There is never really a typical day here at PwC. I manage multiple clients with various issues on any given day. Many of my clients are leveraging different types of technologies to solve their pain points. For example, I may have a client that is leveraging SharePoint to manage their processes and documents, another client might be having issues consolidating and managing their tax data, or I might be meeting with various Tax Directors and VPs to gain a better understanding of their pain points and how we can use technology to help resolve any problem areas.
Tax functions are heavy users of spreadsheets. They used to track processes in Excel. Now, this can be done in workflow tools, such as SharePoint. They used to rely heavily on spreadsheets to consolidate and analyze data, which is very manual, time consuming and risky. Now, clients can access data hubs (centralized data stores) to pull data in an automated way from source systems and can consolidate the data. Once consolidated, the data can be presented to the tax user in a “tax-ready” format (legal entity level data or other data needed to produce returns or prepare the effective tax rate/prepare the provision).
I started my career in Advisory Data Management and worked in this line of service for 12 years. I was exposed to a vast array of client issues that spanned all areas of the business. The tax function always lagged behind in terms of leveraging technology and I was interested in applying my STEM skills to assist the tax function specifically. These skills were generally lacking in Tax and have been in great demand since I joined Tax 4 years ago.
The opportunities are endless. Leveraging technology in the tax function is just in its infancy. As technology changes, we will need to learn and leverage the changes. There will be new regulatory issues that our clients need to tackle which will require technical solutions or the the required processed will be very arduous and time consuming. The tax function will continue to be asked to do more with less and the only option will be to leverage technology to create efficiencies.
Students need to be well-rounded. They need to have a good foundation in Accounting, Finance and Business, in addition to technology and data skills. I also like to see that students can manage their time well. Students demonstrate this by being very active in the university or working while taking classes which shows that they can prioritize all their tasks and still stay focused on being a high-performing student.
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