Global tax policy reforms. Political shocks to international trade. Rising tax and customs authority demands for more information in more detail. Finance and tax function transformation. With forces like these driving change and heightening complexity, today’s leaders of global indirect tax and trade compliance functions must ensure their functions can manage the huge volumes of transactions and cash flows needed for compliance while contributing strategic value.
How can indirect tax and trade compliance executives assess whether their functions are structured to meet current demands and the challenges of the future? Benchmarking is a powerful way to assess your current structure, identify leading practices among your peers, and find out how changes you can make now can prepare you for the challenges and opportunities your function will likely face tomorrow.
This global benchmarking report offers a snapshot of the structure, governance and performance measures of indirect tax and trade compliance departments today — and delivers insights on how these functions expect their compliance models to change in the next 3 years.
What does the current report tell us? Indirect tax and trade compliance functions are well down the road of centralizing many of their activities for greater efficiency and control, and they are enhancing these centralized models with stronger regional networks and more strategic use of outsourcing.
However, many of these functions have not set clear performance metrics or systematically identified their areas of key risk, and so they have yet to develop processes and systems for capturing, analyzing and deriving value from the resulting data.
Looking ahead, many indirect tax and trade compliance functions are prepared to invest in technology and process improvements. While a lack of data may hamper their ability to gain support for these investments, there is a strong business case to be made for functional transformations that enable greater efficiency in compliance, global visibility and control, and opportunities to produce strategic value.
Since 2011, regular iterations of KPMG International’s Global Indirect Tax Benchmarking Survey have charted the evolution of indirect tax departments and identified operational benchmarks for high-performing tax teams.
In 2015, the survey was broadened to capture similar information about trade compliance functions. This year’s report updates the key findings and comments in our most recent survey. Comments in this report are based on a sample survey of indirect tax and compliance leaders, supplemented with views from the leaders of the KPMG Global Indirect Tax Services team, who provide insights into leading practices and how these two vital functions can add real value to global organizations.