How to Prevent Employee Expense Frauds in the Workplace?

Did you know that your own employees are more likely to commit a fraud than your agents or intermediaries? This striking revelation was made through a recent survey that was conducted by Kroll advisory services.

According to the report, about 80% of the frauds are committed by junior employees, freelancers, and senior or middle management employees. What’s more, these frauds cause an estimated loss of as much as 3% of your overall revenue.

Types of Frauds

All frauds can be broadly classified into two categories:

Submission of False Expenses:

An employee may submit expenses that never incurred in the first place or don’t qualify for reimbursement. Examples include:

  • Food or personal items masked as business expenses
  • Manipulated receipts
  • Expenses for services that were never availed

Manipulation of Legitimate Expenses:

An employee may exploit legitimate expenses for personal gains. Examples include:

  • Adding additional costs to basic expenses, such as tips for restaurant and hotel bills, etc.
  • Deliberately choosing higher class flight tickets, hotel rooms, even when cheaper options are available
  • Inflating the conveyance expenses

How to Prevent These Frauds?

The main reason why in-house frauds are prevalent even today is that most businesses are unaware of the problem and the kind of financial damage it can do. Even those who are aware are being lax. However, this doesn’t change the fact that it’s a serious problem and must be addressed.

Fortunately, tackling the problem of employee expense frauds isn’t that hard. The following are some of the ways you can go about it:

  1. Creating an Expense Policy

Creating an expense policy will hit the nail on the head. It will show that you are serious about expense management and will closely watch for expense frauds.

By setting up rules and regulations on how the employees should deal with business expenses, you can maintain transparency and ensure that the employees don’t incur unnecessary expenses or deliberately inflate the necessary ones.

  1. Performing Background Checks on the Employees

A lot of times, employees that indulge in frauds have a history of such acts. They also tend to switch jobs frequently to protect themselves from getting caught.

So, it only makes sense to conduct a background check on every employee you are going to hire. If references are available, then look into those. For full assurance, feel free to validate their prior work experience by contacting the company they worked with prior to leaving.

  1. Looking Out for Signs

There are often some tell-tale signs that suggest fraudulent activities. So, you may want to investigate just to be sure if an employee is:

  • Shying away from disclosing certain personal details
  • Showing anomaly in their financial records
  • Frequently absent from work
  • Involved in missing certain files or documents
  1. Setting up a System that can Record all Expenses Digitally

A large number of organizations are still using antiquated first-generation expense solutions even when affordable enterprise-level solutions are available.

If you are still recording your business expenses and invoices in excel sheets or other types of self-created documents, then maybe therein lies the problem.

By switching to a professional expense management software, you can bring a high level of transparency in the expenses and also identify areas where costs can be reduced. Since it will allow the employees to report the expenses in a structured and digital format, they will find it difficult to commit frauds. Of course, you on your end will also be able to monitor the expenses easily.

Expense fraud is a serious problem which often goes overlooked because of the lack of a robust expense management system that can help you identify the problem in the first place. You could be losing a sizeable portion of your revenue because of the in-house frauds. However, there is no easy way to discover the same unless you use a new-age expense management platform or service.

How to Create an Effective Expense Policy for Your Business?

Every business, whether big or small, has to deal with at least some expenses. These are recurring expenses that include utility bills, building rent, salaries, etc. and also miscellaneous expenses for recreation, travel, and more. However, it’s important to keep track of these to maintain your grasp on the cash flow.

Expense management is also important to prevent misuse of company’s funds and fraudulent activities. It brings us to the concept of expense policy.

What is an Expense Policy?

An expense policy is a well-thought-out document comprising of rules and regulations that govern the business-related expenses incurred by you, your employees and vendors, and everyone else involved.

Why do You Need One?

Organization and discipline can make a huge difference in the way a company works. Without rules, mistakes are bound to happen more frequently. Plus, the employees may find it easier to take unfair advantage of their company in the absence of a well-regulated procedure that deals with the business expenses.

So, you need a smart expense policy for:

  • Ensuring transparency in the incurred business expenses
  • Keeping unnecessary expenses under check and bringing down the operational costs
  • Preventing frauds

How to Create One that Works?

