The power of data analysis starts today

The tax function will start to take on a more strategic role in the organisation owing to more, faster and better analysis of relevant data. For most organisations, this seems a future to look forward to. However, that future can already begin today. PwC is able to assist you in utilising the power of data analysis now!

Think big, start small

In the tax function of the future, it will be possible to convert data directly into tax insights that will allow organisations to take better and faster strategic and operational decisions. At present, the tax function is still only a consumer of data produced and managed by others. Access to tax-relevant data is limited and anything but easy, and the data is not immediately suitable for tax analyses. A solution to this problem is often sought in setting up a so-called Tax Data Hub. Yet this is no simple task.

PwC can help you with a number of smaller steps that you can already take to bring yourself closer to the tax function of the future. In the paragraphs below, we show you a number of existing options for collaborating with you in building the tax function of the future and employing Data & Analytics.

Data for the past, present and future

Previously, tax consultants considered data little more than a static collection of figures used for financial statements and tax returns. But being able to gain a faster and ongoing insight into relevant data allows for a strategic contribution at a number of levels.

  • The past: you review data and make a judgement, in the service of compliance and reporting. Currently, this contribution is mostly delivered by the tax department.

  • Today: using up-to-date data you can monitor processes and prevent errors, or correct them in time.

  • The future: by modelling data, you will contribute to the planning process and will be able to take strategic decisions.

The ETL process: Extract, Transform and Load data.

Data analytics begins with the collection of relevant data. Most data for tax are proprietary and used by other departments, particularly Finance. How do you acquire and structure these data? That's a job for our specialists. They know where to find the relevant data, how to acquire it and how to process it for specific tax analysis. To do this, we follow the ETL process: Extract, Transform and Load data.

The first step involves collecting the right figures. Our IT specialists have developed special scripts for this that allow us to simply extract the required data from all large ERP and other systems (including SAP, Oracle and JD Edwards). Our data can also be collected from unstructured sources, etc. The collected raw data is then transformed to a form that is practicable for the tax department. Subsequently, these data are loaded in one of the data analysis solutions to yield relevant insights. 

‘Data analytics is no longer something we can only hope the future will bring. Curious? Together we will develop a proof of concept in a single day.’

Jochem Veltman

Self-service analytics: simple modelling, greater insight

Visualisations from a single data source already shed new light on your figures. Combine multiple data sources and strategic insights present themselves. For example, a benchmark of your figures with those of other parties in your sector. You can simply build a dashboard yourself with filters for selected data. Our specialists can demonstrate to you all the various possibilities and also train someone at your organisation to operate the tool if you wish.

We will show you that a good analyst with the right digital tools can provide you with insights that you probably thought would require the purchase of complex and expensive solutions. With business intelligence tools such as Qlikview, Tableau and Alteryx, we can really bring your data to life. You will gain insight that you would not have thought possible before. You can also perform highly specific tax analyses using diagnostic and analysis tools. These solutions allow you to quickly spot irregularities via automatic analysis, for example. Correcting errors is less complicated than you thought. Our Insights programme gives you insight into the quality of your VAT entries, the processing of payroll tax and national insurance contributions and corporate income tax.


Modelling for the future

The specialist who has insight into yesterday's and today's figures can use modelling tools to sketch a dynamic picture of the future. Static figures brought to life by visualisation will increase your insight. What are the tax consequences of the choices you can make right now? If you are able to answer that question using modelling and predictive analysis, you will be able to contribute to strategic deliberations and planning. PwC can help you here.

Scenario analysis is one of the most important aspects in the strategic decision-making process. Traditionally, MS Excel is the program used to perform this. To take the next step in scenario analysis, we have developed our own digital solution which brings together the knowledge of our various specialists. Our own Financial Drawing Board provides an empty canvas on which we can ‘draw’ your current financial and tax position. This is the point of departure on a journey through time past various changes in your organisation or a forecast of your figures.

Under the canvas is an advanced basis of hundreds of different models for a variety of financial and tax analyses. As we add your data, your information is dynamically represented in all model options. What happens, for instance, if you adjust your transfer pricing model? And what will your figures look like if we include the interest deduction restriction under BEPS? We have already developed the models for this. Using your figures, the Financial Drawing Board will provide you with specific insights as a basis for strategic decision-making.

Our vision of data analysis for the tax function of the future begins with steps that you can already take today. Please contact us to discover the possibilities of data analysis for your organisation.

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Fieke van der Vlist

Fieke van der Vlist

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)63 075 19 37