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Google Alerts: One Way to Elevate Your Tax Department and Your Career

Most tax professionals I meet are interested in information that can help them elevate the strategic value of their tax functions and advance their careers.

I witnessed this firsthand at the Institute for Professionals in Taxation’s (IPT’s) annual conference in Michigan. I was invited to co-present on a strategic topic, “Tax Department Profitability: How to Turn your Tax Department into a Revenue Producer,” with Janette Lohman, a taxation expert and partner in the firm Thompson Coburn LLP.

The engaged participants and the crowded room showed us that plenty of tax professionals want to apply out-of-the-box thinking to figure out how to boost organizational profitability and elevate the profile of the tax department. After Janette and I walked through various ways to do so – including unclaimed property reviews, acquisition and reorganization planning, reviews of tax credits and incentives, and the utilization of tax overpayments – it brought me back to thinking about how tax professionals can also further their own careers.

My mental “search” quickly returned a useful “hit” when I remembered how valuable Google Alerts were in my former role as a corporate tax leader. Prior to joining Vertex, I led the indirect tax function of a global corporation. Although my responsibilities centered on tax management, I knew I needed to keep current on all of our company’s activities.

I set up a Google Alert to monitor my company. Whenever anything newsworthy was publicly announced, my inbox would ding with a rundown of company news. Not all of the information was relevant, and I knew about many of the developments prior to receiving the alerts. Frequently enough though, the tool keyed me in to something important that was coming down the pike, like a geographic or market expansion.

Keeping up with your company’s activity is critical, as almost anything the organization does affects tax. Not only do you need to keep abreast of your own company news, but you may also want to get alerts about what your major competitors and key customers are doing since it can all impact your organization’s strategic direction.

In order to be considered a partner to the business, you need to be aware of important facts that can help inform planning in the tax department, as well as operations. This may not feel like work that pertains to the tax function, but it’s all about providing additional value to your company.

The bottom line is, there are many different ways to elevate the role of the tax function and your tax career. One of those methods is only a click away.

Please remember that the 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.


About this Contributor

Peggi Rockefeller Headshot
Peggi Rockefeller
Chief Tax Officer - Transaction Tax

Peggi Rockefeller is Chief Tax Officer-Transaction Tax, providing insight around tax department operations, U.S. indirect tax regulations and policies and emerging tax trends. Peggi has 25+ years’ experience in indirect tax. Peggi has a B.S. in accounting and computer science from The College of New Jersey and is a graduate of the IMD Finance and Business Control program. She is the founder of the Philadelphia Women's Tax Network.

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