As the new US Tax Leader, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of our people, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by their commitment to making a difference for our clients. Their diversity and talent continues to be the force that drives our firm forward. And with more than 200,000 people across 157 countries, we have a common purpose: To build trust in society and solve important problems. We put that purpose into action with our values.
US Chairman Tim Ryan recently asked PwC people to tweet about our values and what resonates for each of us. For me, learning about our clients’ businesses and helping them reach their goals is a core value. The challenges our clients face are increasingly complex but tools like data and analytics can offer fresh insights, turning a challenge into a competitive advantage. As we reimagine the Tax function of the future at PwC, we reimagine the possible for our clients.
You were recently named head of PwC Tax. Would you mind sharing your professional journey?
My very first interaction with PwC was as an undergrad at Winthrop University. I was thinking about a career in business and enrolled in an intro to accounting course. One day, a PwC partner visited the class as a guest speaker, and his talk sealed the deal on my career decision.
I joined the Atlanta office after earning my MBA at Clemson and it’s been an amazing journey ever since. I’ve spent many years at the firm, in the Tax practice, working with some really talented individuals and serving a wide range of clients.
I transferred to the New York office several years ago to work on multinational banking and financial services clients, and that’s still my focus today. I also spent a couple of years as the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer and, in my previous role, was New York Metro Regional Tax partner and member of the PwC Extended US Tax leadership team.
What inspires you?
Other people energize and inspire me. As the leader of PwC Tax, I’m consistently blown away by the quality of our people and the achievements of our clients. When I see them accomplish amazing things together, I’m inspired and proud.
Why are you so passionate about technology and innovation?
Our clients recognize that technology is the most direct path to meaningful innovation and competitive advantage. The 2016 PwC CEO survey showed the majority of business leaders feel a solid technology foundation can set their businesses apart, particularly when it comes to harnessing the power of data and analytics. D&A is, quite simply, the future for our firm, for the Tax practice and for our clients. I’m happy to say PwC is already distinguishing itself in this space as the leaders in tax technology and analytics.
Talk about the Tax function of the future
The Tax practice inside PwC has a significant role in everything we do for our clients, especially because most of them are operating and interacting globally. Their business models are complex, business rules are complex and the regulatory environment is complex. We’re here to help them navigate the complexity in a way that makes sense for them. It’s really about helping our clients understand the rules, understand the data, see that data in different ways and then make better decisions. In other words, the Tax function of the future helps our clients see where the world is headed. It like that old saying: It’s not where the hockey puck is, but where it’s going.
Accordingly, what skills will Tax professionals need to have in the future?
When we look at talent, we see a need for more STEM -- science, technology, engineering, math -- graduates. Increasingly, you’ll see more computer science majors and more engineers joining the tax practice. But, as author Daniel Pink writes, “The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind.” Increasingly, those “left brained” dominant skills embraced by the Information age must be complemented by “right brain” qualities -- inventiveness, empathy and meaning -- to provide the ultimate experience for our clients.