Welsh Revenue Authority set the Standard for Cloud-based Practices in Government
Established by Welsh Government, the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), formed in October 2017, is the first fully cloud-based civil service organisation in Wales. The tax authority for Wales was created to manage and collect two devolved Welsh taxes: Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposal Tax, which replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax and Landfill Tax from 1 April 2018.
The WRA partnered with SAGlobal and another Microsoft Partner, Kainos, to build a bespoke, scalable, bi-lingual digital tax collection and management system, enabling the WRA to administer the first specifically Welsh taxes for the first time in 800 years.
Over the past six months following the launch of the platform, the WRA has seen a huge amount of success. Through the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations by SAGlobal, as well as the PaaS Portals implemented by Kainos, the WRA are seeing 97% of all tax returns processed and completed online. In the first six months, customer satisfaction scores sat at 85%, based on around 5,370 service users.
The WRA recently published its latest official data with 30,000 Land Transaction Tax transactions reported; it is estimated that the WRA will administer approximately £1 billion in taxes over a four-year period.
Anthony Pritchard, Head of Digital and Technology for the WRA, stated: “Delivering this project is part of a wider historic milestone, as these are two taxes that have been made in Wales for the first time in hundreds of years. The revenue raised will be reinvested in supporting Welsh public services. It has also highlighted how this system can help support a wider Welsh Government target to have one million Welsh speakers by 2050. The system encourages greater use of the Welsh language by enabling users to switch between Welsh and English while completing forms. As a bilingual organisation, this is a relatively unique offering we’re pleased to have introduced for our service users."
Pritchard continues, "Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, delivered by SAGlobal has provided the WRA with Corporate Finance, Tax Management Finance and HR services. The finance system was a critical part of the system as it needs to account for all the tax revenues collected."
“This was a very challenging project as there was no blueprint in place and there were so many moving parts. For example, the finance system, implemented by SAGlobal, was a critical element of the service, as it needs to receive and confirm every tax return has been submitted and paid.”
- Anthony Pritchard, Head of Digital and Technology for the WRA
On the project success, Wayne Davies, Country Manager of SAGlobal Europe states, “Implementing a back-office solution for a small but fast-growing organisation provided an exciting opportunity for the SAGlobal team. We implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations to provide a cloud based, back office solution that offered a robust and scalable business system that will support the WRA with their growth plans. We are very much looking forward to broadening the footprint of Dynamics 365 within the WRA over time.