Insights

2017 global research bulletin

The management of tax

Informed by independent research spanning seven years, Deloitte's insight into the management of tax within the largest global businesses continues to grow and evolve. From inception in 2010, Deloitte has commissioned four independent market research studies with global tax decision makers, the most recent concluding in December 2016. With over 1,200 interviews completed in that time, we continue to build a substantive - and objective - view of the global tax management landscape.

Key insights

Since Deloitte's first global tax management research six years ago, a consistent theme has been evident. Tax leaders in multinational businesses face a constantly changing landscape of increased regulation, globalization of markets and the commercial pressure to do more with less.

Over subsequent research studies, we have seen them respond with significant changes to global tax operating models. These have mostly featured increased centralization, integration with other business operations and consolidation of resourcing models. With the conclusion of our latest research, we see large multinationals moving into a markedly new and different phase.

Satisfaction with the current state has dropped to dramatically low levels. Centralization has slowed and significant changes to operating models are not expected over the next few years. Instead, the focus is switching to the way chosen operating models work and how this can be improved.

Previous research has revealed that standardizing global processes, achieving greater visibility and control, as well as realizing benefits from automation and other technologies, represented a significant challenge. It seems that global tax leaders continue to struggle in these areas but acknowledge that solving them is the most likely key to future success.

Overall, our latest study suggests a global tax management environment that is ripe for further change, as the focus shifts from the 'what' of the global operating model to the ‘how’ of delivery through process improvement, greater automation and more effective use of technology.

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