Tax Independence Day – Freedom from the Tyranny of Technology

Three sure-fire steps to turning invasive forces to your advantage

In the biggest film of 1996, mankind was not expecting the aliens to arrive. Then one day, they just turned up and started wreaking havoc on the world. This bears some resemblance to what happened to tax when digital disruption arrived.

In the movie, a ragtag group of scientists, survivors, combat pilots and the US president save the day by destroying the alien ships with a computer virus (which, in the great tradition of Hollywood poetic license, somehow gained explosive powers) …

Unfortunately for tax, this is not an option, and there is precious little poetic license or other magical solutions available. Tax needs to achieve its Independence Day a different way, one which does not involve defeating or blowing up the enemy.

Nor does it involve any of these – deflection, delay, denial, lip-service, or group self-deception. Fear & frustration aren’t much good either, and (a little more controversially) neither are these – fixed deliverables, user requirements, traditional “IT”, defined projects, old-world trusted advisors, and processes before data

The problem with these is they either address symptoms only and not root causes, play to the pre-digital gallery, or contain little or no innovation. A better way needed to be found, so that is when our own version of a ragtag bunch set out nearly a decade ago searching for one …

… and like so often in Hollywood, after a perilous & eventful journey, the answer was right there under our noses all along.

There are whole industries devoted to transformation, Agile, wiki-style knowledge management, and ‘data’ & data sciences, but they may as well be aliens from outer space if we don’t know how to harness them, break the existing barriers that hobble them, and let them in.

That’s where the second part of our journey comes in, culminating in the switch from PawPaw to Xyto Taxology …

In our 3 Steps to Nirvana we have a low cost, low risk, low impact way to break the shackles of trial ‘n’ error and unlock visibility, control, ‘data’ & future-proofing in the realm of tax technology, digitalization, and transformation through well-established, tried & trusted avenues (no magic involved) …

… and we plan to reveal all in one jam-packed, breathless, mind-busting masterclass FREE OF CHARGE FOR THE FIRST 50 REGISTRANTS (Normal Price $179) on Tuesday 19th July 2022 @ 11:30 BST/ 12.30 CEST for 1 hour …

Find out more

In a final plot twist, the alien enemy turns out to be your best friend and the greatest ally you will ever have in your career. Independence from the tyranny of technology is not about technology at all, but about people and what they see as tyranny. The technology is just the technology, and you must let it start recreating who you are as a tax professional because its here to stay and not going away any time soon

Take Action This 4th July – Click Below NOW



More Automation Does NOT Lead to Transformation

(Ed. A career impacting concept I tackle in my FREE Masterclass – read on and find out how to join the masterclass and upgrade your knowledge today)

That statement should reverberate strongly across the world’s corporate tax functions, but that’s rarely the case.

Instead, there’s a tendency to tinker with technology, tackle pain points, and address symptoms, while missing altogether the root causes that led to the issues in the first place, thereby inviting more of them in future.

For a while this was ok – the tax world could get by like this – but that’s no longer true.

With tax authorities building up sophisticated digital profiles on their taxpayers, it has become too costly, too piecemeal, too blunt, and frankly not good enough for a profession as proud as tax and facing technological onslaught from all sides …

… so, time for an upgrade!

Improvement, Not Wholesale Change

Just to be clear, automation plans need not be abandoned – this is not necessary and doesn’t make sense – even though most current strategies leave plenty of room for improvement.

But no matter how good the strategy, or how much you automate, it will never deliver the new digitalization normal that tax needs …

… because automating what you do today simply does not account for how things will work tomorrow. That requires a recalibrated approach to people, process & technology, and a rethink around ‘data‘ that only transformed ideas can offer.

(Ed: This doesn’t stop every initiative we see having “transformation” in its title, even though most have little or none in it, at least by any definition a trained taxologist would know.)

What’s needed is true transformation, which brings the visibility, control & future-proofing required to get on the front foot in tax’s new digital domain. Not choosing this path will leave you inevitably at the mercy of the next unpredictable issue that pops up with nowhere left to go – there’s no career path in that!

The New & Powerful Way Forward

It has taken many years to develop & verify, but there is now a low cost, low risk, low impact route to achieving “outside o’ the box” outcomes that go beyond normal horizons. To paraphrase Prof. Fred Brooks:

“They are invisible and unvisualizable until you actually see them working.”  

In May, I was delighted to introduce the principles behind the 3 Steps to Nirvana at the TLG 15th Indirect Tax Exchange and I’m extending a personal invitation for you to join me at a top level masterclass to complete the compelling story and LEARN MORE.

You will see me – by popular demand – explain and example your critical pathway to The 3 Steps to Tax Transformation Nirvana.

This highly thought-provoking & time-efficient masterclass packed with ground-breaking material will run on Tuesday 19th July 2022 @ 11:30 BST/ 12.30 CEST for 1 hour, and because it builds on the highly acclaimed conference tutelage …

… You can book your place now with my offer FREE OF CHARGE FOR THE FIRST 50 REGISTRANTS (Normal Price $179).

If you’re ready to benefit or want to find out more about what the masterclass will cover, please take a look at the registration page …



VAT Update: ‘The Internet Is Rotting’ – And ERPs Have Followed Suit

But only if we let it be that way. It’s our choice!

This week, VAT Update took the words right out of my mouth with their “The Internet Is Rotting” intro (click here to see full article).

In short, we both strongly agree that “out of the box” ERP systems do not pass muster for VAT (or other taxes for that matter) and it falls to you, the everyday tax professional, to do something about it …

… but how you do that is where Xyto stands alone!

