The 2022 State of the Corporate Tax Department Report

Finding the right balance between technology & talent

Thomson Reuters’ latest 2022 State of the Corporate Tax Department Report examines how departments can find the best balance between technology and their professional talent needs.

The impact of technology on corporate tax departments and the people who work in them is the focus of Thomson Reuters’ latest 2022 State of the Corporate Tax Department Report.

Specifically, this year’s report delves into the inescapable tension between corporate tax departments that are seeking greater effectiveness and efficiency through technology, and tax professionals in those departments who are constantly being asked to do more, faster, and with fewer resources.

The key driver of these tensions is the increasing digitalization of the global economy, which is prompting governments around the world to initiate regulatory reforms with a speed and scope that can strain even the most technologically advanced tax departments. As a result, the majority of tax departments are currently bracing to deal with tax reforms they know are coming, and are aware they lack the resources they’ll need to fully comply. 

To find out how these tensions are affecting corporate tax departments worldwide, we surveyed hundreds of tax professionals from dozens of countries about how their companies are preparing for regulatory change and what role technology is playing in their strategic development. 

Indeed, this year’s report shows that 73% of respondents to our survey said they expect to see changes in government tax requirements within the next two years, but 57% of tax department employees don’t feel they have the resources they will need to meet the requirements these tax reforms will inevitably demand. 

The 2022 Report

The 2022 State of the Corporate Tax Department Report also features a special in-depth focus on the challenges that corporate tax departments face finding and keeping quality talent in such a fluid and volatile job market.

The five key areas explored in the report, include:

  1. Strategic priorities — preparation for regulatory change and digital resiliency;
  2. Technology — its usage, impact, and tools;
  3. Spending — revenue, internal/external costs, and managing the tech budget;
  4. Resources — allocations and implications; and
  5. Talent — retention, skills gaps, career development, succession planning, and working patterns.

Among other key findings in the 2022 State of the Corporate Tax Department Report, are:

  • While 73% of respondents overall said they expect regulatory change very soon, that number jumps to 92% of those working at companies in the tech sector.
  • Companies that have invested in more sophisticated tax technology solutions currently have a distinct and growing advantage over those that haven’t.
  • Despite the demonstrated benefits of more robust tax technologies, almost two-thirds of this year’s respondents self-identified their department’s technological sophistication as “chaotic” or “reactive.”
  • The biggest skills gaps companies see in prospective employees are expertise in tax technology and leadership skills.
  • The top three reasons tax department employees give as motivation to seek another job include:
    1. feeling under-appreciated;
    2. lack of career progression; and
    3. unhappiness with the company culture.
  • Overall, 64% of survey respondents said the biggest obstacle preventing them from achieving their professional development goals was “lack of time.”

State of the Coporate Tax Department Report 2022

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