UK: Year End New Beginnings - Guide To Automating And Integrating Tax Accounting

Last Updated: 20 December 2010
Article by Deloitte Tax Group

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

Boards, investors, auditors, regulators – they're all demanding that the tax reporting process be made faster, cheaper, better controlled and more accurate than ever before.

In this guide we introduce tax reporting software as a potential solution, which can bring benefits to the wider organisation and summarise the do's and don'ts around its selection, implementation and ongoing use.

Mounting pressure

Why change?

The drivers for change

A number of drivers, both external and internal, have added to the already significant competing pressures on the tax reporting process.

Business analysts and the investor community now demand better disclosure in relation to tax, and as a result many companies are striving to achieve disclosures that are 'best in class'. Meanwhile there is growing demand for the financial results, including tax, to be reported to the market faster than ever.

The rate of change in regulation and accounting standards has generated uncertainty around tax reporting, as well as additional work for tax departments as they attempt to keep abreast of frequent and numerous changes. One such example is the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB) announcement that they will take forward a number of amendments relating to IAS 12 'Income Taxes'. This means that companies will need to review the proposal to assess the effect on their reporting processes and disclosure requirements.

Looking to the future, there is an ongoing programme of convergence of US GAAP and IFRS (respectively, US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and International Financial Reporting Standards). Changes in accounting standards and transitional measures are intended to provide greater clarity; nonetheless they create additional complexity for companies affected.

Internally, there are pressures on headcount and cost saving. With reporting related demands on the tax department all requiring additional resource, it can be difficult to see how cost savings can be achieved in such an environment – yet cost control remains a key area of scrutiny.

Finally, recent developments in the application of wider financial systems such as ERP systems, and the increasing numbers of finance transformation projects mean that tax reporting processes risk being left behind as they are often scoped out. However, these projects create an opportunity for tax departments to be involved in the early stages of design to influence the scope to best suit their own requirements and benefit from the resulting improvement in financial data.

Such drivers for change exert pressure on what is already a complex process. Those responsible for tax reporting must also negotiate their way through a series of day to day challenges, including:

  • Data sources – gathering high-quality data from reporting units is critical to success. Data input at the transactional level, however, often does not take into account information that is required for tax purposes. Many organisations have shared service centres that provide the underlying financial data to tax users. The training and quality of personnel in these centres can play an important part in whether or not the data provided is fit for purpose.
  • Local providers – tax provisioning calculations at the reporting unit level are often prepared by financial controllers who may lack the appropriate local tax or reporting GAAP knowledge to complete an accurate submission.
  • GAAP adjustments and consolidation – systems are often ill-equipped to deal with late and post-close adjustments and journals proposed by the centre or to deal with the more complex consolidation issues, such as the tax adjustments relating to intra-group transactions or unremitted earnings.
  • Review and reporting – producing consolidated, group level reports can be an onerous, manual task involving the re-keying of data and production of complex spreadsheets. Furthermore, the review of group consolidated tax results and individual submissions from reporting units can be timeconsuming and involve going through each individual pack to identify issues. Managing and monitoring the workflow can also be protracted and difficult.
  • Accounting – reconciling calculated provisions and accounts balances can be problematic, particularly as there may be many different data sources.
  • Maintenance – maintaining and rolling forward existing spreadsheets and formats can be time consuming and high risk, as evidenced by the increasing level of auditor discomfort with spreadsheet-based systems.

Technology providers The main players

These significiant challenges facing tax departments are driving organisations to consider new technology as a potential solution. There are a number of software products that can help.

The main providers of tax reporting software are:

1. Thomson Reuters – has a growing portfolio of tax and accounting software solutions. Its objectives are to link modules of software in compliance and reporting and it has acquired established software houses with this in mind.

2. Longview – has a legacy in financial consolidation and business analytics and is a competitor of consolidation systems such as Hyperion. It has drawn from its expertise in consolidation to assist with a move into the provision of tax reporting software.

