On 31 August Thomson Reuters and Advance Tax Compliance presented a webinar called a “Streamlining Tax Data Management – Take Control and Improve Your Tax Data Processes”. In this webinar we focused on the usage of tax data management technology by tax departments, specifically ONESOURCE DataFlow. We also shared a live example how an improved tax data gathering process could look like utilising ONESOURCE DataFlow tax technology for each step of the tax data gathering, reporting and compliance cycle.
A recording of the webinar can be found here.
As part of the webinar we asked a series of polling questions which provided some interesting results. One of the poll questions asked:
“What’s your principle Tax Data Management (TDM) challenge?”
35% of the registrants responded with the manual data gathering process as their principle TDM challenge, followed by the time consuming manual process for 29% and the risk of manual errors/ limited governance for 24% of the registrants as their principle challenge. These results did not come as a surprise and are in line with our discussions with tax departments, where tax functions are more and more actively assessing their use of tax data management technology.
We then asked the participants how much of their tax data they think is unnecessarily duplicated between (tax) processes.
Over 60% of the participants responded that they think that more than 25% of their tax data is unnecessarily duplicated. Next to this, 20% of the participants think the duplication of tax data is even more than 50%!
Excel can be a very flexible tool but it is very difficult to establish robust controls, increasing the risk of deficiencies and weakness due to human and/ or formula error. The different components of the workings often mean that there are a large volume of calculations and adjustments being handled manually, which is time consuming and inefficient. Finally, workbooks have often been created and developed by the same member of the tax team over a number of years which leads to overreliance on key personnel and difficulties on-boarding new people into the process.
In the next part of the webinar, we presented a live example of an effective tax rate (ETR) reporting process by using ONESOURCE DataFlow. By using this live example we were able to show the participants the TDM process improvements they can achieve by using ONESOURCE DataFlow to standardize, automate and control the ETR data gathering, reconciliation and reporting process.
A strong tax technology solution like ONESOURCE DataFlow will provide the necessary controls, data gathering and reconciliation automation and security capabilities with minimal change management to prevent reporting errors, and enabling a standardised approach which reduces the overreliance on key personal and manually driven calculations.
We ended the webinar by highlighting some other areas where ONESOURCE DataFlow can help improve the Tax Data Management process, e.g. tax assurance checklist automation and reporting, the automation of data gathering for tax risk register, year-end checklist automation and reporting etc.
The Q&A part showed that there is a lot more to discuss with respect to Tax Data Management. Some items:
– Ability to pull ERP/ FX/ financial reporting data to automatically populate and control cells.
– How are templates linked and controlled in ONESOURCE DataFlow?
– What are best practices for reconciliation and consolidation?
During an exclusive Lunch and Learn on September 22 we will further discuss these questions and opportunities to optimise your tax data management process.
Stef Merks & Tim van Uden
Advance Tax Compliance
What’s your principle Tax Data Management challenge?
|Manual data collection process
|Multiple versions of spreadsheets with inconsistent data
|Risk of manual errors/limited governance
|Time consuming process
How much of your tax data do you think is unnecessarily duplicated between your tax processes?
|Greater than 50%
|Between 25% and 50%
|Up to 25%