To some degree, digital transformation is taking place in nearly every industry, every vertical, and every functional area. But some organizational functions are lagging—the tax department is a good example. In an EY article on the challenges tax leaders are facing in 2021 and beyond, one industry professional shares his thoughts on why:
“…many tax departments are well behind other aspects of finance and other business functions because they’ve been less prioritized in key digital transformation initiatives.”
Look around your organization. Have other departments pushed forward with digital advancements while yours has not? If the answer is yes, the next question should be, What can you do about this discrepancy? How can you bridge the gap and keep up with not only your internal counterparts, but also competitors? The answer proposed in the above article:
“…[tax leaders] will need to begin to hire or train staff that can perform in a digitalized tax environment. […] for the future, what they may need to recruit are a number of technology specialists who can be trained in tax. They need to consider flipping the model and diversifying the type of professionals on their team.”
A professional that knows both tax and technology? Though rarely found in years past, this type of professional is now on the rise and has a name that fits the dual nature of their work: the tax technologist. Keep reading to learn more about this role and how it can positively impact your organization.
3 FAQs About Tax Technologists
1. What is a tax technologist?
A tax technologist combines tax and technology knowledge to identify areas of improvement in the tax department and achieve greater efficiencies. Naturally, these individuals have both a tax and technology background; typically they are tax professionals who gravitate to technology, or work in an environment that has required them to tackle projects and solve problems using technology.
Tax technologists understand the complexities of tax processes and use their knowledge of technology to support those processes either within the current IT infrastructure, or by identifying and assessing the efficacy of potential solutions in the market.
Regarding hierarchy, the tax technologist typically takes on a senior, strategic role for small and mid-sized organizations. In larger corporations with sizable, complex tax concerns, the tax technologist may also be supported by junior-level tax technologists.
2. How do you know if your organization needs a tax technologist?
Here are a few revealing signs that your tax team could benefit from a tax technologist:
- You are aware of inefficiencies in your tax workflows, but aren’t sure how to resolve them. A tax technologist can pinpoint areas to improve and make a plan to execute those improvements, such as recognizing repetitive tasks that can be addressed with automation.
- You don’t fully understand how or where different solutions can help your tax team; you may also not be using current solutions to their full capacity. A tax technologist can unlock the potential of tax solutions.
- You are unsure how many solutions your team needs to remedy your tax inefficiencies. A tax technologist can determine the right solution mix.
3. What are the benefits of hiring a tax technologist or placing an appropriate person in that role?
Here’s what a tax technologist can do for your tax team (and the organization):
- Achieve greater efficiency. Tax technologists have a technical perspective that enables them to view tax processes differently—they can envision how technology reduces the need for human involvement and helps reach desired outcomes faster.
- Optimize labor dollars. This benefit has two parts: First, tax technologists who take advantage of automation opportunities can often reduce the need for human labor. Secondly, the tax team can focus on areas that require higher-level thinking and judgement.
- Improve accuracy in processes. The more tax processes are automated, the less manual labor is required. The result is a significant reduction in human error.
Implementing tax technology is easier and more successful for companies that have talented professionals in place to nurture and support the change. The uptick in technology adoption has created new opportunities and career tracks that tax departments should pay attention to.
At CrowdReason, we build software—and relationships—that help organizations like yours succeed, whether you have a tax technologist or not. Take a look at our site to learn more about our advanced property tax technology solutions—MetaTaskerPT and TotalPropertyTax (TPT)—and how we work with customers like you. Or, schedule a demo to see for yourself how our advanced automation software works.