Making tax technology simple

December 13, 2019

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by Jonathan Howe UK Tax Reporting and Strategy leader, PwC United Kingdom

Email +44 (0)7841 784956

Everyone’s talking about how technology is changing the way we live and do business. You’ve probably experienced new tech being deployed in your own company and how it’s changing the expectations of what’s possible. And we’ve all seen how tax authorities are using technology and data analytics to gain superpowers.

But when it comes to taking advantage of technology for your tax function, it can feel confusing and overwhelming. Some of the best technology for tax isn’t even tax specific, it’s just tech used for a tax purpose. When I speak to clients, they mention being bombarded with messages about disruptive technologies and how the latest software and new global platforms are promising a lot for tax transformation, but the actual experience causes them to doubt their ability to deliver value.

It’s hard to know if you’re taking the right approach to technology, what you might be missing or if your peers are already a step ahead. There are some key questions tax teams need to consider before committing to a new technology solution:

  • Are you sure you can’t build the same requirements into one of your existing systems, rather than investing in a new, expensive solution?
  • Could you use robotics or data automation to design a more efficient process?
  • Are you aware of the true range of options for software on the market, and how they actually compare for ease of use, implementation and functionality?
  • Do you need to align with any internal drives to rationalise the number of systems in use and could you use an existing software license instead?
  • And if your business is implementing new systems elsewhere can these also be used to deliver on your tax needs; and how far can they be stretched?

It’s really important to think through each stage of technology implementation as part of a wider transformation. Many teams drive ahead with a new tech solution, only to face challenges at the implementation stage as the wider impact has not been considered, or don’t obtain benefits as processes have not been redesigned or cultural change has not been achieved. And technology is complex, different solutions have their own pros and cons and getting the best outcome will require acknowledging these and working within these constraints. The right approach to technology should simplify this complexity at every step and ensure your tech delivers real value.

We’ve found our technology-agnostic approach is vital in helping clients make the right technology decisions for their business. We help businesses obtain real understanding of all of the options available to them to make an informed decision and then we can action that decision to get real results.

Find out more about how we’re making tax technology simple.

by Jonathan Howe UK Tax Reporting and Strategy leader, PwC United Kingdom

Email +44 (0)7841 784956