If there is one common thread running through the responses to our Corporate Tax Department 2022 survey, it is that the technology needed to meet the growing demands of the digital economy is pushing corporate tax departments in multiple directions at once.

First, the expansion of the digitalization of the global economy has created an increasingly complex and ever-changing business and regulatory environment. This, in turn, puts pressure on corporate tax departments to provide governments with tax information faster and more accurately than ever, leaving little room for error.

Second, corporate tax departments are also asked to do more internally: collect and analyze data within the company, conduct wide-ranging risk assessments, provide strategic insights, participate in business planning, and find new ways to extract value for the company and are asked to do everything faster and with fewer resources.

The technology needed to meet the growing demands of the digital economy is pushing corporate tax departments in multiple directions at once.

The direct consequence of all these additional demands is that the professionals who do the work in corporate tax departments feel overwhelmed. In fact, more than half of respondents to this year’s survey said they don’t have the resources to do their jobs. As a result, older employees retire, mid-career professionals flee more frequently, and younger workers strongly indicate that they want a better work-life balance.

This means that companies find it difficult to replenish their workforce with people who have the skills to address the variety of new challenges corporate tax departments face.

Again, technology is an important factor. In many cases, implementing more sophisticated technology is the only practical way for tax departments to meet a myriad of demands of their time, but many organizations still lack the resources and budget to take full advantage of modern tax technologies. .

In most organizations, there is also a significant skills gap when it comes to using tax technology as effectively as possible. In fact, the first two skill gaps that were identified by respondents in this year’s survey were experience in tax technology and leadership skills, neither of which is taught very urgently in accounting programs in most. of colleges and universities.

All of these converging factors are making it necessary for companies to develop stronger training and mentoring programs in the areas of technology and leadership and for managers to cultivate corporate cultures that improve retention and place a higher priority on job satisfaction for the future. employees.

Greater effectiveness and efficiency may be the ultimate goals, and technology may be an important means to that end, but this year’s survey results suggest that a more harmonious balance between the needs of technology and the needs of employees is the more sustainable path to both business success and institutional resilience.

For all these reasons and more, the 2022 Status of Corporate Tax Report focuses on the strategic priorities and goals that companies have set themselves, as well as various aspects of internal management of the departments, including the use of technology. and talent development.

In the order presented, the five main areas explored in this report include:

  • Strategic priorities – Preparing for regulatory change and ensuring digital resilience
  • Technology – Usage, impact and tools
  • Expense – Revenue, internal / external costs and technology budgets
  • Resources – Allocations and implications
  • Talent – Retention, skill gaps, career development, succession planning and work patterns

Key findings

In 2022, the top four strategic priorities for corporate tax departments are:

Improve the effectiveness of the department – This is especially critical for specific tax workflows and integration challenges related to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) businesses.

Risk protection – For example, keeping up with tax reform and regulatory changes.

Finding efficiencies – These can be identified through new technology, automation or streamlining of workflows.

Talent development – Research, recruitment, training, mentoring and succession planning.

Other key findings revealed in the survey report include:

73% of respondents expect to see changes in government tax requirements in the jurisdictions they operate in over the next two years, up 16 percentage points from last year.

ninety two% of those working in the technology sector expect regulatory changes this year.

57% of tax department employees said they lack the resources to address the challenges they face.

64% of respondents generally said that the biggest obstacle preventing them from achieving their professional development goals was “lack of time”.

58% of tax professionals over the age of 60 say it is unlikely that they will work at their current company in the next five years, mainly due to retirement.

  • Among the factors that would push employees to leave their jobs, significantly more women (30%) than men (7%) believe that lack of mentoring would expel them.
  • 61% of tax professionals have worked in the current company for less than 10 years.
  • The top three reasons tax employees give as motivation to leave their current organization for another job are:
    • feeling unappreciated
    • lack of career advancement
    • unhappiness with corporate culture
  • As for the use of technology, fewer tax departments this year describe their use of technology as proactive, optimized or predictive, suggesting that efforts to obtain and implement more advanced tax technologies may not progress as quickly as some would like. departments.
  • More than half (55%) of tax officials currently work with hybrid hours and around a third work entirely remotely, particularly in the technology and finance sectors. However, most of these workers also say they feel “highly connected” to their team and department.

Research methodology

The results of the 2022 State of the Corporate Tax Department reports were drawn from 580 responses to a web survey conducted in April 2022. Of those surveyed, 93% hold executive positions in their respective companies and 72% are vice president of taxes, chief tax officer (CTO), directors or senior tax executives and technological.

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