Vertex Inc., the leading provider of corporate tax solutions, held its annual Vertex Exchange Europe Conference last week at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels, Belgium.
This annual premier event for European business tax technology professionals featured Alain Cornet, head of the Global Indirect Tax Function at Procter & Gamble (P&G), who presented the keynote address. Cornet is also engaged in Indirect Tax policy work as member of the EU VAT Expert Group and Business Advisory to OECD WP9. Following the keynote was a Q&A session on big data, the evolution of technology and how both are impacting the tax department. The Q&A included Mark Schofield, Global Leader of Tax Reporting and Strategy for PwC; Jeff Westphal, Vertex CEO; and John Viglione, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Vertex.
The theme of the conference was "A Whole New World for Tax," referring to the challenges and changes that global corporate tax departments currently face related to increased pressure from governments, complex tax compliance, advanced technology and a digital economy.
Cornet called for a more proactive approach to the management of indirect taxes and also cited the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a true strategic challenge that has to be dealt with to avoid further complicating the indirect tax realm. "BEPS is viewed as a direct tax initiative, but will affect Value Added Tax (VAT) as well," stated P&G's Cornet. "The industry will need alignment on the indirect tax handling of transfer pricing adjustments and the acceptability of OECD transfer pricing rules for VAT in order to ensure neutrality, efficiency, effectiveness and fairness. It will be more important than ever before for global tax departments to create consistent master files that can collect and archive data and provide clear defensible documentation."
"Data and technology will be key to effectively delivering a strategy for tax as a critical business issue in organizations worldwide," said Mark Schofield, Global Leader of Tax Reporting and Strategy for PwC. "Never before has the opportunity to show the relevance of the tax function to the business as a whole been more important."
According to Jeff Westphal, Vertex CEO, "Adopting scalable enterprise tax technology will be paramount, since international tax departments are already facing incredible disruption and change. Vertex® Enterprise is a Tax Performance Management solution unifying the data, tax applications and analytics required to manage all corporate tax activities on a global scale."
Since 1978, Vertex, Inc., has been a leading provider of tax technology and services, enabling companies of all sizes to realize the full strategic potential of the tax function by automating and integrating tax processes, while leveraging advanced and predictive analytics of tax data. Vertex provides cloud-based and on-premise solutions that can be tailored to specific industries for every major line of tax, including income, sales and consumer use, value added and payroll. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, and with offices worldwide, Vertex is a privately held company that employs over 900 professionals and serves companies across the globe.