Why accounting, finance and taxation are now the language of business
If you look back over the past few years, you can clearly see the rapid pace of change that businesses of all sizes and in all industries have experienced. From pandemic-induced changes in commerce to technological shifts in consumer behavior, businesses have had to adapt time and time again.
One of the results of all of these changes has been an increased focus on generating ROI through data and insights. As such, businesses have begun to rely more on accounting, finance, and tax teams to deliver information that informs and drives the business forward. The growing pressure on these teams to deliver actionable insights to the business has spurred digital transformation efforts across all three disciplines.
As digital transformation within finance unfolds, Deloitte predicts that by 2025, “finance will double its business prospects and services” as automation increases. As the roles that accounting, finance and tax play within businesses continue to expand, it has never been clearer that they are truly the language of business and that they are essential to the success of businesses. organizations.
The need for ROI means always-on finance functions.
Trading is done at any time of the day. To keep pace, businesses process transactions 24/7 and need data to continuously refine their processes. Therefore, accounting and finance must always be active and able to meet the needs of the business. During a digital transformation panel at Avalara CRUSH Global last month, Paul Farrell, vice president of industry product management at Oracle NetSuite, said it best: “The time when [finance] can do things at the end of the month, at the end of the day or in batches. It must be in real time and always available.
It’s not just that accounting, finance and tax always have to be active to provide data to the business. The type of data provided has also evolved. Historically, accounting teams provided back data to teams to support reporting development and learnings. Today, accounting and finance teams are called upon to provide historical data, as well as predictive data to better inform decision-making.
But before these teams can start delivering more data to their business partners, there needs to be an investment in technology.
Technology adoption cannot be for technology alone.
The innovation in fintech today is amazing. Yet despite the options and innovations that exist today, the type of technology that accounting, finance and tax teams adopt is a critical decision that cannot be taken lightly.
Enterprise technology has a reputation for being monolithic and slow to deliver promised value. At the same time, society has grown accustomed to the ease of use associated with consumer-centric technologies that power our personal lives.
As accounting, finance, and tax continue their journey of digital transformation, technologies that deliver real-time value and simple user experiences will be the solutions that take businesses to the next level.
Changing government regulations put more emphasis on finance.
Just as businesses are trying to keep pace with the rapid changes around them, so is government. The rise of e-commerce and cross-border trade has prompted many tax authorities to implement new compliance requirements for businesses of all sizes.
In the United States, distance sales tax laws are standard in the majority of states. In Europe, Latin America and other parts of the world, e-invoicing and digital tax reporting requirements are quickly becoming the norm.
As tax laws continue to evolve and businesses move towards an omnichannel model, fintech is a critical success factor. Not only does this technology manage the burden created by changing legislation, it also creates a channel of visibility into the sales channels and systems that power the business.
Business decision-making has never been so data-driven. The accounting, finance and tax teams who hold the key to the data businesses need to not only operate in our digital economy, but to thrive in it. Digital transformation in these disciplines will apply technology to the discovery, management and distribution of data that is the cornerstone of modern business.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. or its owners.
Liz Armbruester is senior vice president of global compliance operations at Avalara.
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