Digitization: priority or not?
How important is digitization for companies? In the most recent CFO Barometer, 22% of the respondents confirm they do not give it any priority. These are probably the smaller companies or organizations, with less resources, where technology is of less importance and where there is no acute demand for digitization, or not yet anyway. Moreover, smaller organizations wait for the government and authorities to lead the way. And governments who are not yet fully dealing with digitization, are not setting a good example.
Belgium vs. other countries
Unfortunately, Belgium is lagging behind. Notwithstanding a few digital requirements in our country, such as digital invoicing of the government, other countries are already doing a lot more. The big, international companies are striving to implement new technologies to invest more in analyses and added value work (instead of reports only).
That would also explain why approximately 80% of the respondents say they do focus on digitization, more specifically on finance and supply chain management. Tangible applications are automatically entering purchasing invoices in the accounts, extraction of data out of an ERP-package, etc.
Fraud stimulates digitization
In terms of taxation, governments are the guardians of the treasury (in other words: they need to ensure actual collection of the expected tax income). It is striking that, in Europe, governments are more and more aware of the gap between the amount they should collect and what they are actually collecting. That means that certain items remain untaxed or that fraud is taking place.
South American and East-European countries are very susceptible to fraud. Their governments use digitization to chase up local companies and to collect more VAT income (which has actually increased in the last few years).