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Input and Info to Intel: A Journey of Tax Technology Transformation

By: Anli Chen |

Authored by Anli Chen, Director – Technology Transformation

We are in the age when people are overwhelmed with inputs while hungry for meaningful and impactful intelligence. This is especially true for the tax function of an organization where regular reports, financial data points, regulatory updates, or system extracts, in fragmented and sporadic fashions, are aggregated for compliance and regulatory purposes.

As a response, tax technology platforms have evolved beyond basic calculations and become vital process engines to complete annual filings, document reviews, identify properly designed and effective controls, and aid in subjective analyses.

We’re also seeing more advanced emerging technologies disrupt the industry. These solutions are designed to streamline, automate, and accelerate end-to-end tax processes, involving most of, if not the entire, tax technology ecosystem. These agile, non-intrusive, ancillary solutions open doors for transforming oceans of tax related or nonrelated inputs, into meaningful business information and ultimately into invaluable business intelligence for executive decision making.

When contemplating strategies for tax technology transformation for emerging tech, consider the following four areas:

Infrastructure

  • Define a scalable tax technology environment that collaborates with solutions such as ETL (extract, transform, and load) applications, RPA (robotic process automation), ML (machine learning), and IoT (internet of things).
  • Define technical infrastructure and its supporting models including security, resilience, governance, and risk management.

Process

  • Define the overall vision for integrated tax processes and establish enterprise process governance, control and ownership.
  • Identify highly repeatable and manual processes for automation.
  • Rethink high risk tax functions and leverage emerging tech for better process and quality control.
  • Design process performance measurements as thermometers for improvement and success.

Data

  • Articulate sources of inputs, define workflows of processing and create modern data architecture that enables information sharing and analysis.
  • Establish frameworks and best practices on input quality control and evaluation.

People

  • Create an organizational structure with clear tax process ownership and minimized function silos.
  • Identify changes to roles and responsibilities impacted by the technologies and create a roadmap for staff upskilling and knowledge management.
  • Instead of swimming through data influx to keep their heads above water, with successful implementation, tax professionals will be able to spend more valuable time analyzing tax reform implications, optimizing information integration, deriving business insights, influencing strategic decisions, and mentoring new staff.

If you are interested in embarking on a tax technology transformation journey, we can help.

We will help you understand the many opportunities and challenges emerging tech represents and its disruptive impact to the tax industry. We will help improve your team’s capabilities and further empower them to succeed.