Reimagining the tax function
In the second edition of our annual survey, we compiled responses from more than 20 industries. The report establishes the fact that tax transformation is no longer just a buzz word, it is the need of the day.
Key survey findings:
Organizations are generally happy with greater levels of transparency, however, in short- to medium-term, there may be an increase in workload. Organizations might have to build their ability to respond to various data requirements of tax administrators with meaningful, contextual, accurate and consistent information. Technology may be necessary to replace manual efforts, wherever possible, to be able to effectively manage workload without affecting quality.
Enterprise tax functions cannot continue to remain blindfolded due to a lack of access to and visibility on their own source data and ability to access trends and issues accessible to tax authorities. Organizations may need a comprehensive approach to tax controversy that provides a line of sight into the issues at stake and the potential for future conflicts. Traditional tax function operating models need to rapidly evolve and be equipped to defend targeted inquiries and audits.
Organizations may need to review competencies existing in the tax function and ascertain the level of upskilling, training or co-sourcing that is required. It would make sense to do an as-is review of the operating model for tax to make sure there is right leverage of skills to meet changing expectations. Once the gap between as-is and future state in terms of competencies is identified, steps should be taken to build or co-source such competencies.
There is no denial that data is an asset today. If the right quality of data is available to tax professionals, they might be empowered to take consistent tax positions and risks are likely to reduce considerably. Traditional methods used in the tax function may not be capable of handling speed, volume and accuracy of data required.
The role of the tax function and the environment in which it operates has undergone radical changes in the recent years. Clearly the time to act is now.
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