You read that title right — when FP&A, accounting, tax, and audit professionals can proficiently read, work with, analyze, and argue with data, they gain superpowers. These powers give you the abilities to complete tasks with incredible speed, make decisions driven by uncanny wisdom, unleash spectacular results for clients, and ultimately gain an astonishing edge on your competitors.
In the real world, getting bitten by a radioactive spider will probably just leave a nasty scar, and jumping into a gamma bomb blast to save the world’s most annoying teenager will definitely kill you. But that doesn’t mean superpowers don’t exist.
With The Economist declaring that data has now replaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource, it’s time for accounting and finance professionals to start unlocking the great power (and, of course, great responsibility) of data and gain the capabilities they need to stay competitive.
Like Steve Rogers, you already have those abilities inside you. You just need a super soldier serum boost to unleash your full data potential.
So what is that secret formula? You’ve likely read countless articles about data literacy initiatives being the key to success in this new age. While data literacy is certainly important, it’s the superpower equivalent of Squirrel Girl’s ability to talk to and mobilize squirrels — useful, but not exactly world-shaking.
To become the hero the accounting and finance world needs, you’ll have to go beyond simple data literacy to achieve data domination. And the only way to do that is with the right analytics platform — one that empowers your organization to easily unleash the value of your data and grab your cape to analyze it, share it, and automate key tasks along the way.
You’re probably thinking, “That all sounds great, but what exactly will these data superpowers allow my organization to do?” Let’s take a look at some specific benefits and use cases across tax, audit, finance, and general accounting—and show you what unlocking your inner data hero really looks like.
Data and analytics superpowers for tax professionals
Tax professionals spend more than 50% of their time gathering tax data and less than 30% on strategic tax analysis. If your organization could flip those numbers, you could transform tax data from a liability into a superpowered asset. When tax professionals dominate data, they can:
- Stop collecting data like an RPG character mining for XP: Reduce time spent manually gathering data, business and legal entity reconciliation, and tax reporting; increase time for higher-value work like performing multiple analyses of transactions.
- Become a data Mr. Clean without shaving your head: Easily clean data from any source, including multiple ERPs, consolidation systems, billing systems, commerce platforms, and more.
- Comply faster than a Star Trek Borg: Get a complete analytical view of audit processes across compliance, fraud detection and investigation, risk assessment, operational performance, and internal controls.
- See flaws better than an Inhuman: Improve efficiency and accuracy to understand anomalies before and after meeting compliance requirements.
- Say “I know” more than Han Solo: Boost confidence in data integrity and in uniting all team members and decision makers around a single source of truth.
None of that happens if you stick with the spreadsheet ways of the past. The right analytics solution can evolve your process to visual, repeatable workflows. That means performing correlation analyses to identify drivers of effective tax rates and disparities between statutory and effective rates. And it means better forecasting of effective and cash taxes, determining optimal transfer pricing patterns, and conducting “what if” analyses ahead of M&As.
Data and analytics superpowers for audit professionals
Using spreadsheets for audits today is like trying to run Starcraft II on your old 386 PC—it just doesn’t work.
But with a modern, superpowered analytics platform, auditors can use intuitive, drag-and-drop interfaces to achieve data domination through experience and experimentation. Code-free and code-friendly platforms provide deeper understanding in the auditing process—no matter your analytics comfort level—and make it easier to identify anomalies and classify potential irregularities.