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About In House Tax

About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

Tax Technology - Senior Manager opportunity in Europe

Friday, 25 October 2013

We are currently handling an opportunity for a senior level / leadership tax systems & technology expert to join a developing team in the Belgium / Netherlands / Switzerland region.
Euro 75,000 - 105,000 + Bens, depending on experience
Our client is a top tier consulting firm with a globally recognised brand in professional services.  They have a well established tax technology consulting team that is now looking to add a strategic lead professional, based in the Netherlands / Belgium region and to help expand the services to clients in that region.
This key leadership role will build on their existing client offering in the technology & systems area for tax reporting.  The role will report directly to the head of the practice, and will manage a small team of Managers and Consultants.
Key areas of activities will be:
  • Defining and configuring of tax reporting solutions applicable to different client requirements
  • Assessing of client tax reporting methods and needs, and proposing of tailored solutions available in the market
  • Lead role over development and marketing of tax reporting systems and potential add-on software
  • Managing of relationships with internal teams and with external software supplier companies
To match to this very specialised and challenging role, you will have highly established experience in the tax reporting field and with strong technical know-how (e.g. IFRS / IAS 12) on tax reporting guidelines.  You may have developed this experience within either a tax consulting firm or within the in-house tax function of a large multinational group.  You will have familiarity with the tools used in the market for improving and streamlining tax reporting, from Excel methods through to advanced systems such Onesource and Longview, or tax set-up within SAP/Oracle.  Experience of implementing any of these type of solutions will be of immense value.  In addition, it will be a strong advantage to have experience of client facing projects, or dealing with senior internal stakeholders for systems projects.
This is a great opportunity for a senior tax reporting or tax systems professional to further develop a practice, and to see a strong promotion route with success in this field.
To have an informal discussion about this, or to find out more, please call Simon Godley on 0044 870 46 056 46 or email: 

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posted by Simon Godley

Tax Compliance Systems: In- OR Out-source?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

By Simon Godley

Many corporate groups regularly review how they process their corporate and indirect tax compliance, and whether they have the best IT systems or tax technology in place to cope with these crucial functions.  There is also the tax accounting function, requiring appropriate systems in place to handle the tax provisions side and its accuracy for the statutory and consolidated accounts.  This can also be a difficult area given that companies are required to follow complex guidelines set out under US & UK GAAP and IFRS, depending on their corporate structure.  For large complex companies, this requires much technical accounting expertise as well as adequate IT systems.

Many companies rely on heavily-laden Excel workbooks to compute these functions, which can lead to risks around accuracy with formula errors and omissions etc.  There are now more advanced software systems in the market that remove these risks, and can act as a central database point for all the numbers and data required for tax provisions and compliance.  Some software houses that focus on the accounting and tax compliance sector have been developing these systems for some time now, and these systems are now used by some of the larger UK and European groups.  However it sometimes requires a significant investment by these companies, both in terms of the acquisition of the technology and the lengthy time required to get it all working correctly.  Often these systems have to be set-up to fully configure with a group’s ERP system, which can lead to a very complex and lengthy project.  For some groups this will make a lot of sense and will work well for them in the long run, for others this will be a daunting prospect.

Some of the Big Four accounting firms have also developed specialised tax products that can help to automate the tax accounting process, mostly acting as a tax add-on module to a SAP or accounting system.
As an alternative, what are the options of outsourcing these functions, say to one of the Big Four consultancies or other accounting / tax practices?  The tax accounting and compliance function is then handled by the specialised tax firm, who already have advanced software technologies set-up.
Russell Gammon, a Manager within the Accounting & Tax Technology team at KPMG, is well qualified to give a view on this area, “More and more we are seeing firms looking to use dedicated solutions to streamline their tax reporting processes. Excel spreadsheets have a limited shelf-life and cannot reasonably be maintained in a business that experiences frequent change."

“Moreover, we see our clients gaining tangible value from using a software package, such as increased visibility on certain Deferred Tax Assets, or reduced audit work as less substantive testing is required. Overall, the market for tax reporting technology is an active one that will see more and more firms convert over the next couple of years.”

“In addition, we often support client outsourcing engagements using our proprietary software. Not only does this help streamline the process, but ensures that the results are consistent and have a full audit trail behind them. For example, we have seen several successes in recent months supporting Accounts Outsourcing engagements by utilising our accounts production tool, K-Trinity.”

So it would appear that for the mid-sized to large group companies, there are a number of routes away from the Excel spreadsheet approach for accounting and tax reporting, which may be proving cumbersome and error-prone.  There are clearly now many options for bringing in-house the appropriate tax technology for a business, with outsourcing also an option to avoid a possible lengthy and complex software implementations process.

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posted by Simon Godley

Tax Technology market - recent appointments

Friday, 11 October 2013

Here are a few key appointments and people moves around the tax technology and systems sector in the UK:

Jon Artus has recently joined KPMG in the UK as a Senior Manager in the Accounting and Tax Technology services team. Jon previously spent over five years in the tax technology team at Deloitte, where he was the lead developer on a number of bespoke technology solutions. Most recently, Jon worked at a global bank developing part of their trading infrastructure. Jon will lead development on a number of products, including one of KPMG’s latest offerings, K-Helix.

