Looking for Ways to Support Your CFO? Know What’s on Their Mind.

Larry Mellon considers how tax leaders can help support the CFO’s agenda.

Vertex Inc.

Deloitte’s CFO Agenda series is always a valuable source of info about what’s on the mind of finance chiefs – great for tax leaders looking for ways to help address their CFO’s priorities. The 2023 edition offers some useful insights on strategic interests shared by finance groups and tax departments, including data and technology, talent and leadership, and organizational resilience.

The report includes a list of questions that CFOs who are looking to amplify their strategic contribution might want to ask themselves. Some of these queries serve as useful touchpoints for tax leaders who are on the same path, including: 

  • How does your company plan to grow – M&A, organically, or both?
  • What are the dominant constraints that hold back your company’s growth, and how do you plan to overcome them?
  • What is the greatest uncertainty facing your company, and what can you do to resolve or navigate it?

CFOs, like tax leaders, continue to rack up data and technology achievements. When asked what steps they had taken in the previous year to alter, reduce or streamline the work their organization does, CFOs’ top two responses were: 

  1. Drove digital transformation or automation (44%); and 
  2. Leveraged technology or implemented ERP transformation (29%).

Tax leaders involved in tax technology transformation initiatives are probably nodding their heads right now. And what were the most effective ways that CFOs improved the data and insights they deliver to the business? The responses here tell a similar story, with an additional emphasis on talent management:

  • Invested in new systems and automated or upgraded existing systems (20%); 
  • Implemented talent or organizational changes (14%);
  • Streamlined data structures and evaluated processes and controls (14%);
  • Enhanced data analysis and use of data analytics (12%); and
  • Improved FP&A and scenario analysis (11%).

The report also takes a quick look at how finance can help the business pivot in response to unexpected events. The survey asked respondents whether they thought that their organization should create a chief resilience officer role in the next five years. Nearly 80% said yes. 

In addition to supporting CFO priorities, tax leaders can also support efforts to strengthen organizational resilience in several areas, including the supply chain. My colleague George Salis (Vertex’s chief economist and senior tax policy director) addresses this in The Tax Group’s Role in Driving Supply Chain Resilience: “Tax groups can help their organizations operate more agile and resilient supply chains by ensuring tax compliance as tax policies, rules and rates change – and as companies enter into new relationships with suppliers and customers in new countries (and tax jurisdictions).”

Blog Author

Larry Mellon, Tax Directory, Vertex Inc

Larry Mellon

Tax Director, Chief Tax Office

See All Resources by Larry

Larry Mellon is a Tax Director in the Chief Tax Office, where he is responsible for providing insights, thought leadership and customer-centric direction to Vertex functional groups, supporting the continued expansion of Vertex indirect tax solutions and overall enterprise strategy. He has over 30 years of experience in sales and use tax compliance, risk assessment, jurisdictional audits, administration and management, as well as VAT compliance. Larry joined Vertex in 2005 as a Sales and Income Tax Supervisor and has served as Tax Manager since 2012, where he has played a pivotal role in elevating and advancing the company’s tax management offerings.

Prior to joining Vertex, Larry served as a Senior Tax Accountant and Property Tax Manager at Foamex International, Inc., a polyurethane and advanced polymer foam product manufacturer and marketer. Mellon also held multiple roles at The Franklin Mint and is a member of the Institute of Professionals in Taxation (IPT) and Tax Executives Institute (TEI).

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