The adoption and advancement of e-commerce capabilities across industries has elevated the importance of managing customer experience. The ability to meet customers’ rapidly changing expectations now serves as a primary driver and organizational value. It’s crucial for tax leaders to understand how their activities can impact customer experience – and to keep this in mind as they progress on their tax transformation journeys.
We recently sat down with Kevin Permenter, IDC Research Director for Financial Applications and his colleague Tom Seal, IDC Senior Research Director, European Enterprise Applications, for Vertex’s five-episode podcast series on drivers of tax transformation. In this series Tom and Kevin each address global tax issues. Tom focuses more on disruptions affecting tax groups in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) countries, while Kevin takes aim at tax transformation in the U.S. and North America.
As Kevin shared during the podcast, “Customers are expecting to have accurate tax calculations at the point of sale – right there, immediately. They don’t want to wait even a fraction of a second. Compliance success can be measured in fractions of a second. The compliance piece actually becomes part of the customer experience. It becomes a key aspect of customer satisfaction.”
During a session at the most recent Vertex Exchange, Kevin and I discussed tax managers’ top compliance concerns. We touched on this topic again during our discussions captured in the podcast episodes. Among the items we discussed were the link between tax compliance and customer experience, as well as other aspects of tax transformation, including:
- Regulations driving tax transformation: Global rules and rates changes for sales tax, use tax, and VAT are giving rise to substantial compliance complexity. As a result, finance and tax teams continue to invest in new tax automation solutions to manage those intricacies. New and emerging e-invoicing mandates could be – which Kevin framed as a “real game changer,” – continue to proliferate in other parts of the world and could reach the U.S. at some point soon.
- The talent shortage impact on finance and tax groups: Many organizations continue to struggle to hire and retain finance and tax professionals, especially those with technological skills. This challenge is also propelling tax transformation initiatives. As Kevin noted, “The answer, of course, is, ‘OK, let’s automate. Let’s utilize technology as a bridge so that we can do more with less. This is a place where they’re going to rely on vendors to step in [and] provide easy-to-use software, easy-to-learn software…”
- Tax technology developments: As ERP ecosystems continue to expand, Kevin says, a “new wave of tax software” easily plugs into many of the applications – including ERP systems, CRM applications, expense management platforms, procurement solutions, and more – within those ecosystems. He also reports that “tomorrow’s tax technology will augment the user with machine learning and AI as well as other forms of emerging technologies.
Kevin examines many other tax transformation challenges, trends and tools – including the advantages of a single unified tax automation platform – in our Drivers of Tax Transformation podcast series.
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.