Skip links

The rise of the tax technologist

Five years ago, you’d have been forgiven for asking, “what on earth is a tax technologist?” but more recently the term has become accepted throughout business. It’s a term so new that there’s no dictionary definition yet, but broadly speaking a tax technologist combines tax and technology know-how to increase efficiencies in the tax department.

As a provider and implementer of tax technology for global enterprises, it’s certainly a term we apply to ourselves as service providers (we think it makes us sound cool and edgy, like cocktail mixologists).

Inevitably, we bang the drum for more tax automation, more tax technology, more budget for the tax department, our livelihoods depend on it after all. I can’t go on my LinkedIn feed without seeing another blog from a tax technology provider extolling the virtues of automated tax processes and integrated compliance solutions. And quite right too, tax technology – when implemented well – can be a game changer and should be an integral part of any modern enterprise level business. How would you ever comply with all the b****y e-invoicing mandates without it!?

And it seems like ‘business’ is starting to catch on and tax departments are winning the argument for an increased investment in technology. More and more we’re seeing companies recruiting for pure in-house tax technologists, something we encourage and a trend we predict will continue to grow.

Our friends at Harvey John, the tax and accountancy recruitment specialists, have noticed that too.

Indeed, Harvey John has shared data with us that shows:

·        7% of all in-house indirect tax roles advertised since 2021 were technology-focused.

·        The UKNetherlands and Germany are the key hotspots for technology-focused tax positions.

·        3% of tax roles in the customs sector were technology-focused in Q4 – up from just 1% in Q2.

The moniker ‘tax technologist’ can cover a wide range of job descriptions and skills, some specific to the business’ exact requirements and challenges and some more generalist, but for all the budding tax technologists out there, what can you expect from this role?

Make the business case to purchase more tax technology of course! Automation, automation, automation is your mantra. Reduce mistakes, reduce risks, increase efficiency and be compliant.

Where do you start though? There are many products and solutions on the market that are designed to solve a multitude of tax sins, plug technology gaps and seemingly free up so much time for the tax department they can start working three-day weeks.

My advice, before rushing to the secure your next five-year technology subscription, is look closer to home first. You may already be sitting on the technology you need to meet your requirements.

Often, we see companies overlook the native tax functionality of their ERP because over the years, their existing tax solution, originally implemented in 1865 by a consultant who ‘knew how to setup tax’ (who hasn’t been seen since), has been neglected, customised beyond recognition with multiple ‘sticking plaster’ solutions and started to resemble Frankenstein’s monster. You can’t be blamed for thinking new technology is the answer in this case.

But often, with some TLC and expert partners (enter Innovate Tax ????) you can achieve automation nirvana with your native ERP.

It’s invariably going to be less costly, leaving you more budget for a solution to handle all those b****y e-invoicing requirements they keep introducing.

All ERPs aren’t made equal of course, and our advice may well be to invest in third-party tax technology (it often is), but it always makes sense to first explore what your current technology can achieve if given the chance.

If you’re planning to invest in new technology, get in touch for unbiased advice on the best tax technology solution for your business needs.