An agile tax operating model
See beyond how you operate today
The COVID-19 global pandemic and the resulting public safety demands have prompted companies to implement work-from home policies, forcing tax departments to move to virtual workforces with little to no time to prepare for such a move. Now as companies start to reopen their physical offices, what are the lessons learned to help remote working tax departments stay the course on the road ahead?
- Rising to a new challenge
- Five essential questions
- So where do you go from here?
- Deloitte COVID-19 Tax & Financial Measures
- Get in touch
Rising to a new challenge
Many companies did not have the time or resources to put in place all the infrastructure needed to support their new remote working tax teams. Accomplishing today’s tax work with existing resources was already a challenge with continuous technology advancement and evolving regulatory demands. The effects of COVID-19 have exposed gaps and have put an additional layer of pressure on tax departments to be nimble.
Moving quickly to address immediate needs has been critical. But leaders also have an opportunity to think strategically and design a more agile tax operating model that is equipped for the “new normal,” through the amplified efforts of humans working better together with technology, and can flex and scale to fit uncertainty and change now and in the future. As tax departments navigate this unprecedented environment, tax leaders can use a phased approach to their planning efforts:
Considering each of these phases is critical to overcoming challenges presented by five essential questions about your virtual workforce.
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Every amount a company spends or earns has an eventual tax implication, making tax the single largest user of financial data in every organization. Tax departments without the infrastructure in place to access, control, and report on the data required to drive tax calculations and processes may find it difficult to quickly pivot to a virtual work environment. Data stored in paper files and on shared drives is difficult to obtain. Data manipulation in spreadsheets is difficult to control and may create data integrity risks. Efficient data management is key to facing COVID-19 challenges.
Where are you today?
Disparate systems. Lack of virtual collaboration. Bandwidth limitations. Are these familiar? Make sure your technology infrastructure and processes are ready to support your people working remotely. This requires tax teams to consider additional communication tools, more structured hand-offs, and potentially to consider additional resources.
How ready is your tax department for remote work?
As organizations adapt to becoming a virtual workforce, the strain on current resources is already taking a toll. Tax organizations that are able to think differently about how to best support their people can position themselves for the future to not only manage today’s unprecedented resourcing challenge, but also emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with an efficient and flexible workforce of the future.
Are you ready for the “next normal?”
Many tax departments find it difficult to standardize the processes necessary to meet their day-to-day responsibilities. With a virtual work environment, this issue may be amplified. Ensuring processes are properly defined and documented will allow the tax department to scale resources to meet current and future needs for the business.
Are you ready for a remote workforce?
Data security and internal controls are vital with entire tax organizations working remotely and the increased level of communication via web-based applications and sharing of data and documents digitally in this new virtual environment—which requires a new level of governance and communication.
Do you have robust electronic data governance processes in place?
So where do you go from here?
The road to thrive: Rebuild your business framework
To recover and thrive requires a close look at all your essential areas of operation, including your talent, technology, and processes. From that analysis, we'll help you start to design a custom tax operating model that meets your unique business needs.
Be bold in your thinking. Some of the key questions to ask yourself are:
- What are your prioritized challenges and objectives?
- How can you use technology to potentially improve productivity and lower costs?
- What functions should your tax team manage in-house?
- What should you outsource with the help of a third party?
- How might your operating model need to evolve?
- Are shared services part of the answer?
- What are your main drivers for optimization, such as cost savings, efficiency improvements, and/or increased business value?
A continuum of operating models
While technology and regulatory changes have resulted in new and varied tax operating models, companies face increasing costs and resourcing challenges that require a new level of precision for a wide range of unprecedented demands.
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Together, we can help you design a solution. We’ll work together to find the right tax operating model that is right for your business.