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Life After Lockdown: The View from Global Tax Solutions

Chris Danes May 19, 2020

COVID-19 has forced business, of all sizes, to take quick and decisive action, in many cases to protect their very existence

Few would argue that COVID-19 has changed the world. The pandemic has shone the spotlight firmly on the need for businesses to embrace change, to react quickly based on high quality information, explains Chris Danes, Tax Partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, the UK member of the Baker Tilly network, and responsible for the Global Tax Solutions team.

“We are having to make decisions quickly that are impacting many people, and we need the best information at our finger tips to do that and to do it with confidence.

"That means not only having the right solutions, from a technology point of view, but having the right team of advisors around us is key.

“We need to be identifying risks, but we also need to be exploiting opportunities. And we need to have robust governance procedures in place to do that.”

The right team

While technology increasingly takes a front seat in driving the activities of many businesses, the human touch should not be underestimated. It’s an unfamiliar landscape right now. Many of our typical data sources are not as reliable as they have been in the past so decision makers are having to look elsewhere for extra assistance.

“We are seeing heads of tax and CFOs looking to the top 10 accounting networks for that ‘optimum value mix’, as I call it,” explains Danes.

“We’ve been set some challenging tasks by clients. Can we have this information for 30 countries delivered in 24 hours? Our globally-based teams mean we can essentially work around the clock to deliver the information our clients need.”

“They need high quality advice, they need responsiveness, and they want to pay what they see is a fair price to get that.

"The Baker Tilly network and Baker Tilly Global Tax Solutions is well placed in the current climate to offer that value mix and we are seeing some strong trends from clients who need co-ordinated assistance globally.”

Governments worldwide have, for the most part, been quick to act, bringing in a vast array of incentives and schemes designed to offer businesses a life line during these unprecedented times. Decoding these support measures, which for multinational businesses operating worldwide is often a minefield, has been top of the list of work Baker Tilly has been involved with for its clients.

The first priority for many businesses right now is maintaining business as usual: keeping optimism and keeping the wheels turning. Secondly, reacting quickly to that evolving environment. And thirdly, preparing for the transition to the #newnormal, which Danes believes will bring a lot of positives. 

Responsiveness bumps price from pole position in selection criteria

“Strong businesses are going to come out of this crisis stronger," says Danes.

“And those businesses, particularly multinationals, will benefit from a team of advisors who work with them to help navigate the challenges they are facing. A team who provides a streamlined communication structure that supports decision making across 20, 30, 40, even 50 countries.”

While price will, undoubtedly, remain a factor when choosing advisors, responsiveness and delivering proactive and pragmatic advice based on a client’s key influences top the wish list - not an off-the-shelf, doesn’t quite fit option.

“We are seeing that clients are experiencing unique challenges. Even for clients in the same industry, the challenges are different for various reasons. And unique challenges call for solutions tailored to your key influencers.

“A single global point of contact to co-ordinate tax requirements was nice to have before. It’s absolutely vital in the current climate."

“Client intimacy and the trend for a centralised solution, even for the largest of businesses, are two trends that will last long after COVID-19 has gone.”​

 

DISCLAIMER: All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations in this article are reasonably held by Baker Tilly at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice to you. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents in this article, the information in this article is not designed to address any particular circumstance, individual or entity. Users should not act upon it without seeking professional advice relevant to the particular situation. We will not accept liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through reliance upon the information contained in this article.

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