The ‘Why’ Behind Tax Technology Training

This Cyber Monday, the industry stalwart Smart Tax Technology certification program is on offer at an 80% discount to the normal price.

This has prompted much interest, so we, the Xyto service group, decided to interview the author & coach, to help answer some of the questions you have …


Hi Geoff, thanks for meeting us. What was your original reason for creating this course?

It’s a pleasure to talk to you. The reason is simple. Before I was a taxologist, I was a tax technologist, installing tax engines and solutions for some of the largest companies in the world. However, I started to realise that technology alone is not enough. The digital realm only works if the people adapt as well. A mindset shift was needed, and that’s almost impossible to gain on the job. After doing this for many years, although it varies and I can’t prove it, I reckon most people only get about 25% of the value they could from technology. Some do better than that but have no succession plan or future-proofing. We call it “double the benefit at half the cost”. If there was a time when 25% was enough, it’s certainly not true now, and it’s hurting the tax profession. That situation was just not good enough for me.

So, what does the program do?

The program is a study of, and upskilling in, today’s digital & enterprise technologies in tax. Through accelerated learning, it helps experts at all levels improve technology adoption, navigate tax transformation, and respond & add value in new & better ways as tax goes digital.

Why should this training be considered now?

Digitalization is causing the tax profession to be recalibrated, particularly in-house. To be effective, tax advice & compliance must be supplemented by deep familiarity and capability within the digital world where tax now lives. It’s a major opportunity for tax professionals who have the right skills, and a significant threat to those who are left behind or who employ guesswork.

Why is this training different?

Good question! – given this program was the original and the best, but no longer the only offering on the market. If you consider yourself a tax lawyer first, we would probably recommend other options, but for the in-house tax professional, there is no better choice. To succeed here, elements of organizational transformation including stakeholder management, Agile methods, and enterprise ‘data’ are a necessity, as is 1:1 coaching to really help explore & bed down these new areas properly. In my mind, technology teachings alone don’t solve the problem.  

What happens when you register?

Within 24 hours, you will receive access to all materials. They’re yours to keep. The training consists of five self-study units and six 1:1 private coaching sessions to discuss & help consolidate the topics. Typically, you can expect 40-60 hours of effort over a 6-8 week period, including certification at the end.

 What benefits and outcomes can be expected?

On certification, you can expect to have a new clarity & vision around digitalized tax, and powerful insights that were previously unlikely to be visible to you. But this is just the start. The move to Xyto is about making this real in the workplace through an innovative journey aided by dozens of other graduates & taxologists. The program is a prerequisite for joining this career-affirming community.

What if the company is resistant?

Most companies want to change but are resistant to its actualities at the same time. One thing is certain, you have to take charge yourself and learn to get results within this situation if you are to progress. There’s no silver bullet, but we are building a toolkit of justification, communication & execution methods for your use. And you’re not alone, as our Cyber Monday deal puts this within the grasp of every pocket.

 What guarantees are there?

No one is left behind. Our commitment to you includes extra hours & coaching at no additional charge until you achieve certification and are happy with your experience. It’s part of our aim to serve you at the highest level. 

Thank you, Geoff. We know our future graduates will find this invaluable. 


ATTENTION!

Last few hours left to lock in your Cyber Monday 80% discount.

If you have what you need and you’re ready to sign up then we strongly urge you to take immediate action. Otherwise, message me on LinkedIn.

While the offer remains open until 17:00 GMT Monday 28th Nov, reserving a start date and booking your six 1:1 sessions with Geoff will be on a first come first serve basis so we recommend you learn more now

See you on the inside,

 Xyto Service Team

Tax Transformation Reaches Tipping Point

And like climate change, there’s no going back

The ticking clock is calling time on pre-digital thinking in tax

The digitalization of tax has no equivalent to COP27 to hold us to account for what we already know to be both true and inevitable. But if it did, it would probably go something like this:

  1. Tax is going digital and has reached a point of no return
  2. The tax profession is suffering major disruption as a result
  3. Solid response strategies are proving highly elusive
  4. The piece-meal, IT & automation approach is reaching its sell-by date.

Like climate change, if we’re going to truly embrace the new reality, we need to make some fundamental adjustments. The problem is that for tax, this type of change means straying into the world of transformation, but herein lies a problem.

According to a paper by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, despite a 100-fold increase in interest since 2013, the literature on digital transformation remains diverse, fragmented, and too vague for pragmatic managers to get a firm grasp on.

Instead, the temptation is to install technology & hire IT people rather than transform, even though tax people are being held to account by their companies and the tax authorities, both of which are digitalizing at speed and risk leaving them behind.

