Tax & Accounting Blog

Transformation – Here It Comes, Ready or Not!

Blog, Corporations, ONESOURCE March 3, 2020

Digital Transformation is more than a buzz word, it’s become the norm. A culmination of artificial intelligence (AI) and business intelligence (BI) that’s now a reality across all industries and society. This digital revolution has (and continues to) create new roles, behaviours and indeed new sectors, such as digital security and data science. So, it’s perhaps unsurprising to read that 70% of organisations have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one[1] and that services (95%), financial services (93%) and healthcare (92%) are amongst the top digital business strategy adopters[2].

The arguments for digital transformation make sense because, with the right tools and understanding, businesses are able to better manage their operations, improving performance, increasing employee productivity, all while meeting customer expectations.

So why is this transformation not happening company-wide and why are some parts of an organisation lagging behind others?

The time for tax and finance to digitally transform is now. As global regulators seek to minimise corporate tax avoidance and increase transparency among multinational enterprises, the role of the tax, accounting, and finance departments has been elevated to new heights. With new and evolving statutory reporting requirements as well as intense scrutiny on tax practices, forward-thinking organisations are realising the importance of empowering their financial departments with the tools they need to not only maintain compliance in a complex environment, but to also develop a global strategy focused on minimising risk in response to changes in regulations, accounting standards, and tax law, all the while driving better business decisions.

‘Where are you on this journey?’ You only have to imagine that you’re reviewing statutory reports with the board and one member asks a question related to your company’s risk mitigation when it comes to global tax exposure. Can you answer with clarity and confidence? Or, what if they press further on your strategy for country-by-country reporting. Could you answer these questions with certainty?

The pressure is on more than ever, for board members and shareholders alike. Business does not stand still and when you have this level of responsibility you must also have a clear understanding of your company’s financial practices. As your business grows you will feel the pressure to prioritise organisational efficiencies while maximising profitability. And this is the crux of true transformation in finance. For tax and finance teams it means reducing the preparation and review process to hours instead of days. Having consistent data and automating repetitive tasks is key to gaining efficiencies.  If you work within a multinational organisation you should be looking towards a centre of excellence or a shared service centre to address statutory financial reporting needs to efficiently meet tax compliance goals on a global scale.

Looking at the finance team specifically, our recent paper on Statutory Reporting in Shared Services guides you through developing a strategy for delivering statutory reporting while addressing not only board but also country by country concerns for centralisation. You’re at a point where you need to objectively weigh both the upside and downside of migrating into a centralised operation. The requirements will vary from company to company, but automation and standardisation are two key areas where tax and finance teams can help to achieve business growth globally, address regional regulators’ demands and leverage data that exists in and across the organisation.

We now generate and collate huge amounts of data, and have the technical capability to store, access, and process that data into conclusions that are more dynamic, specific, and meaningful than ever before. There has never been a better time to truly transform tax and finance while delivering real value back to the board and the business as a whole.


Download the SSON Report: Statutory Reporting in Shared Services today.