3. CorpTax – a US tax compliance software provider that has extended its capability to become a global provider.

4. ERP and consolidation systems – although not specifically designed to drive tax reporting processes some companies have configured their ERP and consolidation systems to hold and report on tax accounting information. There are currently limitations to this approach givien the higher cost of implementation and ongoing maintenance, lower levels of flexibility, the difficulties associated with reconciling a system designed for accounting with tax requirements and the increased risk associated with updating the system for tax changes.

5. Spreadsheet improvement – the majority of companies still currently use spreadsheets to drive their tax reporting process and as a short to medium term 'fix' significant improvements can be made to controls, validations and auditability of these.

There are also a number of other providers entering the market, chief among these is Vertex.

Naturally, each of these solutions has been developed in response to market need, but each one has also evolved from disparate backgrounds. As time progresses and solutions are continually updated, such differences are inevitably reducing. However, there remains some differences that make it vitally important for organisations to fully assess via a vendor selection process which software solution best fits their organisation.

We consider vendor selection in greater detail later in this piece; but before looking at technology in detail it is important to consider the end-to-end process within which the technology sits.

Process improvement

Get it right first time

In working to manage all the demands made on the tax department in respect of reporting, companies should first consider their existing processes. Automation and the use of technology evidently have the ability to make processes faster and more efficient; but if the process itself is flawed then automation is likely to be of limited benefit. There are many approaches that can be taken to improve the reporting process – the appropriateness and relevance of different methods will depend on the unique circumstances of individual organisations. We consider various process improvement options below:

Understand the end-to-end tax reporting process This is key to redesigning the process effectively. In large and complex organisations, it is possible to lose sight of the nature and purpose behind required outputs; in many cases reports are being produced that are of limited value to the business, or are being duplicated by different information providers.

Significant time can be saved by simply identifying the consumers of the information and redefining the necessary outputs. The more involved step is to understand where all the information comes from and how it needs to be processed, manipulated or analysed to design the most efficient and appropriate process from source data to final disclosures.

Make it right-sized

'Right-sizing' is the principle of applying the appropriate process and rigour to a particular reporting unit, jurisdiction, transaction or process based on its size, effect and complexity. Although there is clearly merit in standardisation of approach, it is not necessarily appropriate or efficient to apply the same process to an immaterial or otherwise low-risk company as would apply to the main trading entity in a group. Decisions may focus on whether or not a full provision calculation, including tax basis balance sheets, a high-level effective tax rate calculation or something in between, is most appropriate.

Go for an early close

Where high-speed reporting is of primary concern, an early close (maybe in month 10 or 11 of the financial year) could be considered, with detailed workings carried out at that point and merely updated at the year-end for the final information. In groups in which the month 11 data and forecast information is a close approximation to the final year-end numbers, this can be a very efficient method. The reverse is true where companies experience large swings in results in the final period and where forecasting cannot be relied on as a good estimate.

Report regularly – quarterly and/or monthly

Along similar lines to the early close approach, regular reporting may serve to improve the overall efficiency of reporting. Where the process is carried out more regularly, the personnel involved became more familiar with it and transactions are considered from a tax perspective at an earlier stage. Some organisations use quarterly reporting to bring forward some parts of the year-end reporting, for example; carrying out all return to accrual adjustment calculations at the second quarter reporting date.

Train your staff

There are two main areas where staff training is critical. First, the staff must have the required knowledge of tax and tax accounting to fulfil their duties. Second, all parties involved must have a proper understanding of the process and their role within it, including the use of any technology.

Who's accountable?

As the reporting process has grown in importance and complexity, particularly since the introduction of IFRS, there has been a change in roles within the tax department. Often accountability for the tax elements in the financial statements is given to a specialist Head of Tax Reporting or a Tax Reporting Manager, rather than being an additional role of the original tax department.

Choosing your sourcing option – offshoring, outsourcing and/or co-sourcing

Many companies are exploring the possibility of resourcing the reporting processes differently. In fact, a recent Deloitte review of c250 multinational companies has shown that 27% of these already co-source some or all of their group tax provision with a further 29% who would consider a move to a co-source arrangement. This raises questions concerning where the work should be carried out: in a centre of excellence or a low-cost jurisdiction? Or, should external suppliers be engaged to carry out some or all of the work?