To create an effective expense policy, it’s important to keep the following points in mind:

Keeping it Simple

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read” – Leo Burnett, Founder, Leo Burnett Worldwide

Keep the expense policy simple, and your employees will easily get it and follow it without a problem. However, overcomplicate it, and you are bound to lose them. You can also expect more disputes to be being raised in the latter.

An effective expense policy is:

  • Devoid of unnecessary jargon and corporate-talk
  • No longer than it’s supposed to be
  • Created with a tone that’s both friendly and assertive

Keeping it Fair

When you are creating an expense policy, the last thing you want is to turn your employees against you, or have them slip into a “rebel mode”. This is because it’s likely they won’t appreciate the move. It’s likely they are used to handling expenses the old-way, the way that offered them a high level of flexibility. So, change is necessary, but you don’t want to coerce it either.

Not only your expense policy has to be fair to your employees, it has to look that way too. Although, the former can be largely accomplished with the point discussed above.

As for the latter, it’s important to think from your employees’ point of view when you create the policy draft. For each point, ask yourself:

“Would I want this if I were the employee?”

If the answer is no, then maybe you need to make some changes in the same.

An excellent way to go about creating an expense policy is to hear what your employees have to say about the way how the company expenses should be managed. It will definitely help to hear them out and note their responses.

The “Bulk” of it

Your expense policy should clarify the following:

  • List of expenses that are to be paid directly by the company, and…
  • List of expenses that are to be paid by the employees for which they will be reimbursed.
  • List of travel expenses covered by the company along with their limits.
  • Guidelines on how the employees can minimize company expenses.
  • List of expenses that are not covered by the company.
  • Procedure for getting refunds for the work-related expenses.

Although you are free to add more to your expense policy, the points given above should cover the fundamentals.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a “timeless” expense policy. You have to update your policy from time to time as your company grows and the way it works changes, etc.

Effective Ways of Tracking Profit-Loss in Your Business Projects

So many companies come up with innovative products and services, build the best-in-class teams, and devise all kinds of strategies for business upscaling. However, a good portion of these business owners doesn’t pay attention to the cash flow as much as they should. It’s no surprise that about 50% of the businesses fail within the first 4 years.

There are several risks associated with ineffective tracking of profit and loss in your business projects. These are:

  • Frauds: When your profit-loss monitoring system is flawed or ineffective, your employees could be tempted to steal money from the business itself. Believe it or not, it’s fairly common for employees to write cheques to themselves from their company’s account. You could be losing 5% of your annual revenue to frauds like these.
  • Human Error: Reconciliation mistakes can often be costly. You could be making major business decisions on the basis of erroneous data, thus potentially opening a Pandora’s box.
  • Cashflow Leaks: Cashflow leaks is the money you are losing for no reason. These should be identified and plugged immediately.

Now that we have established how ineffective monitoring of your profits and losses can cause monetary damage, it’s time to look at some of the ways you can avoid this from happening:

Financial Statements

There are three types of financial statements that you need to track- balance sheet, income statement, and the cash flow statement. The first one shows the overall financial health of your business, the second one is about the business profitability reflected through the profits and losses, and the third one shows the liquidity.

Business Expenses

There are two types of expenses:

  • One-Time: These include replacing a damaged computer, an overseas business trip, etc.
  • Recurring: These are your office space rent, utility bills, vendor costs, etc.

Every single business expense should be accounted for. The employees must keep the receipts of such expenses with themselves and upload the same on a centralized system through which you can assess the losses. This also helps in keeping in-house frauds under check.

Orders, Shipments, and Returns

If you sell goods, then orders and shipments can greatly affect your business performance. For instance, if orders are getting misplaced more frequently, and you have to resend them, then these additional shipping costs contribute to the overall loss. Similarly, if a customer returns a product back, then it’s money wasted in the form of shipping cost, as well as the loss of the sale itself.

