Tax deadlines don’t care if you’re shorthanded and the labor market’s tight: the show must go on. When you need help and candidates are scarce, consider the following options.
Loan-staffers are tax professionals who act as an extension of your team to bridge a gap. The staffer steps into your workflows and uses your software and tools—maintaining momentum and preserving security.
Loan-staffers bring expertise to special projects or help you cover an absence such as family leave. The work stays in-house, giving you direct oversight. You retain control of your data and avoid a multi-year commitment.
Finding a “good-fit” for your team and company culture can take some time. And the person may have to learn your software and need supervision from a staff member.
Many tax leaders face a labor deficit but wish to keep tax in-house. Co-sourcing helps by providing knowledgeable resources for a specified term.
Co-sourcing allows outside resources to access your software and work on carved-out components—an international process or technical computation like GILTI or FDII, integrating new regulations, or state compliance work, for example.
You can seamlessly share data with the third party and participate in return/provision prep and review, run reports, and get answers for audit questions. By maintaining data access, you stay responsive. When the work is done, you have a complete data set.
On the flipside, you may encounter project creep—you don’t always know everything you’ll need at the outset of an engagement. And occasionally, co-sourcers may use their own systems. In that case, you’ll need to incorporate data into your system for downstream work and recordkeeping.
Outsourcing tax work can resolve resource challenges and help you meet deadlines—but comes with some caveats.
Outsourcing can require a long commitment to help your provider defray costs to convert your data. Secondly, by turning over your data, you must rely on the provider to furnish it for your analytics, management reports, audit responses, and the like. Other factors to weigh:
- Incremental fees inevitably pop up, so you may have to scale back outside work and do more internally
- You’re dependent on the vendor to meet time frames. With the vendor doing your work in tandem with other clients’ work, your returns often come back close to filing deadlines, leaving less time for review, analysis, etc.
Outsourcing is a good alternative when a company physically moves from one state to another, and employees opt not to transfer. Or, if there’s a spin-off and the existing or new company isn’t fully staffed.
Conduct a Self-Assessment
How do you know the best way to go? Start with a self-assessment to understand your current situation. Determine:
- How many employees can you rely on?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Are you fully leveraging your tax technology to automate manual processes?
- What are the characteristics of your tax picture?
- Complex international calculations?
- Large state filing footprint
Once you’ve done the evaluation, dig into your options. If you outsource or co-source, be realistic about unplanned expenses, long-term contracts, potential delays, and a third party’s understanding of your business. If you decide to loan-staff, know that training may take some time.
In the end, go with the choice that helps your tax department both control its destiny and support your company with the best possible tax work.
If you think loan-staffing might serve you well, consider loan-staffing services from Corptax. Our tax experts know Corptax and hit the ground running. Download an info sheet or contact Corptax at 800.966.1639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.