Think of a software product that you use regularly, something that makes your life easier. It could be an app on your phone, your preferred email client, or just good old Microsoft® Excel. Now consider whether or not it is already part of the cloud, or has a cloud version. In 2016, it might be difficult to find software that doesn’t rely on the cloud or is being moved to the cloud. Businesses everywhere, including Thomson Reuters, have made the move to cloud technology.
However, tax departments have generally been hesitant to ask for cloud-based tax technology platforms, and IT departments have generally been reluctant to add yet another implementation to their ever-growing docket of responsibilities. The challenge is that the two business units are either unfamiliar with each other, have different objectives or see different challenges. They’re somewhat unaligned on securing the technological tools and solidifying the technological process that tax needs.
When tax and IT collaborate to bring tax management into the cloud, both teams reap benefits. So, what does it take to bring forward-thinking technology requests to the table and ultimately obtain the necessary technology tools? To start, tax professionals should get familiar with the benefits of cloud computing and why it makes sense from a business perspective.
Cloud technology is tailor made for lean, agile, and growing businesses. Why are so many companies moving to the cloud? Generally speaking, it’s because cloud-based software increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits including:
- Lower cost to implement and maintain as no hardware is needed
- Faster deployment and decision making
- Automatic software updates means you’re always on the latest version
- Access your data anytime, anywhere from any device
- Assurance that your data is backed up, safe, and easily available
- Frees the IT Department from the burden of managing tax software
Cloud solutions eliminate the burden of IT and maintenance so management can focus on value-added activities. They remove the need for IT teams to manage implementations that are tough to forecast from a resourcing perspective. They reduce costs significantly while providing better service, more agility and greater security.
Companies receive a high level of expertise and near-certain uptime when they select a tax technology platform that also operates best-in-class data centers. Reliability and scalability are key. In-house IT teams can rest easy knowing they won’t be pulled off their projects to handle unexpected server issues.
The cloud is designed to always be online and to never lose data. This makes it well-suited for indirect tax management because those taxes must be calculated, retained and collected on a transaction-by-transaction basis. A company can only properly conduct business if the platform it uses for indirect tax is always on and can move at the speed those transactions occur. Indirect tax software has a real-world impact on the experience a company delivers to customers. With cloud-based solutions, your tax team, and even other departments, can increase collaboration by accessing tax information anytime, anywhere, which can in turn lead to faster, smarter decision making.
As you can see, moving your sales, use and value-added tax process into the cloud can support the needs of a growing company by alleviating pressure on IT, reducing technology costs, and increasing scalability and flexibility.
For organizations that are now moving toward a more technology-oriented approach to tax, using cloud computing is the obvious choice. For companies that are already using tax technology, one would be challenged to find a reason not to move those platforms into the cloud.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the value cloud-based tax technology. Want to learn more? Grab this free Why Cloud Why Now whitepaper to dive deeper into the drivers and benefits.
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ONESOURCE Indirect Tax provides powerful tax automation software combined with the most comprehensive global tax content (supporting over 15,800 taxing authorities in the U.S. and in over 180 countries) arming customers with a single tax engine that enforces tax rules and accurately calculates sales, use, and VAT taxes. ONESOURCE Indirect Tax can be deployed in either the cloud or on premise to accommodate companies of all sizes.