Taxes

Small businesses can only afford to employ the “essential” talent. Thus, they often keep marketers, branding experts, and accountants, etc. out of their core team. However, filing the correct amount of taxes is important. This has become even more critical now under the GST regime as you are expected to pass on the benefits of the new taxation system to your customers in order to avoid any action undertaken by the anti-profiteering authority against you.

There are various tax-deductible expenses that can be subtracted from your company’s taxable income. The more you add, the lower will be the taxes that you have to pay. However, to do that you have to track and record the appropriate expenses so that you can file your IT return properly.

Technology is the Solution

Technology, the Internet, Social Media, etc. have changed the way we do business today. In fact, these are one of the main reasons why a growing number of start-ups are able to achieve unparalleled success with a limited budget.

You don’t need an expert bookkeeper to monitor the profits and losses of your business project. Best-in-class expenses and invoice management software is enough to provide you a snapshot of your business cash flow.

It would greatly help if the platform of your choice is GST-ready and offers linkage of your business bank account directly with the accounting module. This can help minimize human errors and in-house frauds, and increase overall transparency in your business profits-losses.

What are Some of the Best Ways to Cut Business Expenses?

Every successful business has to continually come up with ways on how to increase profits and how to reduce the operational costs. However, for the SMEs in particular, the latter is quite important. This is because they often have a tight budget and a fluctuating cash flow.

Fortunately, there are various ways to reduce the business expenses. The most effective ones are as follows:

Outsourcing

The gig economy is doing wonders for the small businesses for two main reasons-

1) It is apt for a business that has unpredictable work requirements

2) It’s highly affordable.

More and more people are applying for remote jobs. In fact, many are quitting their full-time jobs to take a freelance approach to their career. So, instead of setting up a large in-house team, you can limit your staff to only a few core members, and outsource the remaining work to freelancers. This way you would only need to pay the exact amount of work you need.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

It’s no secret that quality software can greatly improve the productivity of your employees and reduce costs. However, the best way to go about it is to opt for SaaS i.e. Software as a Service.

In SaaS, you don’t purchase the software itself, but a license to use it as a service. For a small monthly/yearly fee, you can use all the features of the software. There are many advantages of this-

  • Access to enterprise-level software that are generally used by large corporations.
  • Affordable costs
  • Reduces business expenses (as a large number of business-related tasks can be done by the in-house employees only, which eliminates the need to hire more workers)
  • Access to better analytics

Examples of SaaS software include office suite (programs for spreadsheets, word documents, etc.), expense management, invoice management, etc.

GST and Other Taxes

One of the strongest features of the Goods and Services Tax regime is Input Tax Credits (ITC). This is the tax refund you will get on the goods and/or services sold to customers or other businesses. However, it can be difficult to record all your transactions with accuracy and in an organized format. It means that there is a possibility of you losing money on the unaccounted sales.

With a GST-ready software, you can keep an accurate record of all your business transactions along with the appropriate invoices. This will help you get the full ITC amount that you deserve. Additionally, this will help you save on the income tax with the provisions given under the Section 80C, etc.

Going Paperless

We live in a digital era now. However, most of the businesses haven’t gone 100% paperless yet, even though that’s the way to go if you want to reduce business expenses.

In a paperless office, you don’t merely save money on the paper and the printing itself, but in terms of business productivity as well.

For instance, instead of using paper invoices you can send digital invoices to your clients which saves both time and energy. Similarly, using accounting and expense management software you can improve the productivity of your bookkeeper. Another example is collaboration tools (software that allow the employees to work together without even leaving their cubicles), etc. The options are endless.

Apart from these, you can also consider switching to a payment gateway that offers lower fees and faster payments, imposing penalties for late payments made by your clients, finding vendors that are offering better rates, etc.

4 Reasons to Choose Invoicing over Accounting Software

With GST here, the need to have a cloud-based invoicing software is more than ever. Right from dealing with estimates to sending payment reminders – there’s a lot that goes along with operating a business in GST era. We at numberz understand how businesses in today’s freelance economy are finding themselves swamped in a sea of information, rumor and requirement. While few owners take the DIY approach, others look for tools to help automate their cash flow and GSTR.

