We conducted a poll during a webinar for finance shared service centers in Asia-Pacific. The poll explored the participants’ current process of creating statutory reports and managing tax compliance across geographies, as well as the state of technology adoption, including the ease of transition to a remote work environment.
Transitioning to the New Normal of Working Remotely
Whether you are based in shared service centers or managing your finance function locally, you can harness the power of technology and enable your newly dispersed tax and finance teams – working remotely to transcend the current crisis with a streamlined approach.
It is tough to argue against the competence of a technology-driven strategy. This is evident from the poll results, as those who rely on manual driven processes (nearly 40%) for statutory reporting and tax compliance find it difficult to move to the new normal of working remotely.
Current Manual Statutory Reporting Process Affecting Standardization
One of the factors that is impacting the ability to drive greater standardization across statutory reporting is the internal technology landscape. Nearly 70% say they are still going through a manual and tedious process or relying on ERPs/ add-ons to generate statutory reports – a process that is not future-proof.
A few organizations (only 22%) have as of yet taken true advantage of automation, and a significant segment still relies on manual processing. This results in inefficiencies that are most easily measured in terms of the time taken to complete the statutory reporting process.
Current Adoption of Technology for Statutory Reporting and Tax
Even though technology is the enabler of process, data and people and how each of these interact, the poll results confirm that most enterprises are currently only at a basic (45%) or intermediate level (55%) when it comes to adopting relevant technology. This means they still rely predominantly on manual processes and spreadsheets, or on specific technology solutions.
Becoming an Agile Finance and Tax Function
While you cannot change external influences on your finance and tax function, you can improve things internally to help your organization become more agile.
The opportunity that finance team needs to leverage now is to integrate and streamline processes that improve transparency, agility, and business intelligence. This transformation is driven by data, implemented by people, and supported by process; but enabled by technology.
The technology is available and those responsible for ensuring a reliable and seamless tax and finance process should be prioritizing its adoption – instead of waiting for external pressures to drive urgent decisions.