After thousands of interviews and valuable successes finding the best in the tax profession through http://www.etsearch.com/clients.htm, we evolved into our new entity www.taxconnections.com. Through all the successes, what was most important were the lessons learned from every lead tax executive I encountered in a corporation. Recently, I was reminded how valuable tax executives are while talking to nationally recognized tax expert Dan Thompson of Thompson Tax & Associates headquartered in San Francisco, California. Dan sent me a video in the day of a life of a Tax Director. In the video, he started out by saying “You are a Tax Director and you walk into the office one day and the State & Local Tax Manager tells you the State Auditors want to conduct an audit in an hour on an issue that has been overlooked. A few moments later with a cup of coffee in hand, the Sales & Use Tax Manager comes in and tells you that the company has been hit with a big tax penalty. Just an hour after that and two hours before a big meeting with the CFO, the Property Tax Manager comes into the office and tells you the auditors overvalued a building by about 1M. Dan Thompson then stated “This all happens before lunch!” I laughed along with Dan’s great sense of humor about the day in the life of a corporate tax executive. However, we both know that this happens to corporate tax executives every day!
More demands are put on tax executives leading tax organizations today than ever before. They must manage international, federal, state and local, property and sales and use taxes in a complex tax environment. They are expected to perform with superhuman powers to keep the company compliant and reduce risk to the organization that relies on their sound advice. The lead tax executives I encounter are simply amazing and provide extraordinary value to the organizations who hire them.
Often times, I have wondered “How does a Tax Director sleep at night?” Guess what, many of them do not sleep at night because they must call Asia or Europe to hold meetings with tax managers in their international locations! When I speak to a corporate Tax Director that must work late into the night to communicate with their tax team, it is a reminder how much is required of them over and above many other roles in an organization. They must perform above and beyond and meet deadlines in multiple tax jurisdictions. The tax executives running major corporations are highly educated and technically sophisticated performers; they are also passionate about the technically sophisticated work they do. Lead tax executives are extraordinarily valuable because they have the technical tools that keep the risks low and the rewards high for a company.