Case studies

Global function alignment

Our client, a major multinational’s Tax Function, had ultimate responsibility for all aspects of planning and complying with employment taxes for expatriates and national staff. However, the management of employees and related records was spread over various functions – Human Resources, Finance, Legal and Tax. There were also differences in the way employment matters were managed in different countries. This resulted in uncertainty, delays and gaps in information. Service to expatriates was impeded. Both Tax and Human Resources were keen to clarify responsibility for the different aspects of employment and related taxes, improve cross functional working and enhance the service delivery to expatriates.

Affecton was approached to review the global arrangements for employment taxes and to propose enhancements in how responsibilities should be divided between Functions and how external service providers were used. Our engagement was jointly sponsored by the Tax and Human Resources functions.

Our first step was to establish the needs and perspectives of employment tax stakeholders using a programme of face-to-face confidential interviews. We then developed a standard model of the key activities needed to deliver the multinational”s requirements in the employment tax arena and how responsibilities for those activities should devolve to the different Functions and external service providers involved. This model was informed by the multinational”s ethos and culture for allocating responsibilities and leveraged the roles, skills and strengths of each Function to bring clarity and efficiency to the delivery of employment tax solutions. The model was presented to, and approved by, all key stakeholders. We then initiated a global rollout programme to implement the approaches embedded in the standard model with Affecton leading the rollout in the early stages but handing over to client staff as the process became established.

Affecton’s approach and deliverables were well received and the client acted on them. We provided a framework, headed by a global governance board of the key stakeholders, within which a shared understanding of the responsibilities for delivering employment tax outcomes was established. This has allowed each Function to take control of the activities they are responsible for, thereby boosting process efficiency, effectiveness and reliability; with benefits and best practice being replicated globally.

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