Obtain the right information, first-time

In many cases, the greatest strain on the reporting process is obtaining the right information. Production of the final tax numbers can be a very iterative process as a result of numerous or late updates to the financial information. There are various methods of improving data accuracy, such as: tax sensitising the chart of accounts, adapting the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system structure to collect additional tax-specific information, and retraining the personnel who input the data.

Tax reporting software

What it can and can't do

Once an appropriate tax reporting process is in place, it is easier to assess the benefits of adopting tax reporting software. It is, however, important to understand both the benefits and the limitations of such software.

What tax reporting software can do

  • Automatic data collection In many cases, it is the collection of the underlying data that is the most time-consuming part of the process. Tax reporting software can be used to automate data extraction from the various sources, for example, ERP systems or tax return software, where required.
  • Manual data collection Sometimes, there is certain information that is not held electronically in company systems so the software solutions also allow for the manual entry of data. To achieve maximum efficiency from the software, manual entry should be kept to a minimum.
  • Reconciliation to other systems Tax reporting software can assist with reconciling the various data and calculations from other systems. Automation of data flows between systems can assist with achieving one version of the tax statements. For example, if profit is updated in the ERP system this would automatically transfer into the tax provisioning and tax return calculations without the need for manual intervention.
  • Calculations and journals Software solutions facilitate the calculation of the tax provisions, both for current and deferred tax. Opening balances are automatically rolled forward and prior-period comparatives are readily available. Standard adjusting items can be specified to assist with consolidation of disclosures. Software solutions can be configured to draw the accounting information from the organisation's general ledger or consolidation system, they can also be capable of generating the journals required to post the tax balances as calculated for the current period.
  • Prior year adjustment In addition to the current-year provision, tax reporting software can assist with the calculation of the prior year adjustment or return to accrual adjustment. The calculation of the tax provision as disclosed in the prior period accounts is already held in the system. It is simply a case of entering the final tax return information, which can be automated directly from the tax return preparation software. Any further fine tuning adjustments that are required can then be made manually.
  • Consolidation As the information will have been entered in a consistent format, the tax reporting solution can consolidate the group data automatically. The reporting solution may also be configured to replicate the organisation's corporate structure and produce sub-consolidations, for example, of regional groups or business divisions, as required.
  • Review Reports can be generated from the software to aid review on an exceptions reporting basis, for example, a report of all unrecognised deferred tax assets. It is also possible to drill down from the consolidated results to underlying entries to identify the source of reconciling items or significant balances. Submissions from the reporting units can include comments, attachments to support calculations and judgments, and any changes or review comments can be logged to provide an audit trail.
  • Disclosures and reports As well as consolidating the data, it is possible to generate reports for the required disclosures and formats for direct inclusion in the financial statements. The often manual exercise of re-keying the final information into disclosures and then into the actual financial statements document may, therefore, be replaced by automated reports direct from the tax reporting solution.

What tax reporting software cannot do

  • Local country tax rules Although tax reporting software can be used to carry out the current and deferred tax calculations, it does not necessarily apply a country's tax rules. It is possible to customise the solutions to apply a particular treatment to identified account codes, but this needs to be maintained by the organisation rather than the software provider. Often this issue is resolved by creating an interface directly between the reporting software and the tax return preparation software; the idea being that there is only one source of data feeding both.
  • Update customised reports Similarly, the software does not maintain or update reporting GAAP disclosures for customised reports. Where there are fundamental changes to accounting standards, the software suppliers update the systems, so that it is possible to comply with the new standards; but any custom-designed templates for disclosures and reports are not automatically updated.
  • Improve source data A common misconception regarding tax reporting software is that its use guarantees an improvement in the quality of the information provided. Where the implementation of software has included a review of the process from source data to final output, naturally there should be an improvement in data quality. However, if the main issue with the process is the quality of the source data, and this is not addressed with the implementation of reporting software, there may be limited improvement in the quality of the final output. Any inadequacies in the data may, however, be more transparent to the reviewer and, therefore, more easily identifiable. Once it is fully understood what an organisation is hoping to achieve from implementing tax reporting software, it is time to consider which solution is the best fit.

