Automation and Analytics Through a Digitally Transformed (and Remote) Workforce.

AuthorRuggles, Andy

The Experts: Andy Ruggles and Allison LeClair

Our current environment is magnifying pressures on tax functions to take action in a changing regulatory landscape characterized by marketplace uncertainty, demands for accelerated reporting, better risk management, and greater use of technology in day-to-day operations. There is no perfect time to take the first step toward implementing new automation strategies--should we accelerate investment in "being digital" in light of the changes and uncertainty around us?

Editor's note: The PwC CFO Pulse Survey reflects that, as of June 11, 2020, fifty-six percent of CFOs believe that technology investments will improve their companies in the long run.

Question: How can a technology-enabled workforce prepare tax functions to operate digitally while working remotely?

No two digital transformations will look or feel the same, but many achieve similar outcomes with similar strategies. Consider these six strategies for taking the first steps toward or a new look at transforming your workforce into flexible, productive tax professionals who can handle uncertainty and unexpected challenges. One thing we have seen over the last several months is that the strategy is generally the same, and we have merely adapted how we achieve these goals to accommodate working virtually across many locations.

  1. Invest in digitally upskilling your people--an easy first step. Upskilling refers to expanding people's capabilities and converting that knowledge into results, allowing people to grow into new roles as the business changes and to become what Linkedln cofounder Reid Hoffman calls "infinite learners." As an example, we at PwC are committing US $3 billion over the next four years to upskilling initiatives both to train our own people and to develop technologies for our people and our clients. (1) One of the many approaches that we share with our clients is our Virtual Digital Academies. It's a hands-on approach to learning that focuses on applying the latest data automation and analytics technology to business processes. We recognized that getting the tools into the hands of the users in a collaborative learning environment allowed people to start owning their development while experiencing firsthand the impact they can have on their personal growth and the business. People come out of the training feeling empowered with the foundational knowledge to immediately start applying their new skills to their own work and...

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