Tax & Accounting Blog

Thomson Reuters-KPMG Survey Report Reveals Today’s Leading Global Trade Management Practices

Blog, Global Trade, ONESOURCE March 2, 2018

The Thomson Reuters-KPMG International Third Annual Global Trade Report reveals leading practices from top global trade practitioners, including insights on centralization, classification and free trade agreement management.

“Our 2015 and 2016 survey reports identified the most significant challenges facing global trade practitioners at hundreds of multinationals,” said Taneli Ruda, SVP and managing director for Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Global Trade. “In light of the massive uncertainty facing global trade regulation and compliance, we were eager to take a deeper approach with our 2017 report to learn how leading practitioners are coping with the rapid change in their operations. Our qualitative analysis garnered valuable insights from global trade leaders.”

Thomson Reuters and KPMG teams spent over 50 hours with a focused group of more than 30 global trade leaders from top multinationals to learn how they manage through challenges to add strategic value to their organizations. The report reveals leading practices of top global trade professionals in the following topic areas:


Centralization of trade processes continues to be an area of contention for many organizations. Many of the largest and most experienced multinationals report that centralizing the governance of global trade is a good starting point for centralization. They have found that once one area is centralized, companies tend to centralize more trade processes than they initially thought they could.


In the 2016 Global Trade Report, respondents commonly reported having a challenge with product classification. To manage the challenge, multinationals are beginning to use shared services centers or centers of excellence to support the classification process.

Free trade agreements

While a minority of respondents from the 2016 Global Trade Report said their company used all applicable free trade agreements, the largest multinationals demonstrated sophisticated use of FTAs and C-suite visibility into FTAs. They also handle compliance at the local or regional level.

“These insights highlight the importance of implementing customized global trade technology and processes that meet a company’s individual needs,” said Doug Zuvich, partner and global practice leader, Trade and Customs, KPMG in the US. “By implementing the right solutions, trade professionals can increase efficiency and accuracy while delivering real value to their organizations.”

Download the full report.

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