When a procurement department is planning to implement a new support technology, integration of the system with tax platforms is an important consideration. Here are five points that tax and procurement teams should address to help ensure a successful implementation:
- How soon can tax meet with IT?
Sooner is better. In many companies, procurement technology implementations routinely occur without input from the tax department. Engage with IT as soon as a procurement software project or ERP upgrade hits the radar.
- What are the current systems’ pain points?
As they work together to develop the business case, procurement and tax teams should identify all of the points within the current procure-to-pay processes that generate inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Once you’ve identified those trouble spots, you’re in a better position to have meaningful conversations with stakeholders as you shape the implementation.
- How will other stakeholders benefit?
Internal audit functions, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance teams and external auditors are among the stakeholders with responsibilities related to tax compliance. My colleague Michael Bernard, Vertex Chief Tax Officer for Transaction Tax, points out that “when tax and procurement can demonstrate that they’re going to improve the accuracy of tax determinations on purchases, their audit partners are going to respond enthusiastically.”
- How soon can we meet with stakeholders?
Tax and procurement groups can build stakeholder enthusiasm by meeting with them early in the process to ensure that the new technology solution satisfies their information and reporting needs. Consider holding workshops with IT and the business owners before the implementation.
- How do we respond to speed bumps?
Unanticipated issues will crop up, new requirements may emerge, and slow-downs are inevitable. They’re easier to resolve when you know upfront that they’re going to materialize and you’ve put some thought into how you’ll respond.