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Take tax to the max: How to choose the right tech for your business

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Ascend conference in Las Vegas, where I chose to discuss the challenge many tax professionals face of identifying the perfect tax technology for their business.

It might sound a simple enough scenario. ‘How hard can it be to choose top-quality technology?’ I hear you ask. But the truth is that evaluating the different tools on the market, matching them to your specific needs and existing infrastructure and pinning your reputation on a particular solution is a daunting prospect fraught with risk.

For starters, the modern tax technology world is filled with multiple vendors and countless options. What’s more, finding the solution that’s right for you is dependent on so many factors.

In short, there is no silver bullet, which is why we recommend working with an independent partner to ensure you select the ideal technology.

What are the options?

We think there are three paths you can follow when it comes to investing in tax tech. Here are some of the pros and cons of each:

1) A native ERP solution

Deploying your existing ERP to manage tax seems like the most straightforward solution. After all, you already own it and, assuming you’re using Oracle or another leading platform, it almost certainly has in-built global coverage. It also boasts very impressive functionality but, crucially, zero tax content. To make this option work you’ll need to configure it in-house or work with a partner – and if this process is not completed to a high standard, you may be unable to utilise some of the functionality and find it is a burden to maintain as legislation evolves.

2) A third-party solution

Integrating a third-party tax solution will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a purpose-built tool; refined to meet the particular requirements of the tax regimes you deal with. A single solution provider will manage and update tax content, freeing your team to focus on other work. It will also work with multiple source systems. But, be warned, a third-party solution doesn’t always guarantee global coverage and its performance is only likely to be as strong as the quality of its implementation.

3) A combination of the two

Get the best of both worlds! It’s possible to use both the native functionality of your ERP and third-party solutions to meet all global requirements. However, you will need an even wider breadth of knowledge across your business to maintain your technology and contracts with multiple suppliers can be costly.

The key to success

I recommend prioritising three key factors for a guarantee of success with your investment in tax technology.

  • Accurate, clean master data. If you don’t feed your new system with reliable information, you can’t expect the very best results.
  • Effective, bespoke processes and controls must be implemented at every stage of the tax treatment journey.
  • Choose the right tax technology partner to meet your individual requirements.

How can we help?

We offer a Vendor Selection service that encompasses every consideration, evaluation and decision you’ll need to make to find the right technology. We’ll define and prioritise requirements not only from a tax perspective, but also in terms of the wider business and for IT.

We’ll consider:

  • Regions in scope
  • Key software capabilities
  • Migration or upgrade status
  • SaaS vs Cloud vs On-Premise
  • Annual budget

… and much more! Once we’ve assessed all the relevant data, we’ll translate them into software requirements and score them against the capabilities of all the leading solutions on the market.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help you find the very best tax technology available to you.

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