Uh-oh, Did Tax Get Left Out?

Posted by
Mahesh Marepalli
Managing Director, Deloitte Tax LLP on December 13, 2017.

Actionable tax data and insights are critical and meaningful enablers for an effective tax leader to deliver value back to the business enterprise. Many, though, struggle to provide those insights quickly and efficiently, often driven by an inability to access information needed on a real-time basis.

Many tax departments have not yet been able to manage the state of the art in data analytics, especially as compared to the leading finance practices of today. Historically, enterprise transformations, such as financial or enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformations, have included analytics threads focused on finance and operational analyses and have not considered tax processes as core areas for potential improvement. Even when largely comprehensive financial transformations moved forward with stronger, more modern data and analytics strategies, tax has often been underserved in terms of IT strategy and investment.

The lack of tax inclusion has propagated a culture of manual processes and one-off workarounds in the tax department. Tax professionals often operate as “data preparers,” spending most of their time identifying data sources, seeking data, validating data, organizing and reorganizing data… leaving little time for interpreting the data for insights.

The age of spreadsheets and manual data crunching is over. The modern tax professional needs an integrated environment to realize a vision for obtaining deeper and more meaningful views of the tax enterprise through its data with a greater user experience. They need up-to-date data. They need sophisticated analytics tools that breathe life into their critical data assets, showing their reality with living color and interactive modeling. These are not stand-alone tools. They must work with an enterprise-class data platform and architecture, determining that the data is cleaned, factual, and consistent with ERP and transactional systems – making the data ready for tax.

So how do you get started?  We recommend you begin with a couple of critical activities to kick off the initiative.

  • Assess high-value areas where better outcomes are needed – these should be your priority and focus in your initial projects
  • Evaluate areas with significant tax impact or risk, where manual processes or data limitations create an environment prone to error or missed opportunities – these should also rank high on your list
  • Consider necessary change management, governance and training components to ensure success; and
  • Engage with appropriate business stakeholders and technology resources to align and gain support

Click here to learn more about TaxalyticsTM, Deloitte’s innovative approach enabling a powerful visualization and analytics solution for tax departments seeking to super charge their insights and performance using state-of-the-art technology. Contact me to talk about how Deloitte can help.

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