Vendor selection – the right fit

The most important first stage of a vendor selection process is to set out in detail the organisation's requirements and the resultant priorities. Vendors can then demonstrate their ability to fulfil those requirements through various routes, including written responses to queries, software demonstrations, and the provision of a 'sandbox' (offline mock-ups of real life situations) so the organisation can experience the software first hand.

The appropriateness of each software solution would usually be assessed by considering the following areas:

  • Functional fit – a measure of the system capabilities as determined by weightings against the key business requirements.
  • Technical fit – a measure of key technical aspects; including the technology platform, integration architecture, security and/or privacy, application architecture, Active Server Pages services, and data warehouse and/or business intelligence capabilities.
  • Vendor service – a measure of the vendor's ability to support implementation and maintenance of their solution; including assessment of historical success, typical timing to implement, and methods and tools to configure, convert and deliver the solution.
  • Vendor viability – a measure of the vendor's stability, market position and experience of meeting the requirements of similar organisations.
  • Cost – a projection of cost based on the information available.

Implementation

Countdown to Go-Live

Understanding the objectives behind the adoption of tax reporting software is crucial to the success of any implementation and correct scoping is an important part of this.

Phased vs full

There is usually no clear answer as to whether a phased implementation or a full implementation is more effective (see Figures 1 and 2). A full implementation can certainly be the best answer when there is sufficient time to carry out testing and where an organisation's internal systems are consistent, for example, where they employ one global accounting system. Another critical factor in deciding whether or not to have a phased implementation is the organisational structure and degree of decentralisation, as the buy-in and training of staff is very important.

Often, the decision whether or not to go ahead with a full or phased implementation comes down to cost. Although a full implementation may be cheaper in the long run, budget restrictions may mean a phased approach is the only option.

From our experience, a straightforward software implementation takes between two and six months, whereas complex implementations for large groups involving a high level of automation may take up to two years. This does not include the vendor selection process, which, depending on an organisation's procurement processes, can take between a few weeks to several months. In general terms, the most important and time-consuming areas of an implementation are the defining of the specifications and testing of the initial software set up.

In some circumstances, we have seen organisations consider a 'proof of concept' of the tax reporting software before proceeding with the full implementation. This can be a useful exercise where there are specific areas of uncertainty regarding how the software will function in practice, but, in most cases, is seen as unnecessary in both our view and experience. Various software solutions already available in the market have proven capabilities, and organisations generally focus more on ensuring that there is sufficient time to implement the software before a reporting deadline.

Keep your stakeholders involved

With the implementation of tax reporting software, it is likely that there will be a change to the overall reporting process and, as such, there may be a knock-on effect on the organisational structure of the tax and finance personnel. In particular, there must be a thorough knowledge transfer between the software provider, implementation partner and the organisation's tax team. The tax department must be sufficiently involved, so that they fully understand the process and technology implemented and can use and maintain it going forward. The provider carries out fundamental software maintenance, but the tax department is entrusted with general system housekeeping.

Get the timing right

An important factor in planning an implementation is how long it will take. Obviously, it is essential that an organisation does not find itself between systems at a critical reporting date. The time spent on the implementation depends on a number of factors, including:

  • the complexity of the organisational structure;
  • the complexity of the process;
  • the degree of automation of information flow from an organisation's existing systems;
  • the level of customisation or branding changes required;
  • the number of languages required for input;
  • the quantity of different reporting outputs required, for example, reporting under IFRS, US GAAP and other local GAAPs; and
  • the extent to which the process will include other tax management functions, such as planning, forecasting and cash tax calculations.

The time spent by the organisation defining, documenting and streamlining the existing and desired reporting process is important in assisting with the efficient implementation of a software solution.

Bring your inhouse team on board

During an implementation there is an important balance to be struck between the time spent by advisers and the in-house team.

It is critical that the in-house team is bought into the process and participates fully in the design of the new process and the specifications for the software. Companies are often unfamiliar with the software solutions and so rely on advisers for assistance in understanding how their requirements translate into software specifications and, therefore, which software solution is the most appropriate. Advisers can bring an independent view, tax and accounting technical expertise and process consulting experience beyond that available from the vendors.

