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New Decade – New Mindset – Your Tax Technology Journey Begins Now

By: James T. Hedderman Anli Chen |

As we approach the close of the first quarter in this new decade, we’re seeing our clients work through the year-end income tax provision, prepare for the upcoming compliance season and consider monthly sales tax filings (among other obligations) with  mindsets centered on “How can we improve these processes?” Implemented correctly, improvements to any process are a sign of industry leadership, long term vision and strengthening your internal control environment.  In 2020, we recommend you consider all of these topics with an open mind and fresh set of technology related goals. Your tax technology journey can start today!

As with any historical tax process, the road to a highly efficient and controlled process starts with an honest evaluation of the current state. Consider some of the challenges your tax department may have faced in the last year:

Income Tax Provision(s) and Tax Returns: 

  • Do late adjustments drive a manual process of top-side adjustments that make reviewing the overall impact difficult?
  • Are you running into issues pulling reports and then having to consolidate data?

State and Sales Tax Reporting and Compliance:

  • Does the volume of the reporting transactions and identification of taxation impact get bogged down due to limitations in Excel?
  • Are your auditors struggling to follow the chain of steps due to the complexity of your efforts?

Process Improvements/Efficiencies:

  • Has your effort to standardize a decentralized process left you feeling defeated?

Data Access and Wrangling:

  • Are you struggling to access data you need and hearing things like, “You just don’t understand what I have to do to get you that information.”
  • Are mundane and repetitive tasks taking over your day?

If any of these examples strike a chord in your function, it may be time to evaluate your tax technology environment.  With solutions that can provide robotic process automation (RPA) which supports more efficient and fully documented transformation of unstructured data to useful data, opportunities to expedite extracting and summarizing data from software solutions, and the ability to utilize technology to empower the tax professional of tomorrow, today, we are seeing companies embrace technology faster than ever before.

Managing Disruption

If bringing technology into the tax department seems overwhelming or disruptive to your process, implementing improvements in phases can help mitigate risk and ease the transition for your tax professionals. Developing a road map that fits the needs of your organization in a timeline that makes the most sense for your team is critical to a successful transition. Your technology journey can move at a pace that is right for your company and your team; the key is start moving forward.  Just as society has embraced bringing robust technology into our homes, it’s time for tax departments to bring technology into our “homes” as well.  And as we do, we put our teams in position to do more meaningful and value-added work.

The Importance of Collaboration

As finance and tax departments bring intelligent solutions to their teams, we will shift from tax professionals working in isolation to turn information we receive into information we can use, to delivering business intelligence and freeing up time to collaborate more with finance leaders.

Collaborating for a successful technology transformation will require an understanding that recommended solutions are meant to empower by bringing data ripe for analytics to your fingertips, and removing many repetitive tasks from the work day.  Our tax teams are becoming much more analytical and valuable to our organizations.  Are you ready to start your journey yet?

How can True Partners help?

We know that every client’s technology journey is different.  As a result, we open tax technology transformation discussions with the goal of exploring and understanding your current processes first. Then we collaborate with you to identify your struggles with data, resource limitations, existing internal controls gaps around key tax department operations, and discuss your vision for the future.

Following our dialogue, our team will debrief and identify process modifications, business intelligence and analytics opportunities, technology solutions, and strategize how the transformation impacts your team in the short and long term. We will then help develop an implementation plan, including timelines and resource allocations, to bring our shared vision to life.

I’m interested, now what?

If you’re interested in starting a dialogue with True Partners about your technology journey, please contact Anli Chen, Director – Tax Technology or Jim Hedderman, Managing Director. We look forward to contributing towards your success and a more empowered and enabled future.