Strategic operating model changes can help firms balance cost constraints with talent and technology needs
Filing frequent, digitized, and granular reports and managing the impact of higher global complexities and an evolving regulatory landscape require considerable investment in talent and technology. Tax operating model changes can help firms fill the technology and skills gap and simultaneously realize cost savings.
Technology can help firms more efficiently tackle the highly resource-intensive tax compliance process. It also needs to be agile and scalable to handle the frequent changes in the complex tax ecosystem. Although tax may be a critical function for operations, finance leadership may prefer to allocate resources to functions that contribute more directly to customer success. According to a cross-industry survey, lack of resources and budget top the list of reasons for respondents’ underutilization of technology in tax operations.4 Strategic changes to the tax department's operations can help firms mitigate the costly and burdensome exercise of continuously upgrading technology systems by leveraging the services of an external service provider.
Some companies now expect tax functions to contribute more strategically as they accelerate digital transformation. According to a Deloitte survey, 67% of respondents from the financial services industry expect increased demand for tax advisory support for digital business models.5 To keep up with evolving responsibilities, firms may also need to upskill talent as tax professionals of the future could require a very diverse skill set. The diverse skills required are expected to include global project management, data management, technology application, process optimization, and strategic business advisory. Strategic outsourcing can relieve the firm's tax department from talent hiring, retaining, and upskilling responsibilities and allow the retained employees to focus on oversight and higher value-add items.