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The Secret to Tax Success: Tax IT Whispering

Pssst…want to know the secret to thriving as a tax professional? Become a “Tax IT Whisperer.”

More corporate tax functions are clamoring for this competency, which enables tax functions to communicate their rapidly growing technology needs to overburdened information technology (IT) functions.

The Tax IT Whisperer skill is a “next-generation” tax competency  that rising leaders need to apply as pressure intensifies for their functions to become more proactive and less reactive. A Tax IT Whisperer has the ability to understand the technology implications of tax and have the ability to translate this need to IT. There is a growing demand for Tax IT Whisperers according to the corporate tax executives I've spoken to in the last year.
 
All of us in the tax realm are familiar with the growing tax-talent crunch. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find and hire tax professionals as competition for their services increases. This resource challenge, combined with the rising complexity of tax-compliance requirements and the growing use of data in all organizations drives tax functions to seek out supporting technology. This automation can help tax operate more efficiently – while simultaneously enhancing tax planning, reducing audit risk and strengthening the function’s contributions to strategic decision-making.

But IT functions face a slew of their own challenges, and tax is hardly the only corporate function hitting them up for help developing, purchasing and implementing new technology. Most tax functions are also well-aware of IT’s challenges. When tax leaders want to invest in new technology, they know they better figure out a way to get to the top of IT’s lengthy priority list. Tax  also knows what they will likely encounter when eliciting IT's help:
Tax: Here’s what we need.
IT: OK, that will take us three months to deliver.
IT: (six months later) Here it is.
Tax: That’s not exactly it; here’s what we wanted.
IT: OK, that will take us another three months…

Tax IT Whisperers avoid these vexing exchanges because they’re fluent in tax and technology and thereby ensure clear communication and understanding on both sides. Tax IT Whisperers are able to take their function’s complex tax needs and translate them into terms that IT professionals can understand.

This fluency not only helps the company invest in the right tax technology more effectively, it also helps elevate "tax" higher on IT’s priority list so that the benefits of greater tax automation are realized more quickly and efficiently.

As tax continues its evolution toward becoming a more proactive and strategic function, it helps to zero in on the new competencies and skills that accelerate this transformation. Are you a Tax IT Whisperer? If so, you are worth your weight in gold. If not...pssst...you may want to reach out to your IT department and partner with them so you can become a Tax IT Whisperer too.

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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