Why the Transformation Vision is Important

Up to now, it can be thought of as “plumbing” – that is, tax technology is like new pipes that move data around automatically where it used to be done manually. This is the “machines replacing humans” mindset that dominates business process automation thinking, and is untransformed.

Transformed thinking, on the other hand, looks for the “meaning” in that data – that is, what the ‘data’ tells you. This is certainly where the tax authorities are headed given that shortly, “your tax position will not be what you say it is; it will be what the data says it is”.

The implications of that run deep, including the fact that once tax professionals learn to truly use ‘data meaning’ as a resource, it becomes a platform for empowerment in other ways. Not least, it helps them take their rightful place as full business partners for profit & digital project co-pilots at their companies.

Fortunately, to shift from “plumbing” to “meaning”, there’s good news in two ways:

  1. The leading program to help understand this is on 80% discount until Cyber Monday; and,
  2. Overall, this will provide a far better outcome than is likely for climate change.

So, our recommendation is to ensure that the ticking clock works in your favour, not against you. In addition, we guarantee you’ll see how ultimately it’s far cheaper and more effective than the IT & automation approach.

Cyber Monday Begins Now

Save 80% on Smart Tax Technology Program

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our Exclusive Cyber Monday Offer giving you an unmissable 80% off the most accessible, flexible and sought-after training – Xyto’s Smart Tax Technology Certification Program.

This remains essential upskilling at a time when digitalization is changing the rules of the game. Through digital empowerment, tax professionals must become trusted business partners & tech project co-pilots in this new realm.

To maintain quality, we’ve tweaked our training delivery method, thereby creating this one-off, never-to-be-repeated opportunity to gain the complete, corporate-level training experience at a price to suit every pocket !

If you’ve been considering joining our program for a while, now’s the time to act!

Training Includes…

Access To Members Area

All content fully available within 24 hours of registration

Six Hours Minimum 1:1 Coaching

With principle author Geoff Peck

Knowledge Assets & Materials

Downloadable & yours to keep. Session recordings on demand

Best Practice Templates

Including Tax Flows & Solutions Factors

Email Support 

With leading taxologist for the duration of the program

Lifetime Membership

Access to All Future Insights & Updates

Taxologist Community

Become a Contributor as we Build this Powerful Network

Additional Benefits…

**NEW** UPDATED TO INCLUDE FULL CERTIFICATION

While our program is designed to be flexible & on-demand, to suit the ever-increasing demands of the tax professional, we’ve updated the material to enable full certification to all graduates.

With a graduation rate of over 95% we can as good as guarantee your success. In these times of tumultuous change, you can’t afford not to! 

So, take “the course of action that costs less than doing nothing”, and start your journey to becoming the future-proofed, revalued tax professional the digital world needs you to be!

Got Any Questions?

We’re always here to help, if there’s anything you’d like to discuss or you’d simply like to have a quick call about your current tax tech challenges please feel free to get in touch.

Tax Engines For the Mass Market … But what about the ROI?

Getting value from tax engines for next tier companies 

When global indirect tax determination (tax engines) first came out 20 years ago, they were the preserve of the very large. Only the biggest companies in the world had the scale & volume to realize a worthwhile ROI from these beasts, but that situation has now changed.

Firstly, the move to cloud has lowered costs, simplified install & maintenance, and made automated tax determination more readily available (perhaps we could call it TDaaS – Tax Determination as a Service!). But secondly, the digitalization of tax, largely driven by the authorities, has impacted all companies, big and small. This means everyone is now looking at some form of technology in their tax processes.

Knee-Jerk Reaction

The easy answer is to outsource the problem downstream, and the BIG4 are having a bonanza obliging. Yet many are realizing that this also means outsourcing your visibility & control over tax data, muddling the risk profile, and leaving internal tax professionals without the opportunity to digitally advance themselves. The push is now to do more in-house.

However, despite improvements, tax engines are not yet a slam dunk for small & medium-sized enterprises. Here are three things to consider:

  1. Because “tax touches everything” (especially in VAT world), tax engines are necessarily invasive in systems, which means a high-quality implementation remains complex & specialized;
  2. These tools are not yet subscription-based (instead of license agreements), nor can they be considered microservices yet, which means avoiding being locked into a single vendor solution remains problematic; and,
  3. Tax determination is not tax reporting! It seems strange to call this out yet frequently they are collapsed together in the minds of leadership. In fact, for digitalizing tax authorities, the correct response is to “get tax data right first time at source”, and solving this sits solely in the realm of tax determination.

Ed: E-commerce is in better shape than complex supply chain companies. With easier implementation and a raft of new products, tax determination for e-commerce is closer to being commoditized. However, watch out for opportunist vendors overly tilted towards quick returns for their investors in this hot market.