Since businesses take different routes to handle their finances, such as invoicing and accounting platforms – it gets confusing over the time to settle for one that works for you! This article will focus on the need to choose invoicing software over an accounting software.

1. Different Breeds. Different Needs.

While Accounting software lets users document financial transactions, invoicing software allow users to create and send professional looking invoices in an efficient, flexible manner. Unlike accounting software, invoicing platforms have a standard feature set such as automated reminders, recurring invoices, and payment gateway options.

2. Better Features. Fewer Clicks.

Compared to some traditional accounting platforms – you won’t be confused and overwhelmed by the options provided in invoicing software. This is because invoicing platforms are designed to be more manageable since they cater to the needs of budding and small business owners.

3. Value for Money

While cost varies widely among invoicing and accounting software, you will find that invoicing platforms have plans which are more beneficial to your business than equally priced accounting platforms.

4. Proper Customer Data

Accounting software is all about maintaining company figures while invoicing software is more towards customer front. The latter helps you to segment customer data so that end users only get access to what they need, I.e., outstanding balance, etc.

Still curious about which is the best for your business? Or debating on the difference between the two? Drop us a line at support@numberz.in or tweet us @numberzofficial, and we will get back to you!

How to Improve Business Operations with Proper Expense Management

For every single business, the importance of proper expense management is always huge. If you have just started your business and you are trying to improve your business operations and overall profits, then you must know that the expense management holds a key to your success. We have seen business having huge income but, they were unable to improve their situation because of the bad expense management.

It is always necessary for you to go through the things that will help you in the best way possible. There are multiple ways to improve your business operations and earn good profits and the first way is by managing your overall business expenses. It is necessary for you to go through the details that will help you manage your business expenses, improve your profits and get your business on track.

Moreover, you should also understand the basics of managing your cash flow when you are starting your business. You should always deal business as a separate entity and make sure that you are not jeopardizing business operations in any way. Here, we have come up with few important ways to improve your business with proper expense management.

Automation is the right way to do so

Most of the companies are using the automation that helps them track their overall expenses. It is always better for you to automate the expense management so you can avoid all the issues. Finding the best way to manage your business operations can be hard. If you have just started your business, then you should consider automation to improve the expense management. It is the best way to proceed so you can improve the productivity by cutting the costs and focusing on the right places.

Try to find a professional

When you are trying to find the perfect way to manage your expenses, then you should consider finding the best professional service. If you are not sure how you can manage your expenses, and you have no idea how to track them, then you must consider getting help from the professional. You can hire expense management service so you can come up with a great solution. It will help you improve your business operations and you will also help you with the cash flow management. If you can control your expenses, then you will be able to improve the profits of your business.

Look for better price when purchasing

One of the best ways to manage your business expenses is by finding the products at the best price. If you have to make purchases for the business, then you should look for the best price so you can come up with a great solution. By finding the equipment and other products for business at the best rate, you will be able to reduce the overall cost and you will be able to avoid major issues. Make sure that you are finding the right vendors that will give you the best rates when you are making purchases for the business.

Expense tracking

Expense tracking is another way to improve your business operations. By doing proper expenses management, it will become a lot easy for you to check things in detail. One of the best ways to improve your current business situation is by tracking the expenses properly. If you are spending money on something specifically on a regular basis, then you should always try tracking expenses so you can come up with a great solution. Expenses management can become a lot easy with proper expense tracking so you can know your expenses for every single month.

Plan things properly

If you are running a business, you must plan things properly. When you are trying to improve the cash flow management process and you are trying to reduce your overall expenses, then it is always better for you to plan your goals. Once you have planned things properly, you can then take proper measures to achieve the desired results. Moreover, you will also have to be tough when you are trying to control the expenses and make sure that you are analyzing things properly so you can do effective expense management. It is the best way to proceed when trying to cut down the costs.

Improve things step by step

You won’t be able to improve things quickly for your business and you must understand that it will take some time. You can only improve things step by step. If you are trying to track down your expenses and try to cut the variable cost, then you must know that it will take few months to do so. It is always necessary for you to be patient when you are trying to control your overall expenses and trying to improve the business operations with proper expense management.

