Data analytics, robotic process automation (RPA) and other technology advancements are transforming how organizations conduct business. What receives less attention, however, is the fact that technology transformation is also disrupting who organizations hire and develop to design and perform increasingly data-driven business processes throughout the enterprise.
This is the case throughout the enterprise, including in the tax function where tax leaders and other executives want to add to their teams a new breed of professional: the “tax technologist.”
Traditionally, corporate tax professionals earned their jobs and promotions by becoming extremely well-versed in domestic and global tax policy, practices, trends and solutions. While traditional tax professionals often rely on supporting technology to make many decisions, they tend to leave any work or expertise concerning software and technology to their colleagues in the information technology (IT) function. When tax managers want a custom report pulled from an accounting or billing application, for example, they place a call to IT.
But times are changing, quickly. As the amount of organizational transaction and tax data soars and as more tax functions invest in powerful, user-friendly tax-data-management technology, tax leaders have a rapidly increasing need to hire more tax experts with technology skills. These skills might include deep knowledge of tax software and/or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, an understanding of basic coding or experience selecting external technology vendors and managing those relationships.
To be clear, tax technologists are tax professionals first. They must have the same expertise tax professionals have always possessed when it comes to the intricacies of tax policy and compliance. The difference is that tax technologists also know how specific technology, in the tax function and throughout the organization, can be effectively and efficiently deployed to help address all of those tax management intricacies.
I’ve written more about the tax technologist role for Financial Executives International’s (FEI’s) site and welcome you to take a further read about this subject.
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.