Taking Tax into the Digital Domain
Most companies spend around 80 percent of their time on the arduous task of compiling data, leaving them less time to perform in-depth analyses on these data points. Through Process automation, companies can reduce the time spent on mundane and repetitive tasks, instead increasing focus on the quality of the data and the sophistication of analyses.
Technology is not the aim in itself, although the right applications will spur performance and have a unifying effect. So why do we continue to grapple with spreadsheets for tax calculation and reporting purposes? The automation of taxes has moved on from revolving around single point-solutions to integrated platforms. The latter is a consequence of an acceleration in cloud functionality of consolidation & planning systems, the so-called EPM solutions (Enterprise Performance Management). Even embedding TP reports in EPMs like VENA, Tagetik, SAP, Oracle, Workiva etc has become a reality, enabling a smoother flow of financial and factual data from origin through to master file and local file reporting.
Experience has taught us that most companies already use at least one of these EPM software solutions for its financial reporting and that a company benefits from using software already available in other parts of the company. Why? Because:
- It accelerates the internal vendor review and approval process by the company’s global IT team, given that the software vendor is already known and used with the company;
- There might already by user licenses available which can be allocated to members of the tax community and, therefore, not result in any additional licensing costs
- If Finance or other persons within the company are part of the tax workflow, the user experience is consistent within the company
- The training periods are shorter and user confidence in the process higher if “known” software is used;
- Most of these platform based software solutions are global companies with proven track records, known to reinvest significant amounts in new innovations.
The way the “tax apps” are built on the functionality available in these EPM solutions and can be illustrated as follows: