Automated Tax Reporting at Helaba Invest with labs.STAR by labs
Helaba Invest Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH (a major German investment firm) was founded in 1991 as a fully-owned subsidiary of Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen. With assets under management of more than € 89 Billion, Helaba is one of the leading investment companies in institutional asset management within the German market.
Modern tax and dividend reporting solutions play an important role in ensuring a smooth functioning of the daily operations in investment companies. The proper handling of tax reporting workflows, whilst taking account of the extensive legal requirements in the field, is essential for the business’ success.
Modernisation through Automation
Before implementing the tax and dividend reporting tool labs.STAR by Lupus alpha Business Solutions GmbH (labs), Helaba Invest used an Excel-based calculation tool. The decision for implementing a new tax and dividend reporting tool was made with the goal of reducing high manual effort. One major consideration in the process of opting for a new solution was the requirement of a higher degree of automation. Other clearly defined requirements of the new software solution were the comprehensibility of previously performed calculations and calculation bases, as well as secure performance of calculations. One specific requirement by Helaba Invest was the automated calculation of withholding tax, which was, until then, performed in a manual process.
labs Excels as System Provider
labs were able to convince not only with their solution labs.STAR, but also as a system provider. On one hand, they convinced with the high level of flexibility that enables the company to react promptly to arising problems. On the other hand, the phrase “proximity to the customer” can be taken literally for labs. Being a fully-owned subsidiary of Lupus alpha Asset Management AG, labs’ employees have been gathering experience with the requirements of the industry for many years. Furthermore, no less than nine financial institutions in Germany and Luxemburg are at present using the tax and dividend reporting tool labs.STAR.
Implementation of the Tax Reporting Software
The project for the implementation of labs.STAR at Helaba Invest started in February 2013, under the direction of Monika Rothenberger. The project team consisted of employees from the IT and tax-departments of Helaba Invest, as well as employees of labs and their integration partner fintexx.
Throughout the project the team was continuously faced with new challenges caused by changes in the investment law and resulting new requirements. Parallel to the integration of the solution, these new requirements had to be implemented as well. This demanded dedicated teamwork and full commitment to the project from all members of the team.
Following a project of nine months, Helaba Invest successfully took labs.STAR into production in November 2013. The investment company uses the solution to perform calculations required by paragraph 5 of the German Law of Investment Tax (InvStG) for all funds. The scope of application includes, amongst others, the creation of declarative statements, accounting documents, tax certificates and declarations of capital gain tax.
Well Positioned for Future Challenges
The implementation of labs.STAR at Helaba Invest has already resulted in advantages for the investment firm. The automated calculation of withholding tax was realised and, as a result, calculations within the solution are now being processed faster than in the past. Also the other workflows are now showing a much higher degree of automation and the data quality is increasing steadily. The advantages become more apparent over time, underlines Petra Reisle, member of the tax department at Helaba Invest: “An increase of efficiency only shows after a certain period of time during which the users accustom to the new system. Here at Helaba, a certain routine has set in and the increase of efficiency has therefore become measureable.”
For the future it is planned to enhance the solution with a historisation functionality and a deadline management. Furthermore, the performance of processing mass calculations is supposed to be optimised.
labs – a Reliable Partner
After the successful completion of an implementation project, labs continue to support their clients with quick and reliable support. When necessary, problems are solved directly on-site with the client.
UserGroupMeetings are regularly hosted by labs and attended by users assigned from all labs.STAR clients. The meeting’s purpose is to inform the users about system updates which are in the planning or already implemented, and to inform them about other relevant topics. Furthermore, the meetings provide the possibility of personally addressing individually required enhancements and adjustments to the software. “The UserGroupMeetings offer an ideal opportunity for exchanging with other users of labs.STAR,” Petra Reisle says.