Q+A - The Volkswagen Story
"What I like about Impero is that it is very innovative."
- Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest car manufacturers
- 670,000 employees
- Servicing the automotive industry, logistics and finance, Volkswagen AG’s operating business is divided into two Group Divisions: Automotive and Financial Services
Volkswagen is not just a household name in Germany. The Group is a world-renowned brand that is known for making innovative technology, the highest quality and attractive design accessible to many people for more than 70 years.
The Group now includes 10 brands from five European countries, as well as a wide range of other brands and business areas such as financial services.
We spoke with Lukas Spanke, who is a tax advisor and works in the corporate tax department of Volkswagen AG, in the Tax Compliance Corporate Team.
After implementing Impero a few years ago, we sat down to ask about how it helps simplify compliance.
Read his Q+A below.
"We introduced Impero two years ago and use it to monitor our tax compliance."
"Our system was Excel-based, and perhaps not so clear for outsiders."
Were you involved before the implementation of Impero, and how was that?
“Yes. It was Excel-based and maybe not so clear to outsiders. You had to have a lot of internal knowledge to even get an overview of our Excel-based tax compliance. Now, with Impero, we can present it easily and clearly.”
If you had to make the case for Impero to someone who'd never heard of it, what would you say?
“What I like about Impero is that it is very innovative, and you can tell by the age of the staff that are joining the team.
You can also see that in the platform – every seven weeks there is an update. It can sometimes even be a little too much!”
“But it’s alive, and there are constant improvements. That’s what I miss with other software providers.”
“With some others, when you say something, nothing happens or it takes time, and with Impero it is perhaps sometimes a little too fast, I must honestly say.”
How have compliance requirements changed for you and your company in recent years?
“Compliance is a growing market. It is mentioned more and more in trade journals. In Bavaria, for instance, there are now already pilot programs as far as the tax audit is concerned. There should be simplifications for the tax audit if you have an effective tax CMS, a tax compliance management system.
I noticed this myself when I worked in the tax authority – there were more and more staffing problems. It’s the case everywhere – no matter whether it’s companies or the tax authorities, there’s a shortage of staff everywhere; there’s a lack of people-power.
And there is an increasing tendency to “audit oneself” to a large extent. That’s why Tax CMS is becoming more and more important.”
... There is a shortage of staff everywhere ... that's why having a Tax CMS is becoming more and more important.
Tax Advisor & Tax Compliance Manager – Volkswagen AG
If you assess the potential of using Impero, would you say that having it for tax audits will make your life – or the audit – easier in the future?
“Yes, we will have to look at what the tax authorities require of a Tax CMS; maybe taxonomies will be firmly specified.
Impero may have to develop again in order to comply with the standards of the tax authorities. But I think this is definitely a huge and important topic, and it will only continue to increase in the future.”
"My favorite feature, or what I like the most, is that it keeps improving."
If there was one thing you wouldn’t want to change about Impero, what would that be?
“My favorite feature, or the thing I like the most, is that it’s constantly improving.
Impero tailors itself to the customer and also accepts feedback. If there are comments and suggestions, something is changed and improved. I miss that with other software providers.
If you say something to some software providers, nothing happens or it takes time.”
"Impero is a good, young software company and I think they have a strong future."
Do you have an overarching statement about Impero?
“Impero is a good, young software company and I think they have a strong future. We’ll see what it brings and how Impero can be developed further.”
Ready to see what Impero can do for you?
Whether it’s reducing email communication, making compliance processes more efficient, or freeing up time to analyze data, there are many business benefits of swapping your compliance management from spreadsheets to software.
Ready to see what that would mean for your business?