How to Choose the Tax Return Prepare for Your Business

If you are running your business, then you must understand the laws of the state you are working in. It is necessary for you to pay all of your taxes so you can become a responsible citizen. As a business owner, you must file business tax returns and keep yourself on track.

However, most of the people find it difficult to file the tax return and they always need help from a professional accountant or a tax return preparer. If you have no idea how you can manage your business tax returns, then it is recommended to hire a professional who will help you make things better for yourself. You must always choose the tax prepare wisely.

There are multiple factors that you will have to focus on when you are selecting the tax preparer. We have curated few important points for you to focus on so you can choose the right option. Let’s have a look at how you can choose a tax return preparer wisely.

Check the background

Before you go on to choose the perfect option for preparing your business tax returns, you must go through the detailed research process and check the background of the person you are hiring. It is necessary for you to select the highly professional person that will provide you the best service out there. You can do an online background check and check out the history of the person you are about to hire. Make sure that there are not any disciplinary actions or license issues when you are about to hire a tax preparer. By checking out the history of the tax preparer, you will be able to select the perfect option.

Check the qualification of the person

When you are looking to file a business tax return and you are searching for the professional help, then you should always focus on the qualification of the person that you are hiring. The person you are hiring should have a preparer tax identification number and the tax preparer should be affiliated with the professional organization. Moreover, you need to be sure that you are hiring a certified public accountant to help you out with the tax returns of your business. Make sure that the person you are hiring has all the certifications and license to do business with you.

Look for the affordable service

If you have never hired a tax preparer before and it is the first time that you are looking for a professional service, then you must start your research and look for the affordable service provider. The best way to proceed is by contacting multiple options and then compare the options you have. By checking the history and qualifications of the tax preparers, you will be able to get a clear idea of the professionalism. Make sure that you are comparing your options so you can then choose the perfect tax return preparer for your business. It is the best way to proceed so you can come up with a great solution.

Make sure the tax preparer is easily accessible

Another important thing that you must focus on is to find the tax preparer that you can easily access all the time. When you are preparing your business tax returns, then you should get in touch with the tax preparer that you have hired and prepare the returns wisely. It is always necessary for you to choose the tax preparer wisely so you can avoid multiple problems. In case you need to ask something from the tax preparer, you must have access to him so you can ask all the relative questions and discuss things in detail.

Always review the tax return before signing it

Most of the business owners usually forget to review the complete tax return before signing it. If you are about to file a tax return, and you have forgotten to review the return, then it can create problems for you. You have hired a professional service to do the work but you will still have to review the returns so you can check the overall amount you are paying in the taxes and checking the details on the returns. If you are not reviewing the tax return before signing it, then you are making a huge mistake.

Provide the records and receipts

If you want to keep things smooth and you want to avoid any problems while filing your tax returns, then you must provide all the records and receipts to the tax preparer so it can be done without any hassle. Make sure that you are keeping all the record and receipts to avoid all the problems that you are facing. You must provide the tax preparer all the income statements, expense sheets, and all the important receipts so the tax preparer can prepare your tax return in the best way possible.

Best Strategies to Improve Your Business Productivity

Every business owner likes to improve their business productivity and see the business grew quickly. If you are trying to improve things for your business, then there are multiple strategies that you can work on. Most of the businesses end up spending a lot of money as an investment and don’t get the desired results. If you are also investing money without focusing on the end results, then you will end up wasting your money.

If you are worried about the business productivity and you are unable to improve things for your business, then you are at the right place. There are multiple ways to improve things for your business and you can easily get the desired results. However, you will have to oversee every single thing when you are starting your business.

Most of the business owners forget to oversee things when they are implementing new strategies to improve business productivity. Even managing expenses and cash flow management is also a key to run your business operations successfully. If you are not overseeing these things, then you are making a huge mistake. Let’s have a look at some strategies to improve the business productivity.

Always select the right equipment

Most of the business owners end up making mistakes by purchasing the equipment that they don’t even require. When you are making purchases, you must focus on the things that you actually require. It can help you practice proper expense management when you are purchasing equipment. Make sure that you are purchasing the right equipment so you can avoid all the problems that you are facing. Before you go on to make purchases, you must ask few simple questions from yourself. The equipment should be useful and purchased for giving you the desired results.

