29 December 2013| last updated at 02:48PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Many Malaysian businesses are adopting a “wait-and-see” mindset in preparing themselves for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1, 2015.
Crowe Horwath Malaysia Executive Director for Tax Fennie Lim said it was vital for businesses to find out where they stand because GST is not just a tax and financial issue.
"It affects all parts of business operations starting from the IT system, procurement, sales and marketing, pricing setting department, supplier relationship, customer relationship to cash flow.
"All of them must know what GST is all about and how it impacts their business during this transitional period," she told Bernama.
Crowe Horwath Malaysia is the fifth largest accounting firm in the country and a member of Crowe Horwath International, a top 10 global accounting network.
"Sixteen months from now is not really a long period to undertake the necessary preparation. Right now is a very good time to start planning," Lim said.
She suggested that all departments in a company prepare a checklist and assess how much they know about GST and how it would impact their pricing.
"They then have to cross check with the accounting system to determine if it is ready to capture all the information.
"It is easy to make mistakes if they rely solely on human power," she pointed out.
Meanwhile, Crowe Horwath Australia GST Executive Director Chan Wai Choong said the best thing for businesses to do in approaching the implementation of the GST is to plan early in a structured method.
"Carefully scope the activities you have to do, the sooner the better. From there you can execute the plan and get ready for a trial run. There’s a saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail," Chan said.
Currently, Crowe Horwath Malaysia is helping most of its clients to do a pre-GST implementation study to determine the GST's impact on their cash flow and pricing.
"We do transaction analysis and from there we would be able to see what is their position and how far they are "GST ready".
"We will also study what type of things they need to put in place, what kind of systems and a lot of fine-tuning is necessary to make sure they are ready.
This will serve as a very good base should they want to do any price adjustment, said Lim.
She said many clients and non-clients have been educated through briefings, training sessions and seminars.
"We received a lot of enquiries, they are interested to know more. Most of the businesses are positive after understanding the GST because they can claim input tax, " added Lim. -- BERNAMA