After tax reform: Emerging tax trends and technologies in manufacturing

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September 2019

The impact of emerging tech on industrials' tax strategy

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is here—and its impact can be felt in all aspects of life and work. This rapid technological evolution includes the increasing use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) within finance, tax and other enterprise operations, dramatically impacting how organizations now do business. These powerful emerging solutions are being used to drive continuous innovation, create new business models and products, enhance data and develop analytics needed for insightful decision-making. 

The manufacturing industry, already prone to complex operational considerations, is also subject to the global economic and tax climate that is causing businesses to rethink their operating model and ability to comply with new regulations. Although the level of impact on organizations will vary, certain trends are prompting tax functions in the manufacturing industry to reassess their adoption of emerging technologies.

Key findings from our manufacturing tax technology survey

Many trends emerged from the survey results. Here are the key findings that surfaced:

  • Manufacturers continue to adapt to the 2017 tax reform legislation—the most seismic change to the U.S. tax landscape since 1986
  • Finance and other enterprise functions are increasingly implementing technology and adopting automation in ways we have not seen before
  • Economic growth is resulting in greater tax liabilities, more deal volume and increased corporate investment among manufacturers

Small automation can enhance the performance and efficiency of the tax function. The successful deployment of small automation results in quick implementation of flexible, adaptable and less expensive technologies not easily accomplished by more expensive enterprise systems.

Four key steps for addressing tax compliance and reporting obstacles in the manufacturing industry

  1. Inventory needed data requirements and sources by identifying, rationalizing and mapping source data (e.g., provision and optimal data sources, data gaps and pain points, process for obtaining additional data).
  2. Design data sourcing, extraction and automation to streamline the data-gathering process (e.g., consider data constraints and unique requirements, leverage current platforms, incorporate self-service ETL and visualization tools, implement data staging and mapping, detect and reconcile anomalies).
  3. Automatically connect data flows to integrate solutions (e.g., integrate data sources with tax reform calculation engines, reduce risk associated with manual processes).
  4. Establish a sustainable and nimble governance model (e.g., clearly define roles and responsibilities).

About the survey

PwC and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) recently collaborated on a survey of MAPI member organizations (representing a cross-section of company and tax department size [trending towards larger companies], sub industry and international presence) around the recent developments in the tax reform and emerging technologies space. This is a ‘refresh’ of similar surveys conducted in 2013 and 2016—a lot has changed since our last survey. The results provide insights to help manufacturers assess how their tax functions are positioned with respect to emerging technologies, tax reform automation, developing a tax technology strategy and tax provision and compliance technology.  

Contact us

Chris Kontaridis

US Deals, Strategy & Operations Leader for Tax Reporting & Strategy

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