The process seems simple enough. Company tax processes are under strain so the decision is made to invest in automation. A string of vendors turn up displaying their wares, and after some procurement hoop-jumping, one is selected. Installation is performed by a consultant with the product name on his bio. Job done!
Except that the job is not done. Do any of these sound familiar?
- The tax department is still drowning in data
- Costs are the same as before, or higher
- Success is measured by how little is spent on tax and how seldom the authorities impose penalties
- Tax solutions lurch from crisis to crisis
- There is reluctance to invest further in tax technology
- There is expectation of disappointment if you do invest
The “still got my head above water” approach to tax function management is quickly reaching the end of its shelf-life. The adoption of advanced data technologies by tax authorities around the world is seeing to that. BEPS, SAF-T, near real-time returns and others contest to this. In the future, tax managers will need much better control over tax information and far greater visibility into the inner workings of the business if they are to be successful.
The Missing Ingredient
The problem is that there is a set of skills and principles that few are aware of. Many just assume that chaos and risk go with the territory, but it does not have to be that way. Here are a couple of secrets:
- Data is the glue that holds tax solutions together, yet data is almost always ignored.
- In the end, it’s just a computer system, and it can be controlled, understood and aligned with business. Simple automation achieves none of these.
What Is The Solution?
So, does this mean everybody must start hiring tax technologists? Absolutely not. Knowing how to operate a tax technology product is not the answer, and even a good tax technologist will be restricted in his/her ability to deliver results without help.
For most, help means understanding exactly what must happen with the confluence of business and technology at a holistic level. Marketplace experience shows us that it can take years for even the most talented people to learn by trial and error.
However, all knowledge helps! Even a few simple insights can make a profound difference for tax professionals with little to no technical background.
To find out more, join this unique webinar hosted by Geoff Peck and Bill Wilson (PawPaw Technology) on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 9:00 am PST.
We believe you will never think about tax technology the same way again.
Have a question? Contact Geoff Peck
Your comments are welcome!