Common challenges faced by taxpayers when operationalizing their transfer pricing policies include disparate data sources, lack of controls and automated transfer pricing documentation, manual calculations separated from the organization’s ERP, inconsistent outcomes across countries, year-end adjustments, and difficulty in generating segmented financial results.
Technology in transfer pricing can be a powerful force to address the above inefficiencies. Harnessing it effectively may confer the benefits of:
- Comprehensive data management and transfer pricing analytics
- Standardized processes to source, distil and interpret intra-group transactional flows
- Transparency across the organization
- Strategic insights on trends, risks and opportunities
- Integrated approach across other areas that may have a bearing on the overall tax and financial position of a company
It is essential for organizations to analyze different elements of their transfer pricing life cycle planning, compliance and controversy- and its interface with policy, data, process, controls, systems and inferences to identify potential challenges.
Thorough transfer pricing analytics and benchmarking against leading practices can provide ‘quick fixes’ that are low on efforts and do not entail significant investments. These could help eliminate data duplication and rework. One example is to templatize segregated and standalone intercompany transaction data requirements from different internal teams like finance, MIS or treasury teams.
A logical extension of the above study is to prepare a comprehensive transfer pricing automation roadmap, driving change in a coordinated and cost-efficient fashion. The main premise of the roadmap should be to define the journey for the upcoming three to five years, aligned with an organization’s strategic objectives, business plans, external needs and identified improvement initiatives.
Key considerations which are usually built into this roadmap are: