But what does that mean? How do you get that seat at the table to drive tax transformation, strategy and critical decisions?
And what is tax transformation? How do I drive the right decisions for my business and include the right stakeholders in this journey? What does a best-in-class solution for my company look like that will grow with the business?
These questions were the focus of our recent expert panel webinar discussion. Think of it as a handy starting point to help you ensure that indirect tax is front and centre in your organisation and that you play a key role in the transformation journey. We have captured some of the key points in this blog series.
What does tax transformation mean, and why transform?
Fundamentally, tax transformation is about embedding relevant tax processes into an organisation’s business structure and IT capability. This means it is not limited to the tax team activities; it crosses many disciplines from finance and IT to purchasing and operations.
Tax transformation is all about considering what changes you need to drive for the business to realise its vision, achieve its goals and respond effectively to external change.
We asked the webinar attendees what their top triggers are for tax transformation and they identified tax regulation developments (31%) and finance/restructuring processes (31%).
Successful tax transformation involves taking a good look at your tax function - how you deliver tax compliance and what you need to provide. You must ask tough questions about what is needed now and, more importantly, into the future. You must be at the transformation table to effectively make/influence changes and to highlight the importance of tax.
One of the panellists in the webinar explains: “It’s not just about making incremental improvements, but taking a step back and considering all aspects of the tax function – the people, skill sets needed, organisational structure, the processes, the data and systems. Ask what is needed to make it fit for the future?”
How to get a seat at the table in transformation programmes?
It is important to flip your perspective and think about business, not tax. Consider the business goals and ambitions, and then how does tax fit into that? It will be easier for business leaders to listen and act if you align with business goals and values rather than a legal requirement or compliance mantra.
You also need to build alliances – not just the traditional finance relationships, but also IT, supply chain, legal and customs. Take and make opportunities to speak and create advocates, brief as many leaders as possible, and identify and commit to relevant projects that you can use to improve elements of tax. Tell the story and sell a tax vision, talk about external events and regulatory developments in the context of business goals so your stakeholders see and understand the benefits. Then be patient. You need to give them all time to catch up with your sense of urgency, but once you show new perspectives that help the company move forward, your allies and leaders will be keen to grab the opportunity to improve.
Please remember that Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information. The views and opinions expressed in Tax Matters are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or opinion of Vertex Inc.