If you are making your way through your own tax transformation journey, then you may be interested in the on-demand version of a recent webinar. The “Tax transformation: Steps to leverage your tax digitisation journey” discussion took place on 26 May and explored the journeys through indirect tax transformation experienced by a global group of panellists from the EU and USA.
Who were the speakers?
Byron King, Director Professional Services, Thomson Reuters, hosted the webinar and was joined by a strong panel sharing their experiences and advice. They included Juergen Wendel, Process & Design Owner for Indirect Tax at HP; Damian de Souza, Partner, Tax, at Deloitte, and Fiona Gibson, Tax Systems Lead at Wiley. Fiona was also the winner of the Global Corporate Tax Department category of our 2020 Taxologist awards.
What did the webinar cover?
The group started by acknowledging the reasons for (and value of) tax transformation and digital tax reporting, exploring the challenges experienced, and offering advice to others on the same road.
What are the tax challenges and drivers forcing organisations to change?
One thing that anyone working in a tax department knows is that team responsibilities keep growing. Some of the drivers for this are external, such as the European Commission’s desire to close the VAT gap, which was €140bn in 2018 and was projected to increase to €164bn in 2020. This has accelerated the transformation of VAT processes and the introduction of stricter reporting requirements that demand greater transparency of an auditable VAT data trail in an organisation.
Benefits of digital tax transformation
Panellists also pointed out how tax transformation can be a huge advantage to organisations. Key benefits include:
- Making tasks more efficient and agile, especially in the face of the ever-changing tax compliance environment– something that is particularly challenging if you are a multinational organisation operating under multiple tax jurisdictions.
- Speed and accuracy have also become very important benefits, especially with tax cycles shortening. Tax technology vastly improves the tax return process, but that needs to be based on good tax data analytics
Tips and experiences of tax transformation
Learning from other’s experiences is one of the best ways to make sure your tax transformation project is a success. Everybody had lots to share here from how they approached projects to the lessons learnt about building a business case for new technology.
All the participants have worked in partnership with Thomson Reuters for some time, and HP and Wiley offered unique perspectives from their organisation’s tax transformation journey.
- Juergen talked about how HP used its tax determination requirements around the world to extend the use case developed in the US for sales tax. A key component of making this a success was taking the time to integrate with ERP solutions and harmonise an approach that could work across the globe.
- Damien too, having worked on a host of projects, was able to highlight the importance of good data structures and clean data – something that is not only important at the start of a project but must be monitored on an ongoing basis. The importance of “clean data” and locking in processes was also discussed by the panel. This work upfront allows tax departments and teams to move toward the ‘value add’ of their roles rather than fighting to keep the tax system operational and staying compliant on indirect tax.
- Fiona talked about how Wiley moved from a legacy billing system to using indirect tax software for tax calculations and reporting in the UK and Europe. When the time came to consider a global solution, the evidence collected on ONESOURCE allowed the team to not only build a global business case, and benchmark other solutions, before extending its implementation.
Tips for your transformation journey
It is easy for tax teams to see the benefits of indirect tax technology – but bringing them to life when you are in the thick of dealing with day-to-day challenges can feel like an impossible task. Other takeaways from the webinar included:
- Build a business case – The panel had some great advice for building a business case that stakeholders understand.
- Work with IT early –The panel felt this was a very important point – neither department can make tax transformation a success on its own.
- Don’t boil the ocean – Have a clear understanding of the value a project can deliver and what falls both in and out of scope.
How to move forward with your tax transformation journey?
If you are looking for some inspiration for your tax transformation journey, or are facing a challenge or two, our webinar on “Tax transformation: Steps to leverage your tax digitisation journey” offers interesting perspectives and tips from those that have made their way successfully through the process.
For further information, on how ONESOURCE can help your tax department, please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org