Ryan Tax Services has recently appointed Mehrdad Talaifar as a Principal, 
based in the London office where he will lead sales and engagement management efforts for Ryan's European Global Tax Technology Service and Solution practice. Mehrdad joins from Thomson Reuters, where he was Senior Director of Strategic Relations in EMEA for the Tax & Accounting division in London.

Global healthcare group GSK plc has recently recruited James Newman into their tax transformation team within global indirect taxes.  James joins from Oracle where he was Senior Manager – VAT in EMEA, with his initial training and tax technology career starting at KPMG.

Rob Hardesty, based in the Tax Performance Advisory team of EY, has recently been promoted to Manager level. He has also recently moved out to Kuala Lumpur with the firm to work in the APAC region.

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posted by Simon Godley

Accordance VAT - European E-commerce roundtable

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Accordance, the Brighton-based cross-border VAT compliance advisors, hosted a business breakfast briefing earlier this month that discussed the challenges e-commerce businesses face in regards to trading in several different EU member states. The roundtable, attended by members of The Pentland Group (encompassing e-commerce brands such as Lacoste and Speedo) and law firm Pinsent Mason’s, addressed issues including supply chains, customer relationships and how best organisations buying and selling in different countries might effectively manage European VAT registration and tax compliance issues.

The panel was in agreement that this is a huge issue for businesses as their very nature as digital-based entities can lead to unprecedented growth over a short time period, before they have the resources available to implement the correct compliance systems and processes.

They discussed supply chains and how the movement of goods across borders could impact upon VAT reporting and accounting.

The UK’s e-commerce industry association, the IMRG, supplied in advance of the roundtable a statement concerning supply chains and VAT. It read that businesses should be “optimising in accordance with the brand’s overall strategy. Issues to consider are, for example, stock stored/returned locally or remotely; can local partners handle fulfilment, customer care and returns; what can be done to reduce double-shipping"

VAT specifically was on the agenda, with reference to the forthcoming 2015 change to place of supply rules for distance sellers, meaning suppliers will have to register for VAT in multiple EU member states rather than account for it centrally.

The panel also discussed the complex issue of Amazon, a supplier of e-commerce services such as e-books.

The final topic of discussion centred on customer relationships and how digitally-based enterprises could overcome challenges in regards to connecting on a personal level with customers.

For more information on this topic, or to find out more on the findings from this briefing, please contact Nicholas Hallam, Managing Director at Accordance  

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posted by Simon Godley

Tax professionals - social media exposure

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

By Simon Godley

My avid past time is playing electric guitar.  I played a lot when I was at school and as a teenager, but then regrettably left it out for most of my early adult life.  More recently (and whilst approaching my 40s) I've picked it up again with gusto, and I'm pleased I discovered it again.  That's led me to listen to many big guitar players for their influences, mostly in the rock and blues scenes.  Interestingly most of their own marketing is done on-line, particularly around Facebook and Twitter.  These are very big channels these days for big music names.  It is even more interesting to see who has got the largest number of 'Followers' or 'Likes' on these platforms.

I've mainly looked at Facebook, as I'm not a big Twitter fan.  The big guitar names have a LOT of followers on Facebook.  Slash, for example, has 10.9M.  That's a lot for one guitarist!  Eric Clapton by comparison has 6.1M.  I expected more than that, but that's still a lot.

So what about high profile tax people, or big decision makers involved in the tax market?  Do they see the value of having a lot of followers on Facebook / Twitter like high profile guitarist might?  Well, I sense not - tax is a much drier subject area, it's not an interest area for the masses (although everyone is subject to it) and doesn't really attract the celebrity status that you find in the music industry.

But I thought still worth a glance.

Starting with the big decision makers on Tax:

George Osborne - lots of pretend profiles on Facebook.  Official page (but not active) has c.1,900 Likes
George Osborne - LinkedIn - no detectable profile at all.
David Cameron - so many profiles and Pages on Facebook, impossible to work out if anything is real!
David Cameron - LinkedIn (430,000 followers)
Lin Homer, Head of HMRC - nothing visible
HMRC (as an organisation) - c.8,000 Followers on LinkedIn

And what about the top people in the advisory firms?  Are they using social media as a channel to market themselves or their firms?  I'm not naming names here, but here's briefly what I found:

CEO of Deloitte (US based) - LinkedIn Page (3000 followers); not visible on Facebook
CEO of EY (US based) - has a LinkedIn profile, but can't connect; no real profile on Facebook
Chairman of PwC - no obvious activity on LinkedIn or Facebook
CEO of KPMG (US based) - has active LinkedIn profile; no profile on Facebook

So the top guy at Deloitte has an active LinkedIn profile, but the rest are not using social media as a marketing channel.  Maybe not right for them in their roles, or maybe still too early days in the evolution of social media for top level tax, accounting and business people.

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posted by Simon Godley

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