Common Misconceptions about Returns Outsourcing

As we talk to tax executives across the U.S. about sales and use tax returns outsourcing, we’ve found there are a number of misconceptions that prevent companies from considering this option. Understanding the truth about the issues and the marketplace offerings will prove that returns outsourcing can be a valuable alternative for a tax department.

Myth #1: Outsourcing providers don’t perform as well as in-house staff.
Not true. Their singular focus can make them even more efficient than in-house staff that can sometimes get pulled away on other projects.

Myth #2: Outsourcing is more expensive than keeping the returns function in-house.
Quite the contrary, our research tells us the number three reason that companies consider outsourcing is actually to reduce costs.

Myth #3: After outsourcing returns, it will become difficult to justify the tax department headcount.
Actually, most tax executives have no problem reallocating staff to higher value work, and demonstrating the increased value per staff hour.

Myth #4: Outsourcing reduces your control and visibility of the returns process.
In fact, effective reporting and continual communication from the outsourcing provider keeps the tax executive well in control.

Myth #5: All outsourcing providers offer the same thing, so just shop for the lowest price.
This is just not true. The biggest difference seems to be the steps beyond returns preparation. Does the outsourcing provider sign, file, and certify the returns? How do they manage funds? How quickly do they respond to inquiries?

Take a moment to learn the truth about outsourcing returns. There’s a host of details that can vary from provider to provider that will make a real difference. Companies must be sure to manage the RFP process carefully and thoughtfully. With the right provider it can yield significant benefits to your tax function. (Click here for the complete article)

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Stephanie Malin

Director, Managed Services

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Stephanie Malin is Director of Managed Services at Vertex where she is responsible for leading the development of strategic initiatives for the outsourcing business. She has been with Vertex for more than 20 years working in marketing and product management roles for both transaction tax and income tax technology products. Stephanie currently serves on the Corporate Market Strategy Team and leads the Managed Services Task Force. Her prior experience has been with financial and technology companies. Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Drexel University and an MBA from Temple University.

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