Australian businesses are being exposed to unnecessary risks as a result of outdated financial and regulatory reporting from tax managers, according to new research from Wolters Kluwer.
Tax managers continue to use ‘antiquated methods’
According to the information services provider, although the risks associated with the integrity of business systems are well documented, an annual survey and subsequent research paper have unveiled the continued use of ‘antiquated methods’ by tax managers.
The research paper, Expert Opinions on Corporate Compliance 2015, revealed that 17 per cent of tax managers have low confidence and faith in the ability of their current software to meet their requirements over the next 12 to 18 months.
In addition to waning confidence levels, 60 per cent of finance leaders surveyed agreed that there was room for improvement in their existing software solution.
Tony Katsigarakis, Wolters Kluwer commercial director of corporate reporting, spoke of his surprise at the results of the survey.
“Given growing reporting pressures, the push for ever-greater transparency, increasing media attention on the corporate tax function and all in the face of ever-growing resource constraints, it’s surprising that businesses would leave themselves open to well-documented risk,” he noted.
Mr Katsigarakis also drew attention to the fact that 55 per cent of respondents continue to use ‘mixed’ accounting systems, “poorly integrated” operations which are “based on a haphazard combination of externally outsourced systems, proprietary desktop spreadsheet software, and customised in-house systems".
“Tax managers need to be adapting to a more sophisticated reporting framework and employing best practice tools and processes,” Mr Katsigarakis added.
“The power to base business decisions on reliable, real-time and integrated data is the Holy Grail for tax managers who are looking to make themselves indispensable to corporates of the future.”