Sovos Compliance Acquires Top Latin American Compliance Company Invoiceware International

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Global compliance software leader adds the industry’s only multi-country solution for e-invoicing and tax reporting in the world’s most complex tax compliance region.

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“As real-time audits of constantly evolving tax obligations become more common, multi-nationals are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their ability to stay on top of their compliance obligations in Latin America,” Hovancik said.

Sovos Compliance, a global leader in tax and business-to-government compliance software, announced today that it plans to acquire Atlanta- and Sao Paulo-based Invoiceware International, expanding the company’s capabilities in Latin America and adding the industry’s only solution for handling electronic invoicing and fiscal reporting in multiple countries from a single platform.

The announcement was welcome news to the company’s more than 500 multi-national clients, according to Sovos CEO Andy Hovancik. Multi-nationals have expressed significant concern in recent months over increasingly burdensome compliance obligations around the world, and particularly those in Latin America where tax authorities are combining country-wide e-invoicing and e-accounting mandates with big data to audit companies in real-time.

“As real-time audits of constantly evolving tax obligations become more common, multi-nationals are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their ability to stay on top of their compliance obligations in Latin America,” Hovancik said. “Invoiceware is the only solution on the market that can help those companies across the entire region, which makes it a natural extension of our global platform and a superior solution for companies that are using a patchwork approach to regional tax compliance today.”

This year, only 55 percent of CFOs reported feeling “somewhat confident” in their compliance efforts, down steeply from 87 percent in 2014, according to Ernst & Young, a decline driven in part by the efforts of governments to tighten the reigns on tax revenue.

At the forefront of that movement, Latin American countries have been quickly implementing onerous electronic invoicing fiscal reporting mandates and enforcing them with electronic audits, dramatically reducing tax gaps in the region – while at the same time increasing risk and costs for multi-national businesses.

Brazil’s well-documented success in increasing value added tax collections by more than $50 billion has kicked off a flood of mandates across the region that is expected to lead to 98% adoption of e-invoicing by 2024. Yet, while mandates have spread quickly – five new countries have introduced e-invoicing since 2015 – solutions to handle the obligations have been slow to emerge. The software options that do exist are generally focused on a single country or a single process, leaving multi-national companies with large regional tax liabilities with no single provider to trust.

With the acquisition of Invoiceware, Hovancik is aiming to change that, building on Sovos’ existing Latin American value added tax solution to offer the only complete, multi-country platform for the region, a step closer to his goal of offering the first complete global solution for multi-national companies. Sovos, which is backed by London-based HgCapital and Vista Equity Partners, currently helps some of the world’s largest companies consolidate their compliance solutions for Latin America, EMEA and North America. Invoiceware successfully supports dozens of multi-national companies itself, including The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg and Pfizer, and its solution will be available immediately to Sovos clients.

“We’ve been really impressed with Sovos and their capability to help multi-nationals solve a wide variety of tax compliance and reporting problems,” said Scott Lewin, CEO of Invoiceware, who will continue to run the business for Sovos as General Manager, Latin America. “As governments continue to tighten their fiscal reporting standards, our clients have been asking us to help them beyond the Latin American region. We didn’t see anyone else out there that had the capability to keep businesses ahead and out of trouble like Sovos. This is a huge step forward for any company that struggles with business-to-government compliance.”

Sovos plans to expand its presence in Latin America to better support its current and future multi-national clients, starting with Invoiceware’s Sao Paulo location.

Marks Baughan served as financial advisor to Invoiceware and Morris, Manning & Martin provided legal counsel to Sovos.

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Eric Olson
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