Since our last survey in 2009, boards and finance executives are clearly responding to the world’s tax authorities’ rising focus on the management of tax.
The current survey shows senior executives and directors are taking more interest in, and responsibility for, tax matters. Meanwhile, tax directors are getting better at articulating and gaining formal approval for the tax strategy.
Encouragingly, a high proportion of respondents report the existence of formal KPIs across a wide range of tax department activities. Consistent with the priority given to compliance and reporting, the highest degree of KPI setting relates to this activity.
Since 2009, companies have acted and are centralizing the management and structure of resources in global or business-wide headquarters tax departments. This centralization can support desired improvements in accountability, control and standardized approaches.
Of the 19 percent of respondents who expect changes to their tax department’s structure in the near future, 50 percent of them say that better alignment with the business and/or the finance function is among the primary reasons. However, better integration is still a lower priority in driving upcoming structural projects than improving controls, reducing costs, and improving/creating efficiencies. For tax departments that will restructure in the near future, “cost reduction” is the reason with the greatest increase since 2009.