The Free Trade Zone has witnessed settling of a large number of enterprises in the FTZ since it was established. Some of such enterprises were attracted by the policy dividends, some others were driven by their company needs, and others were followers optimistic about the policy environment in FTZ. Regardless of their reasons and purposes, as the first upsurge of resident enterprises had fallen, foreign enterprises began to take more comprehensive and calm considerations, when they established a new branch company or started a joint venture.
The preferential policies in the FTZ attracted quite a number of foreign enterprises. While these foreign enterprises enjoyed the policies and benefits in China, they would have to adapt to the laws and regulations with clear Chinese characteristics. The author aims to explain the policies on finance and taxes in China.
According to the PRC GAAP, VAT, business tax and relevant sales income are established on basis of invoices which record and manage the operation status of the company. The statutory procedure management in China is quite different from the traditional conception of invoices in other countries. On another hand, the conversion from business tax invoice to VAT invoice will be implemented in China after August 1st. The VAT invoice of Aisino is full of Chinese characteristics and is an approach for the national government to management and control the business tax. In terms of operation, enterprises have to draw their invoices through the Aisino system. The Chinese characteristics have set up barriers in the invoice process management of foreign enterprises, even some domestic enterprises. The financial staff are confused in the process of invoice drawing, invoice management and expense reimbursement, which may result in policy risks.
As we know, there is close relevance between the taxation system and the financial management measures in all countries, enterprises can avoid the potential financial risks arising from Chinese characteristics by using appropriate finance management software systems. However, transnational enterprises usually employ ERP systems from famous providers, such as Oracle, SAP, Infor and Netsuite, whose ERP systems are developed on basis of international finance environment and do not provide invoice drawing or invoice management functions, so even a perfectly customized ERP will lose its power in China. Local enterprises are also confronted by the same problems that the financial staff have to input the invoice information into the Aisino manually, even worse, enterprises fail to manage their invoices systematically and the invoice information can not match the financial systems automatically, which are all risks deserving close attentions.
The author recommends the invoice management software developed by Hitpoint, because: on the first hand, it is very cost efficient, since the modular finance program is independent from ERP system of the enterprise, the dedicated functions are readily available without secondary development on basis of the ERP system. Secondly, in terms of compliance with local regulations, the software systems developed by Hitpoint can help enterprises to cope with invoice issues with Chinese characteristics. The software system take control from the very beginning of invoice information generated in the ERP system, covering a series of processes, such invoice application, approval, preview of invoice information, automatic import of invoice information into Aisino system, automatic invoice drawing in batches and data readback. Thirdly, the high efficiency of Hitpoint systems can release the user from meaningless repetitive manual operation, so enterprises with heavy invoice load can save much energy and improve the accuracy and efficiency in their jobs. Fourthly, in general, given the fact that most of the enterprises in the FTZ are branch companies, the software system of Hitpoint support sharing a same invoice platform by the head office and the branch company, through which the head office can keep an eye on the invoice information of its branch companies, realizing the conception of sharing one common platform by many companies. Fifthly, the software system provides user-friendly interface. The software system provide a pre-processing platform before the invoices are drawn, so that the financial staff can easily access the customized invoice information. They can even automatically print the courier sheet on basis of the mail address.
Foreign enterprises are attracted to the FTZ by the preferential policies, but in a comprehensive consideration, they should pay sufficient attentions to the invoice process management. Enterprises can ensure their reasonable tax planning if they can provide their finance staff with a smoother invoice management process and effective invoice drawing mechanism, in order to accelerate the recovery of funds.