A Roadmap To Tax Transformation Part 2

In this second edition of our blog series, we consider thinking strategically, the must-haves in tax transformation and how to get your tax perspective embedded beyond the tax team.

Vertex Inc. Tax Solutions

Get tax perspectives embedded outside of the tax team

Like all functions of business, the tax department has plenty of pain points. Our expert panel agrees that the temptation is to look at improving reporting, returns and audits - because it’s the place where tax departments get involved and the part of the process they can control. However, if you think about it, those are the outputs of earlier activities that sit in a variety of business areas where you have far less control. 

You need to work hard to get tax perspectives into the areas other people own. This is where your must haves should be because they dictate the quality of your company’s tax outputs - returns and audits.  

For tax teams it means the big task is ensuring tax considerations are included into wider business processes, to make sure reporting, returns and audits are accurate. Otherwise, lots of resources can be spent without resolving the root cause of poor data and inaccuracy etc.  It’s difficult to do but must be addressed. 

Be data driven and insight led 
Increasingly the tax imperative is to get it right the first time. Resolving errors in the reporting phase is increasingly too late due to the rise of real-time reporting and e-invoicing mandates So, another ‘must have’ is to get the tax relevant master data set-up correctly, it has a massive impact on the efficiency of your processes and the quality of its outputs. Get accurate tax determination to happen at the time of transaction time. As one of the panelists points out, “You don’t want to get rubbish through faster - look at what really matters and will give a fundamental impact to outcomes.” 

Demand detailed structured insights 
You need to know what's happening within your ERP and other financial systems and processes across the organization and geographies. This way you can identify issues in a structured manner rather than finding out through random incidents or by reacting to questions that might come up. Structured insights help you effectively prioritize what needs to be done.

Look to the future 
The other ‘must have’ is a consistent consideration of the future, make sure your requirements are as long term as possible, even if that means some workarounds for less fundamental midterm functions - keep your eye on the long-term prize.  

Take back control
By taking a step back and looking at the big picture you can see and assess risk and opportunity far more effectively. You can see vulnerabilities where you might need to shift control.  For example, global indirect tax needs to be embedded properly into ERP and other financial systems, so as a tax manager you need to stay in the middle of your company’s ERP and systems evolution. 

If tax is to be automated, make sure IT isn't working in isolation, you need to have a say around how IT maintenance and management work when it relates to or affects your company’s tax position or processes. You also need to make sure you have veto power around tax automation and tax relevant master data configuration. 

Blog Author

Peter Boerhof, VAT Director at Vertex Inc. Vertex's Chief Tax Office (CTO) provides insight regarding the impact of tax regulations, policy, enforcement, and emerging technology trends on global tax department operations.

Peter Boerhof

Senior Director, VAT

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Peter Boerhof is the Senior VAT Director for Vertex. In his role, he provides insight and thought leadership regarding the impact of tax regulations, policy, enforcement, and emerging technology trends in global tax. Peter has extensive experience in international transactions, business restructuring, tax process optimization, and tax automation. Prior to joining Vertex, Peter was responsible for leading the indirect tax function at AkzoNobel, where he designed and implemented a tax control framework, optimized VAT, and managed the transition to a centralized tax operating model for global tax processes.

He was also responsible for indirect tax planning and compliance for merger and acquisition, supply chain, and ERP projects, as well as the implementation of tax automation initiatives like tax engines and robotics. Boerhof also worked at KPN Royal Dutch Telecom managing VAT, as well as Big Four accounting firms Deloitte and Ernst & Young (EY) advising on VAT compliance and optimization processes. Boerhof holds an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management and a master’s in tax law from the University of Groningen.

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