Globalisation and ever-changing regulations have put tax departments under pressure to do more reporting then ever, often with less resources, and old systems and processes. Cross-functional collaboration in an organisation is fundamental in meeting compliance requirements, but it also creates an ideal opportunity to adopt technology for the benefit of everyone. with this in mind, how can you build your case?
The two most difficult questions facing Tax Managers when making a case for a technological upgrade of the organisation’s tax and accounting systems are:
- Will it boost our bottom-line?
- Does it have a direct benefit for our customers?
Tax departments are not profit-making centres and so justifying expenditure is very difficult, which means an organisation will stay with systems and processes which are no longer adequately serving them. It also means that tax teams often haven’t been exposed to progressive technology – at least in the workplace – which is why Excel is still popular.
So how what strategies can Tax Managers employ when persuading the business to invest in such projects?
David Allen, Sales Director, Asia & Emerging Markets for Thomson Reuters offers the advice:
“Be prepared to defend the case on multiple levels – there are more factors to argue than revenue generation.” Some of these include:
- Mitigate Risk: Finance departments have gotten much better at attributing a value to risk thanks to the climate of tougher global and local tax compliance laws and changing attitudes of boards, shareholders and the public.
- Be real: use scenarios which have either happened in the past, or could have occurred due to manual processing errors and results of previous reviews or audits.
- Talent: new generations of accountants, tax professionals and auditors have grown up in highly technological enabled environments – from education to home. They will expect to find the workplace similarly equipped and an essential part of their ongoing development.
- Collaboration: how will other departments benefit? Get their buy-in.
- Market edge: keep up with, or better still, surpass your competitors.
- Data is gold: accurate data will enable easier report generation and business projections
David will be exploring these and more in our upcoming workshop, Tax Technology: How to Define, Defend and Build Consensus for an Automation Project at the World Congress of Accountants on Monday 5 November.
In the meantime time, Download our free eBook:
Is your business is still heavily reliant on Excel spreadsheets? Learn from the experts on how to balance new tax technology and Excel, download our free eBook “Over-dependent on spreadsheets?”