Tomorrow begins today - defining the journey to level up your tax function

March 2019
By Pauline Lum, Tax Executive Director, PwC Malaysia


Real time information and innovation without compromising risk management is high on organisations’ agenda in today’s commercial environment. Going in with your eyes wide open enables you to make informed decisions.

Our last few blogs dove into the building blocks of tax functions. We featured the importance of starting with a vision to frame the structure, before selecting building materials for each block. In this blog, all these considerations are pulled together to start defining the journey.

I have a dream...

Having a broad organisation vision sometimes leads to lack of clarity when placed in the context of an internal function. For instance, going digital is high on everyone’s agenda, however, this may be easier to visualise in some internal functions more than others, e.g. enhanced customer experience with the convenient use of applications, could be a goal of the Sales and Marketing team.

Reality bites

Tax functions have multiple customers with different needs. Due to rapid change in business models and real time requirements, there are higher demands for data to be analysed and made available to inform decisions. Expectations have increased, coupled with cost-cutting measures. For example, what would going digital mean for Tax and can this be carried out in similar timelines to the rest of the organisation? Tax is the end consumer of data and has very little, if any, influence on the timeliness and quality of data available as its governance and business processes are managed by the data owners or other stakeholders. Hence, going digital for Tax may take more time than some of its counterparts in the business.

A blueprint for success

All stakeholders’ needs and reporting requirements should be considered when defining the vision and strategy for an organisation. However, if changes are being carried out by internal functions separately and at different times, the change drivers should ensure that objectives are aligned with the overall vision and strategy of the organisation.  

Bringing this back to our analogy of renovating or building a house, we need to take stock of the house to establish what needs to be replaced or enhanced. Then work can begin on the timeline and plans for the framework and building blocks needed (i.e. Organisation, People, Process and Data), whilst leveraging the enablers to ease the process (i.e. Technology and Performance Management Metrics).

Just like a house, this can be achieved as a full overhaul or by renovations on prioritised areas.  Let’s have a look at what Company Z did.


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Tax reimagined - taking the first step

Rome was not built in a day. Define your journey in building a robust tax function that can withstand changing conditions. Are you ready to level up?


Taking the first step to dealing with your tax challenges of tomorrow, starts today - Let’s chat.


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Pauline Lum

Pauline Lum

Tax Executive Director, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (3) 2173 1059

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