Implementation

What to look out for

As many organisations have now implemented tax reporting software solutions (particularly in the United States), numerous lessons have been learned through arduous experience. Implementation, now that these systems are more embedded and understood, should nowadays be considerably more straightforward as long as some key lessons learned are taken into account.

The different options in an implementation can require very different levels of effort depending on the complexity and the automation that is possible. In particular, including tax logic in the system substantially increases the complexity of the implementation and of ongoing maintenance. A high level of automation, for example, with regard to a tax chart of accounts, also requires significant additional effort at the implementation stage and therefore a full cost benefit analysis should be undertaken.

Right-size the system

A robust tax reporting system can enable different approaches for particular markets, geographies or business segments, without increasing risk. For example, a single system should cater for the 'right-sizing' approach discussed previously where detailed calculations are performed for material entities and operations, while less work is performed for immaterial entities where appropriate.

Engage your stakeholders

Managing change in an organisation is a vital component of a successful implementation. Parallel and/or dry runs of existing and new processes prove the system and manage and mitigate risk exposure. Leadership sponsorship from tax and finance is also vital to ensure a smooth transition to the new process. The in-house team must, therefore, be embedded in the planning and implementation to ensure the best results and also the ongoing success of the solution.

Working with others

Although at face value the implementation of tax reporting software is an Information Technology (IT) project, it is primarily about configuring the software to meet the needs of the tax reporting process in the organisation. As such, the tax department must have a major role in the implementation and it should, as a minimum, be jointly led by the tax and IT departments.

If advisers are being used to assist in the process (which is generally the case), they must also have a suitable mix of tax and technology expertise; enabling them to act as a bridge between tax and IT. It is important to ensure that there is appropriate knowledge transfer to a sufficient number of people to allow the organisation to use and administer the software once the advisers depart. Significant additional costs may arise if, during the running of an actual year end process, the organisation is forced to rely on advisers to troubleshoot any initial teething problems.

What's next for tax reporting technology?

Do you need to change your process?

As discussed in the Process Improvement section, the general tax reporting process should be reviewed and if necessary improved before the implementation of software. (To get the best out of the software, it should not be applied to a process that is not currently fit for purpose.) Where projects have failed to deliver expected benefits, this has often been because the process surrounding the software has not allowed the software to be used to its maximum potential.

Business critical vs 'nice to have'

Where there is a very high level of customisation of the solution, either in terms of branding or of tax or accounting technical functionality; this can create a large future maintenance burden. In many cases, these customisations are 'nice to haves' rather than businesscritical features and could have been removed from the process if the full implications had been understood up-front.

Agree your scope

During the scoping phase of an implementation, it is critical that parameters are defined as far as possible and that changes to the desired functionality are kept to an absolute minimum once the implementation is in progress. Changes to scoping along the way may also mean that initial work performed is no longer appropriate – leading to it being re-performed with the associated impact on timelines and cost.

Keep timings up-to-date

It is important that the software solution is reviewed and refreshed regularly to ensure that there are no areas that have become out of date, are no longer functioning as originally envisaged, or new requirements arise that are not currently included.

What's next for tax reporting technology?

So far, the various attempts by companies to use existing ERP and/or consolidation systems to perform the tax reporting process have been generally difficult to implement and complex. These systems were not designed to incorporate the additional calculations that are required for tax reporting and currently do not adapt well. This said, some of the tax reporting software suppliers come from a consolidation system background so it is likely that, in the future, ERP and consolidation systems will also be configured to include tax provisioning. Some fundamental issues that would have to be addressed include the effect of the timing of the tax calculations and retention of the final disclosure calculations for prior-year adjustment purposes.

The advent of tax reporting software is an important step towards the end vision of enabling one source for all data relevant to tax reporting, tax management and tax compliance where information, calculations and reports are available at the 'touch of a button'. This is often known as tax data 'warehousing' and would intend to bring together tax rules from tax compliance software, tax accounting rules from tax reporting software and tax workflow rules around deadlines for tax compliance obligations, and would also link with statutory reporting processes, ERP systems and consolidation systems. This could be further extended in order to converge direct and indirect tax processes and data.

Meanwhile, many of the benefits discussed above can already be achieved with existing technology on the market, which can later be built on to obtain further business benefits.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.