ARTA Raises Concerns About Back Office System Readiness For HST
ARTA Canadaby Bruce Bishins, CTC

Canada’s Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA Canada) is emphasizing its significant concerns regarding the readiness of back-office systems (BOS) to accommodate HST. These concerns are heightened with respect to the post-transaction handling of service charges, markups, and commissions. Of particular concern is any BOS which has hard-coded or pre-programmed tax rates for service charges and commissions.

I made these remarks at last week’s Travel Law Conference during a discussion of HST and its impact on the travel industry. Several travel agencies were in agreement, indicating that their BOS was either unfamiliar with the implementation of HST or unprepared to answer questions about how HST programming would be updated in agency subscriber systems. Most BOS providers are headquartered in the USA.

We’ve had hundreds of agencies in our HST Webinars, and they all tell pretty much the same story. When they ask their back-office system provider about HST programming, all they hear is silence, or worse yet ‘What new HST?

Bishins encouraged attendees to speak with their BOS provider as soon as possible to assure that they were on-track with HST policies and timely implementation.

ARTA Canada’s HST Webinars conclude this week. For more information, including details about the HST Self-Paced Learning Program, please visit the Airline Training Council web site at: www.airlinetraining.org/hst.

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