After years of research and road trials, I’ve developed a powerful yet straightforward formula for action so you can make headway in exactly that space. My simple 3 Steps to Nirvana are:

  1. Insight – enhanced thinking & know-how re tax technology, digitalization & transformation
  2. Inspire – socializing, influencing, and enrolling others into accepting change for the better
  3. Impact – a careful choreography of people, process & technology into a new way of being

The highly desirable outcome is a future-proofed tax function that has visibility, capability & control over the digital realm, which is where tax mostly now “lives”. Our commitment to you is that this result is more than a promise, it’s a guarantee! Remember …

The smartest way forward is to find a course of action that costs less than doing nothing!

Get started now, book a FREE 20 minute call and let me talk you through this tried & trusted route to Nirvana.

Book a Call Now

Out with the Old & In with the New

The surprising role that taxology plays in the conversation on hybrid work

The recent TLG 15th Indirect Tax Exchange was a hybrid event, enabling me to interact with both online and in-person audiences. It was a highly successful experience and allowed many thinly stretched tax professionals to participate who otherwise may have missed out.

We now expect hybrid events to become the norm, and the same argument applies to the working from home vs returning to office discussion. Technology has made hybrid working possible with Covid providing the catalyst for a high-profile reassessment of this issue.

Welcoming a Broad New Way of Thinking

One way to look at this is the democratization of the experience of being a tax professional. As knowledge workers in the digital age, physical location is less important than time zones so, well done those US-based folk who attended the conference on Amsterdam time.

And the knowledge itself need not be the preserve of the few. Digitalization means information is everywhere, and the opportunity is there for everyone to have a far more enriched experience and provide valuable contributions. It’s a whole new way of thinking!

But wait a minute …

… how does taxology play into this? Well …

‘Taxology isn’t a formula or a step by step guide. Taxology is a fully encompassing way of thinking about the digital realm and how it can elevate our day-to-day activities.’

This includes understanding the best ways of working under different circumstances. For example, deep-dive technical workshops are best done using collaboration software with recording facilities, enhancing the powerful learning experience and rendering the location of participants a non-issue. In fact, if well run, this format is more effective than in-person.

A key outcome of becoming a taxologist is learning to see things in a new light. It frees you to think differently and allows you to effortlessly access better ways of solving digital problems, including asking the right questions in the first place.

Some examples …

Automation vs Transformation

Are we automating to replace humans and stay where we are, or supplement upskilled humans and cause transformation?

Process vs Data

How do we automate current processes yet still elevate data to a key strategic asset? – hint: one does not lead to the other.

Tech & Business

Why must tax business change for tax technology to break out of its current confines?

WFH & In Person Working

What exactly does digitally-enabled knowledge work management say about remote vs in-person activity for tax professionals specifically?

If these are among the kind of questions that gnaw at you – you deserve better answers!

 Ready To Begin Your Transformation?

Beginning your journey to digital literacy has never been easier with powerful, accelerated training programs, to future-proof yourself with the practical steps to solving real-world digital-era challenges in tax without learning ‘IT’. Training options include…

Smart Tax Technology Community Coaching $647 USD

On-demand, fast-tracked, and time-efficient self-study including instructor-led group coaching sessions, best-practice templates, and full access to the members area with all course materials available within 24 hours of registration – yours to keep!

Enquire Now

Smart Tax Technology Certification Program Corporate Edition $3,395 USD

As for Community Coaching edition above but in addition, has 1-2-1 personal coaching & mentoring throughout (safe to share), timing to suit you, lifetime membership, full certification, and immediate access to Xyto Impact services and external accreditation.

Enquire Now

 Challenges with Budget & Approval?

We know this can be a barrier, so we support you with personalized documentation to share with key stakeholders and smooth the process, along with a range of payment and invoice options. Get in touch to speak to our customer experience officer who can help & advise.

Request A Call Back

Missed My TLG 15th Indirect Tax Presentation on (Almost) Painless Tax Transformation?

The full updated & annotated recording can be accessed here.  It’s been great hearing your feedback. Whether you’re watching it for the first time or not, feel free to reply to this post and learn more about the Steps to Nirvana (the recording reveals all!)

It Costs Less Than Doing Nothing!

The Hidden Costs of Most TaxTech Strategies

We talk to a lot of people and there is a common theme to tax technology & digitalization concerns, and that is, “how do we get ahead of the game and stay on top of all the changes?”

Viewing this landscape with a taxologists’ eye, we can see people address symptoms & short-term immediate needs only with scant consensus on how to get to the root causes and plan for the long-term. Without this visibility, they are at the mercy of the next crisis, which they cannot see coming.

This is far more costly than people imagine, and will escalate as the people, process, technology patchwork they cobble together gets more convoluted and difficult to control over time.

Yet, the biggest cost is with tax professionals themselves, who lose ground in their ability to serve their companies to the expected extent as tax shifts to exist primarily in the digital realm. The knock-on effects in terms of frustration, lost morale, and semi-delivered value is huge, in which case …

The smartest way forward is to find a course of action that costs less than doing nothing!

Join me in unpacking this as I dissect the problems and underlying issues resulting in the all too familiar multi-challenged tax function. And most importantly, I reveal the required approach and course of action needed to stop this seemingly intractable problem in its tracks and start on the road to “nirvana”.

Use the link below for your exclusive access to my full presentation watched only by paying attendees of the conference but made free just for you …

The (almost) Painless Way to Transform the Tax Function – The Road to Digital Stewardship

In the end, it’s about future-proofing, figuring out data as an asset, and a journey that truly builds ‘digital’ into the tax function’s DNA. Only then can we talk about “transformation” in a meaningful way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and the Steps to Nirvana (all is revealed in the recording)!

Feel free to send an email or book a quick call