KPMG Tax Survey Tax leaders using technology to drive change in the boardroom
European CEOs and tax leaders are transforming their tax departments through technology to support broader organizational goals, according to KPMG's latest Global Tax Department Benchmarking Survey.
LONDON, June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Launched at this week's 2019 KPMG EMA Region Tax Summit in London, the report on the changing roles and responsibilities of tax departments holds some interesting parallels with the findings of KPMG's Global CEO Outlook, released (RC)in May. Together, the two reports show the opportunity for tax leaders to leave behind their operational roots and become a more strategic partner to the CEO.
Barriers to growth
According to the 2019 KPMG Global CEO Outlook less than 1 percent of CEOs in Europe identified tax risk as a barrier to growth. Mindful of this potential 'blind spot' among chief execs, tax leaders have a responsibility to remind them that while they may be relaxed about the impact of tax risk on their growth plans, the most commonly identified barriers to growth will all have tax implications: the return to territorialism (18 percent of CEOs), emerging and disruptive technologies (18 percent) and environmental and climate change (17 percent).
"It is vital that tax leaders are informing their CEOs about the risks relating to tax in these areas and across the business," said Jane McCormick, Global Head of Tax & Legal, KPMG International. "Today's tax leaders need to be able to speak to their CEOs about tax in a compelling way that goes well beyond providing technical expertise and compliance oversight. Organizations need their tax leaders to step up as overall strategic thinkers for the business and its reputational goals, going beyond their traditional responsibilities."
Transforming the tax department
CEOs are showing a healthy appetite for innovation, and KPMG's tax research suggests that tax leaders in Europe and around the world are primed to support their plans by driving transformational change. Using technology to improve processes, exploring outsourcing and co-sourcing opportunities to gain efficiencies, and investing in new skills for their workforce are three areas of particular focus for tax departments.
About half of respondents expect a moderate increase in their use of co-source resources from tax providers (49 percent) and finance Shared Services Centers (52 percent). Almost as many respondents (43 percent) plan to increase their use of centers of excellence for key functions such as transfer pricing and transaction support.