The role of the tax manager is always evolving. The Covid pandemic is accelerating societal changes, such as hybrid work, work from home (WFH), and employee-driven spending. These trends and others have a huge impact on the role and responsibilities of the in-house company tax manager.
The tax manager’s responsibilities and duties typically include
- Management and preparation of tax documents
- Compliance with tax laws and regulations
- Strategizing and implementing solutions to any and all tax-related challenges and problems that arise.
The role of the tax manager varies based on national and local laws and customs. A successful tax manager is proactive – they come to the table with a plan and help the business to be more efficient. The goal of the modern tax manager is to stay ahead of the game and implement efficient and nearly effortless tax processes for the business.
How can you keep up with the fast-paced changes and be a successful, proactive tax manager?
Here are 6 must-have skills
1. Maintain Credibility as a Tax Manager
Tax laws are never static, and if you are working in a global company, you need to be aware of the major tax trends making headlines around the world. Keep up on your required seminars and webinars and have a few good sources for news on new tax laws and regulations.
Your goal is to be seen as a source of tax knowledge in your company – lead by example. Finally, ensure that your accounting skills are up to date.
Tax Tip: Create a company-wide knowledge base for tax-related news and law.
2. Demonstrate Excellent Tax Management Problem Solving Skills
The best problems are solved before they appear, which is why the proactive approach is always the best. Surprises and new challenges will regularly come to the attention of the tax manager. This is your moment to show your skill set! Be prepared to call for a “cabinet meeting” of your tax and finance team when a formidable, new challenge arises. Let everyone speak, and keep focused on the goal.
A good tax manager is able to end a meeting with actionable items for you and your team to work on. Always come to meetings with this in mind – “What are we here to resolve and who takes the lead afterward?”
Tax Tip: Maintain a spreadsheet of tax technology solutions that your company is working with.
3. Be Seen as the Company Tax Expert
Are you passionate about everything under the sun related to taxes? Do you have bookmarks on your web browser for your favorite tax blogs and news sites? Do you regularly share your knowledge with peers – within the tax and finance department and throughout the business?
Spread the word that smarter and better tax compliance adds efficiency and productivity to the company. Be assertive in your messaging when you present your work to the board and other intra-company forums. Do the CFO and board know of your tax team’s efficiency and productivity gains?
Tax Tip: Send a quarterly email to your peers with your team’s latest achievements, newly onboarded tax technologies, and major projects that involve other departments.
4. Stay on Top of Future Tax Technology Trends
Taxes have come a long way since the days of ledger paper that accountants and CPAs used to use! The spreadsheet quickly replaced ledger paper with tools such as Microsoft Excel. Today, spreadsheets are used beyond taxes and accounting – for keeping track of anything.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have made advances possible in many fields and industries. Today, these technologies are starting to find their way into the already complex world of taxes. Learn the phrase “tax technology” and read up on the latest breakthroughs.
Once you’ve brushed up on the latest tax technology news and trends, ask yourself this question:
5. What manual and cumbersome tax processes can be automated?
When you find a tax tech that can help your business, create a plan. Get your team involved. Use your communication skills to spread the word, and innovate. Consider these possible low-hanging fruits:
- Unclaimed VAT due to employee-driven spend
- Complexities that arise from taxable employee / fringe benefits
A smart tax tech implementation can potentially save your business millions of dollars/Euros every year while adding layers of efficiency, leading to better tax compliance.
Tax Tip: What manual tax processes do you work with that could be automated? Create a short list of your company’s most challenging tax compliance processes.
6. Better Communication Skills Make a Difference for Tax Managers
You may be the best tax manager in the world, but if you don’t have excellent communication skills, no one will know of the magic you are doing for your company. The first steps to good communication as a tax manager are:
- Know your stakeholders
- Consider who your work matters to the most. Is it R&D (not likely) or the Finance Department?
- Maintain a Tax Manager’s Presentation
The “tax manager’s presentation” can be changed and modified as you implement new tax compliance processes and systems. This way, you are always ready to communicate what you and your team are doing for the business.
How Blue dot Helps Tax Managers
Digitalization is having a significant effect on the role of tax managers. Every two years, data is doubling. By the end of 2020, we’ll have 44 trillion gigabytes of data.
Tax authorities are demanding more transaction-level data, adding to the complexity organizations face in trying to maintain compliance. Transparency, transformation, and technology are critical to enabling companies to easily generate this data and ensure that they are compliance and audit ready.
Blue dot helps organizations comply with global tax regulations by optimizing the integrity of their data. Blue dot solutions leverage sophisticated AI algorithms, embedded with intricate tax knowledge in order to digitize the compliance process and maximize recovery.
Get a head start on 2023 by automating your taxable employee benefits with Blue dot!