Eight Tips to Implement and Integrate Tax Technology.

AuthorO'Haqan, Jeff

For corporate tax departments, implementing technology is a high-stakes, high-profile, can't-afford-to-fail undertaking. We have seen cases when poorly executed projects have adversely affected senior tax executives' compensation and job security.

So, here are eight tips tor getting it right.

  1. Align with corporate objectives. Solicit input from key stakeholders and craft a tax technology vision that advances your company's overarching strategy. Make sure it is scalable and flexible, because technology, tax requirements, and business conditions evolve rapidly.

  2. Acknowledge COVID-19, but don't be derailed. Managing through the global pandemic is the top priority for companies today. As a result, you may relegate less-than-mission-critical projects, like implementing tax technology, to the back burner. At the same time, tax teams are working remotely, and department leadership is supporting the business continuity of the company.

    So, be patient. As you focus on today's critical work, continue to lay the groundwork for your tech upgrade. Be ready to move forward when business conditions allow.

  3. Know where you need to go. Do your homework to ensure your technology initiative targets the right problems. Assess the gap between your current and desired states of operation. Identify specific pain points and needs. What is your team's biggest recurring waste of time or its most laborious error-prone process? Do you spend significant time gathering data for compliance, tax planning, audit defense, and tax accounting? Which high-volume, repeatable tasks can you automate? Which tax processes do you manage in nonstandard, nonintegrated ways? Does your department struggle to manage and manipulate large volumes of data? What has changed in the business since you last implemented technology?

  4. Secure the foundation. Before implementing new software, honestly assess whether your existing technological and operational environment is getting results. Are you leveraging your platforms fully? Is your team adequately trained to use them? Do team members consistently follow the proper processes, or have they reverted to comfortable and inefficient old methods? Does the team have the right mix of tax and tech skills?

    It will be easier to secure funding and support for new technology if you can show an irrefutable return on investment from tools you already have.

  5. Map the connections. Work with your information technology (IT) colleagues to map the system and...

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