For most, a tax engine is still the largest, most impactful tech investment a tax function can make, and for some large companies it took a decade for their tax determination solutions to settle down. Smaller companies cannot afford that overhead, nor do they have the transaction volumes to get a reasonable ROI by thinking of the tax engine in terms of “IT & automation” alone.

The Real Opportunity

In truth, “IT & automation” was never the best way to think about a tax engine. It leaves digitally challenged tax leadership surprised & confused when they suddenly find themselves responsible for a P1 (Priority 1) enterprise application – “if the tax engine fails, we can’t bill customers”. This led to fraught adjustment periods and early adopters who still, to this day, “get by” with what they cobbled together.

Small & medium sized companies cannot afford that either. Trial & error is no longer a strategy anyone should consider, large or small. Nor is believing market rhetoric about plug ‘n play tax engines (no matter how much you want it to be true) only to then discover the already known tech adoption issues later at your leisure.

Fortunately, they don’t have to. Firstly, it’s critical to learn from those who went before and move beyond the default “IT & automation” thinking into a 21st century “digitalization & data” mindset. For tax, this is where the real ROI lives today.

The second step involves communicating, enrolling, and socializing this with your colleagues & company, and finally, the third step involves excellent execution & implementation of a tax engine as integral to an innovation journey. This way, even small & medium sized companies will reap a substantial digital dividend.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed, we’ve just described the Three Steps to Nirvana. Here are some of its advantages:

  • The best response to tax authority digitalization
  • The opportunity to put ‘data’ front and center
  • Visibility & holistic control over the tax solution
  • Digitally empower & upskill your tax professionals
  • Tax becomes a trusted business partner and digital project co-pilot
  • Future-proof the tax function
  • Gain a redefined positive ROI from your investment in a tax engine.

These extra benefits come from each of the people, process, technology & ‘data’ components that digital innovation addresses independently and as a single unit, and not just technology alone which, quite frankly, was never really enough.

Watch This Space

If this has caught your interest, look out next week for a never-to-be-repeated offer to take the first of the three steps. If you can’t wait, contact us and we’ll tell you what it’s all about.

At Last, A Book from SAP on Tax

A new publication brings tax into the SAP mainstream in a good way! 

SAP Press have finally released Tax with SAP S/4HANA – Configuration and Determination, which is about time. The core tax determination capabilities in SAP date from 1972 and have barely changed since.

However in that time, the tax world has changed out of all recognition, and the first few pages reflect that with some refreshingly up-to-date commentary on the industry. What’s more, we agree with most of it. For example:

On Implementation

“we recommend … ensuring there’s a tax seat at the table of the SAP S/4HANA implementation project…”

We’ve always said this. In fact, our belief is that without an upskilled tax professional involved, the risk of getting a tax solution not fit for purpose in a digitalized tax world is unacceptably high.

On Tax-Driven Invoicing

“Tax-driven requirements are thereby essential for a running business process to receive cash from the customer and satisfy customer experiences.”

Not just customer experience, but that of vendors & regulatory bodies also. In a world where excellent third-party experience and being “a great company to do business with” is key to value propositions, tax has a valuable role to play.

On Value Creation

“The next trigger is the changing role of the tax function within an organization. The role of the tax function today is a strategic business partner role that is connected to its stakeholders within and outside the organization.”

Elegantly put. Anyone who still thinks in-house tax is only concerned with compliance & loss prevention is living in a disappearing world, and risk their career prospects disappearing with it.

That said, the argument that this can be adequately addressed with software from 1972 is less convincing. Tax may have moved on since then, but in terms of digital technology, it’s positively pre-historic.

 Of course at a high level, SAP is an immense game-changer without which large parts of modern business could not exist. An antiquated & awkward way to manage taxes may be a small price to pay for this overall strategic advantage.

 However, almost every company is looking for ways to beef up their tax functionality. SAP themselves, after a brief foray into the market for newer tax determination solutions, has backed away and is leaving it to certified partners.

 But that is little comfort to beleaguered tax managers. The market for third-party solutions is a wasp’s nest aimed at a moving target as the authorities digitally transform tax. There’s a need to upskill, build a meaningful plan and wrestle back control.

 In this regard, the book does not offer a full or balanced view. That requires the broader insights & skills of a taxologist. However, as a standalone SAP-centric tome (492 pages), the new publication is an excellent & educational resource.

Making Sense of SAP S/4 HANA 

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to – if you’re struggling to figure out the world of SAP S/4HANA or other tax tech let us know. We work within your time and budget to make lift your capabilities without you having to do it from scratch!

Try us out with a question and…

Get in Touch