Why tax data quality is the oxygen of a thriving tax function

by Alex Clifford Director, PwC United Kingdom

Email +44 (0)7843 371211

We operate in a world where everyone wants your data. Apps, websites, social networks - wherever you look data is being collected, analysed and more often than not, monetised.

Data has become the air organisations breathe, to make better business decisions, understand customers better, drive efficiencies and model future trends. And like the air we breathe, quality is vital. Good quality data that an organisation can trust is vital and makes a significant difference to the health of a business.

Chief Data Officers are asking finance and tax functions to not only create data but ensure it is fit for purpose, meets standards and supports the organisation’s strategic goals. To do this, there has to be a good understanding of what data is important, how it enables processes, how people interact with it and, perhaps most importantly, the complexities of how to measure it. The value of this knowledge is tangible; good quality data is an asset for any business and can be put to effective strategic use.

At the other end of the scale, organisations working with low quality data suffer with inefficiencies and additional costs. Time is spent cleansing, correcting, manipulating and reconciling data rather than generating insights or informing critical decisions.

There is a clear and coherent business case for good quality data in any organisation.
Get your data right and you can:

  • improve your bottom line by eliminating wasted effort
  • more easily monetise your data
  • make the most of emerging data sciences
  • comply with the increasing number of requests from tax authorities
  • share meaningful business insights with the C-Suite as well as describe the benefits of greater efficiencies and smarter working.

The benefits of good data quality are already being enjoyed by many businesses, but others are mid-journey and some have yet to start.

A word of warning. Changing something as fundamental to an organisation as data quality and attitudes to that data, is far from easy. It certainly isn’t just about having the latest technology. To take full advantage of treating data as a valuable asset, you need people, both in-house and external, with experience, vision and expertise to identify, guide and advise as a new approach is developed.

We recommend a methodical, trusted approach in the form of a tax data quality assessment. This analyses your current state of data, articulates where you want to be and what needs to happen to get you there. The assessment will also help inform the data, process and system roadmaps and essential features of an operating model that creates good tax data.

The final outcome will vary from business to business and the improvements will differ depending on the starting point. But one thing is certain. Just as good air quality enhances life, so good data quality enables more incisive insights and better business decisions.

Is it time for you to take a deep breath and make a change?

by Alex Clifford Director, PwC United Kingdom

Email +44 (0)7843 371211