Analyze This: Putting Performance Before Analytics

In this Tax Notes International article, Vertex Chief Tax Officer Michael Bernard evaluates tax departments’ use of data analytics and argues that it should be guided by establishing specific performance indicators to ensure efficiency. 

Tax functions need to keep pace with tax authorities deploying data analytics capabilities to increase collections, sniff out compliance lapses, and increase their efficiency. Also, corporate tax departments generally lag behind other organizational functions and groups in leveraging data analytics to help drive business value. CFOs increasingly expect their tax leaders to harness tax data to deliver forward-looking data.

However, before tax functions can harness data analytics to deliver additional value, they should be able to measure their own performance and value through key performance indicators (KPIs). It is important that these measures of the tax function’s value and performance be clearly defined and continually updated to reflect business priorities and related tax function objectives. When tax function KPIs are in place, they can serve as helpful guideposts for tax data analytics capabilities.

In this article, Michael addresses the following questions and more: 

  • Why should tax functions measure their performance? 
  • How do KPIs that are tailored to company strategy and related factors help excel the business?
  • What are the four primary expectations finance leaders have of their chief tax officers?

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