If you always follow the script, how will you ever change the story?
See how the world’s largest non-scripted, factual media company changed its trajectory.
When Discovery Communications identified an opportunity to reimagine its tax function, Todd Davis, EVP and Senior Tax Counsel, looked to Ernst & Young LLP and other member firms (“EY”) as a co-creator. Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps, which would make it the largest non-scripted, factual media company in the world, was the spark and catalyst. Rather than undergoing a traditional, post-merger combination of tax functions, with the dislocation and potential relocation that such a change requires, Discovery saw an opportunity. Here was a chance to create a dynamic, agile tax function fit for now, next and beyond. EY’s capabilities, including its state-of-the-art Global Tax Platform (GTP) that helps businesses future-proof their operations, was critical.
The timing was important. The wider role of tax functions is evolving. Regulators are ever asking for more by expanding the scope of compliance requirements and shifting policy and regulation. At the same time technology is changing the rules of the game, digitizing processes and enabling companies to transform their processes, analysis and reporting.
Davis recognized the need for change and the opportunity, but he had worked hard to turn Discovery’s tax function into a high-performing, well-oiled machine and was skeptical about changes that might be disruptive or derail progress. “We’d seen a trend for companies to enter co-sourcing agreements, plugging in to the global resources of larger firms,” says Todd Davis, Executive Vice President – Senior Tax Counsel, Discovery, Inc. “I was a little skeptical. I wanted to make sure this worked for us. We needed a different mindset.” The EY Tax and Finance Operate (TFO) solution is a technology-driven co-sourcing arrangement that helps multinational organizations improve operational effectiveness and efficiencies through innovating the tax operating model and strategic visioning.
We’d seen a trend for companies to enter co-sourcing agreements, plugging in to the global resources of larger firms. I was a little skeptical. I wanted to make sure this worked for us. We needed a different mindset.