If you need to replace the existing equipment to improve productivity, then only then you should make a purchase. Whatever you are about to purchase, it should be able to provide you multiple benefits and it should be able to improve the productivity of your business.

Take help of technology

In the modern world, you cannot improve business productivity without the help of latest technology. The latest technology can help you in a number of ways and you will be able to avoid most of the problems by using the technology. For example, you can always purchase your products online and avoid the unnecessary expenses. It will give you a proper way to manage your expenses as well. You will have all the receipts saved online when you are purchasing products for daily use. Moreover, if you are using smart inventory control systems, then it will help you in a much better way. You can always reduce the inventory levels by using the smart inventory control system.

You can use the technology in almost every business operation including expense management, account management software, e-business and much more. Technology can help you improve the business productivity in a number of ways and you should explore your options when using technology.

Keep reviewing your current setup

Every business has its own way to manage things. If you have set up a good system to manage business operations and you have a proper setup for inventory management, accounts management, and you are keeping all the good records, then you must also review it frequently. Every business operation should be overseen by a responsible person. If you are setting up a proper system to manage your business operations, then you should also focus on reviewing your current setup to see if there is any glitch in the system. It will help you improve things and you will be able to eliminate the factors that can create problems for you.

Moreover, you can also find more ways to improve the expense management and cash flow management if you are reviewing your current setup frequently. Make sure that you are always looking to introduce new and improve methods to increase the productivity.

You must have a continuous improvement approach

When you are trying to improve your current business situation and you want to introduce multiple ways to increase the productivity of your business, then you should search for the ways that will help you improve the current business scenario. It can only be done if you are taking a step by step approach to increase your production line’s efficiency. If you are looking to increase the productivity, then you will also require more team members, and you can only expand if you are managing things properly. With small steps, you can achieve great results.

However, the whole improvement process can also take a lot of time and you will have to be patient and passionate. If you are working passionately, and you have a positive approach to make things better, then you will be able to get the desired results.

How to Avoid Being Surprised by the Taxes?

Every business owner likes to improve their business productivity and see the business grew quickly. If you are trying to improve things for your business, then there are multiple strategies that you can work on. Most of the businesses end up spending a lot of money as an investment and don’t get the desired results. If you are also investing money without focusing on the end results, then you will end up wasting your money.

If you are worried about the business productivity and you are unable to improve things for your business, then you are at the right place. There are multiple ways to improve things for your business and you can easily get the desired results. However, you will have to oversee every single thing when you are starting your business.

Most of the business owners forget to oversee things when they are implementing new strategies to improve business productivity. Even managing expenses and cash flow management is also a key to run your business operations successfully. If you are not overseeing these things, then you are making a huge mistake. Let’s have a look at some strategies to improve the business productivity.

Always select the right equipment

Most of the business owners end up making mistakes by purchasing the equipment that they don’t even require. When you are making purchases, you must focus on the things that you actually require. It can help you practice proper expense management when you are purchasing equipment. Make sure that you are purchasing the right equipment so you can avoid all the problems that you are facing. Before you go on to make purchases, you must ask few simple questions from yourself. The equipment should be useful and purchased for giving you the desired results.

If you need to replace the existing equipment to improve productivity, then only then you should make a purchase. Whatever you are about to purchase, it should be able to provide you multiple benefits and it should be able to improve the productivity of your business.

Take help of technology

In the modern world, you cannot improve business productivity without the help of latest technology. The latest technology can help you in a number of ways and you will be able to avoid most of the problems by using the technology. For example, you can always purchase your products online and avoid the unnecessary expenses. It will give you a proper way to manage your expenses as well. You will have all the receipts saved online when you are purchasing products for daily use. Moreover, if you are using smart inventory control systems, then it will help you in a much better way. You can always reduce the inventory levels by using the smart inventory control system.

