Management and Finances

The Tax Advantages of System Implementation

By John Hoebler

With the introduction of software as a service (SaaS), organizations must understand and evaluate their options to account for their SaaS implementation expenses—for both book and tax purposes. See one tech writer’s major accounting considerations for companies implementing SaaS-based systems.

John Hoebler writes, “Until recently, most organizations that purchased and implemented a new accounting system would capitalize the costs associated with the application development stage of implementing the new system.

“They could do this if the organization physically bought the software via a multiyear license and support arrangement. For book purposes, this allowed an organization to recognize the cost of the implementation (which could be in the millions) over many years, reducing the project’s cost on any one year’s income statement.

“Depending on the nature of the implementation, companies may have also capitalized the implementation expense for tax purposes, or they may have deducted at least a portion of the implementation expense as a software development expense in the year the expense was incurred.

“With the introduction of [SaaS], organizations need to understand and evaluate their options to account for their SaaS implementation expenses for both book and tax purposes.”

Read on for two major considerations for companies implementing a SaaS solution.