Helen CottleAssociate Director
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The In-house tax industry is in a period of unprecedented change. What is required of today’s tax departments and, by association, today’s tax professionals, is strikingly different to that of 2008, before the economic crash.
In response, businesses are undergoing tax transformation projects to ensure that their teams – the structure, skills mix, and size – are fit for purpose, to ensure they maintain a competitive edge. This whitepaper discusses these changes, along with what skill sets companies need to bring on board to navigate through them, and beyond.
With businesses under the spotlight post-recession, there is increasing pressure on tax departments to remain compliant, be seen to pay their fair share of tax and, indeed, interface with the business to communicate this. This, paired with rapid globalisation, increasing regulation and business complexity, and international tax reform, has left some tax departments in need of transformation.
Because of this, a tax function increasingly cannot rely on traditional ways of managing effective tax rates and must ensure tax strategies are based on substance and business need. As such, the requisite skillset of professionals working in these tax departments has changed. Technical ability is still necessary, but there has been a marked increase in importance of ‘soft’ skills – internal and external stakeholder management, commercial awareness, strategy and governance to name a few. Tax teams need to move away from being a back office operational function to becoming an active enabler of strategy across the business.
The identification of these factors has meant that businesses have put a spotlight on their current tax functions. Are they fit for purpose and is it time to transform the way they operate? Does the team have the right mix of skills and experience? Does it have the right shape and size? Some skill sets are in short supply across the market. Where is the resource and support to be found?