You can use the technology in almost every business operation including expense management, account management software, e-business and much more. Technology can help you improve the business productivity in a number of ways and you should explore your options when using technology.

Keep reviewing your current setup

Every business has its own way to manage things. If you have set up a good system to manage business operations and you have a proper setup for inventory management, accounts management, and you are keeping all the good records, then you must also review it frequently. Every business operation should be overseen by a responsible person. If you are setting up a proper system to manage your business operations, then you should also focus on reviewing your current setup to see if there is any glitch in the system. It will help you improve things and you will be able to eliminate the factors that can create problems for you.

Moreover, you can also find more ways to improve the expense management and cash flow management if you are reviewing your current setup frequently. Make sure that you are always looking to introduce new and improve methods to increase the productivity.

You must have a continuous improvement approach

When you are trying to improve your current business situation and you want to introduce multiple ways to increase the productivity of your business, then you should search for the ways that will help you improve the current business scenario. It can only be done if you are taking a step by step approach to increase your production line’s efficiency. If you are looking to increase the productivity, then you will also require more team members, and you can only expand if you are managing things properly. With small steps, you can achieve great results.

However, the whole improvement process can also take a lot of time and you will have to be patient and passionate. If you are working passionately, and you have a positive approach to make things better, then you will be able to get the desired results.

How to Calculate the Pure Agent Value in GST

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, if you supply goods/services to someone as a pure agent, then its expenditure can be excluded from the value of supply. However, before you learn how this system is implemented, it’s important to know what constitutes as a “Pure Agent” exactly.

Pure Agent Under GST

GST defines a pure agent as someone who:

  • Has a contractual agreement with the recipient of the supply to act on their behalf and pay for the costs in the course of supply of good and/or services
  • Neither has an intention nor holds any title to the goods and/or services procured on the behalf of the recipient  
  • Doesn’t use the goods and/or services for their own interest
  • Receives the exact amount incurred for procuring the goods and/or services

To take a simple example, let’s say Mr. A wants to buy new IT equipment for their law firm. They ask their friend Mr. B, who has a good understanding of such products and services, to arrange it for them.

Mr. B purchases the equipment and provides the same to Mr. A along with the bill. In this arrangement, Mr. B bought goods on the behalf of Mr. A, which is why Mr. B will be considered as a “pure agent”.

“Principal” and Validation Rule

GST defines “principal” as the person/party on whose behalf a pure agent procures goods and/or services.

As a pure agent, you can exclude the costs made on the behalf of the “principal”. However, this has to be done under the valuation rule which states that the following conditions must be satisfied first:

  • You have made a payment to a third party on the behalf of the “principal”
  • The “principal” is the only person to use the services procured by you
  • The “principal” is liable to make a payment to the third party from which the services/goods have been procured
  • The “principal” is aware that the supply is provided by the third party
  • You have indicated the payment you have made on the “principal’s” behalf in the invoice separately
  • You have recovered the exact amount you paid to the third party
  • The services procured from the third party are in addition to those provided by you on your own

Pure Agent Value Calculation

The best way to understand how pure agent value is calculated through a real-life example.

Example: Kumar Enterprises is an IT company that provides software solutions to other businesses. One of their products gets tangled up in red tape in a case of copyright infringement. To solve the problem, it approaches a law firm named APC.

APC offers to help at a flat fee of Rs. 60,000. However, as they started working on the case, they had to pay Rs. 5,000 as registration fee for the involved product of Kumar Enterprises from their own pocket. They also had to travel to Delhi from Mumbai for case-related purposes, that set them back by another Rs. 5,000. However, both expenses were approved by Kumar Enterprises and promised to be reimbursed by them as well.

After the case was solved, APC sent an invoice of Rs. 70,000 (60,000+5,000+5,000) to Kumar Enterprises. Now, while Kumar Enterprises will pay the full amount i.e. Rs. 70,000 to APC, they will need to pay GST to the government only on Rs. 60,000 and not the remaining 10,000 as this amount is pure agent value, i.e. expenses incurred by APC on their behalf.  

Note: To be eligible for excluding the pure agent value from the total value of supply, the conditions of the validation rule (given above) must be met.