Case studies

Procedures and controls

In a review of a FTSE 100 tax function we recommended that all policies, procedures and controls were documented in a single location, accessible to all, in a manner that could be updated and revised as necessary. While there were policies and procedures and controls applied they were not all documented in detail or the documentation was no longer completely up to date. Tax staff relied on an ‘understanding’ of what the policies and procedures were. As the tax function and the level of complexity increased, the lack of a standardised approach had led to duplication and error.

Working with key members of the tax team and business we compiled a clear picture of existing policies, procedures and controls and built on this through interviews with key staff. We were then able to develop a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and controls based on what was in place and our detailed knowledge of what worked in other tax functions. These were then validated through individual and group meetings.

The agreed policies, procedures and controls were then formalised in a comprehensive manual. The manual covered all aspects of compliance and reporting as well as planning and administration of the tax function. It describes in detail what is required to be carried out by whom and when and provides a framework within which the function can operate effectively. The manual was initially available in hard copy and is now installed on the intranet. Training was provided in all key areas of the manual. It also forms part of the induction process for people joining the tax function.

The manual is used by all tax staff. It has become a self-sustaining and practical tool to manage work within the tax function. This has led to increase efficiency throughout the tax group. Now, the client regularly updates the manual making it all the more useful and relevant for the future. As one team member said: “A great deal of value has been derived from the procedures and controls manual – it provides discipline and structure to what we do”.

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