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and approved by the G20group of the world’s richest nations.

BPC Cloud also assists organisations to avoid breaching the EU General Data Protection Regulation, aimed at safeguarding information about individuals in member states, which comes into force in May 2018.

Simon Bell, Opal Wave Sales and Marketing Director, explains:

“The term BEPS describes the practices of businesses which seek to minimise corporation tax payments by exploiting gaps in, and mismatches between, individual countries’ rules, which may not be suited to the current global and digital business environment.

Organisations which minimise their tax liabilities are generally not acting illegally but do aim to make taxable profits ‘disappear’ or shift them to low tax jurisdictions where they have little or no genuine activity.”

BEPS reporting is being implemented following an OECD report which proposed that the top multinational enterprises in each jurisdiction should be made to provide country-by-country reporting of relevant information relating to turnover, profit, employment and activities. In the UK, this applies to accounting periods starting after 1 January 2016, meaning that companies reporting now will be impacted by the requirements.

The GDPR, which aims to strengthen and unify data protection throughout the EU, will apply to UK businesses, as the country will not be leaving the union until 2019 at the earliest. The measure aims to restore control of their personal data to EU citizens and residents, extends the scope of EU law to foreign companies processing data about these individuals and simplifies regulation for businesses within the union.

The directive prescribes potentially severe sanctions for businesses which infringe its provisions, by, for example, publicising payroll data inappropriately. These range from written warnings (in cases of first and unintentional breaches) through the imposing of regular data protection audits to fines of up to 20 million euros or four per cent of a company’s annual worldwide turnover, whichever is greater.

Simon Bell said: “Without mentioning the reputational risk from data breaches, the penalties for falling foul of these requirements show just how damaging and expensive failing to comply with the mass of legal and regulatory reporting obligations imposed on businesses can now be.

“However, our managed cloud product’s support for compliance with the BEPS and GDPR initiatives provides secure and reliable processes to manage each. In the case of GDPR, we allow, for instance, detailed headcount planning to be controlled by department managers without the risks associated with emailing spreadsheets containing salary details. The reassurance that sensitive processes can be completed securely and faster, as well as with reduced manual effort, means our customers can concentrate on running their businesses better.”

Becoming the world’s first organisation to launch a cloud-based version of SAP BPC as a service was a highlight of Opal Wave’s successful 2016-17 financial year. This development brought the solution widely seen as the leading application of its type, which was previously only feasible for larger organisations, within the reach of many more enterprises, as cloud technology removes the need for expensive hardware or specialist IT support teams.

The solution delivers benefits such as enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in areas including budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting, as well as legal and regulatory compliance. Opal Wave launched its innovative product after concluding a unique agreement with the manufacturer and investing £500,000 in purposes such as constructing infrastructure.

Simon Bell said:

“We’re very proud of our ground-breaking cloud-based version of SAP BPC and, not surprisingly, initial market reaction to it has been extremely positive.”