Technology is an important driver for worldwide, real-time tax compliance, yet it can be complicated to understand and implement. For CRUSH AUSTIN 2017, Avalara’s national tax compliance conference May 2–3 in Austin, Texas, we sat down with one of the conference speakers, Kid Misso, senior director of solution consulting at Avalara, to find out more about his topic, what attendees will learn, and what he is most looking forward to at this year’s conference.

Accounting professionals and business owners are attending CRUSH 2017; why would they need to know more about indirect tax technology to better serve their customers or get their job done?

Global indirect tax compliance is a highly complicated mix of legal, process, technology, and human capital challenges. As treasuries across the world continue to look more and more to indirect tax for revenue, the pace of change is growing. It is becoming much more difficult to manage without dedicated technology support.

The title for your session at CRUSH AUSTIN is “The Future of Indirect Tax Technology.” What are the key concepts you hope attendees take home?

First, we’ll cover the changing nature of global indirect tax, including the acceleration of legislative, process, and technology changes that place ever-greater burdens on businesses to comply. Second, we’ll discuss the impact new technology has on business models, the indirect tax process, and future technologies.

Why do you feel businesses ignore indirect tax technology?

The distributed nature of many global businesses means that local finance teams often carry the burden of country or regional compliance. In turn, teams build complex, local, and usually manual solutions to address their compliance needs. As businesses become more global, and cost management drives the need for centralized global finance operations, it is no longer possible to manage compliance operations this way. What we need is automation technology that allows standard processes to be applied across very diverse regional- and country-specific compliance requirements.

How do you feel technology helps speed indirect tax compliance and reporting?

Indirect tax is about applying complex legal requirements to every purchase and sale made, so you need to be able to understand the fast-changing legislation and react quickly to translate these needs into system configurations that can accurately determine, record, and report taxes across the world. Traditionally, tax has been poorly supported by technology, relying on manual spreadsheets and local country expertise. As businesses grow more quickly and become more international, these approaches are no longer sufficient, and thus dedicated technology is needed.

What is one of the points from your session you think is the most impactful?

Just how different the approaches to indirect tax compliance are across the world.

What are you looking forward to most at CRUSH AUSTIN?

2017 is an unprecedented year for global tax change, with a shift away from self-assessed, periodic, and summary level compliance toward electronic invoice level compliance. I am looking forward to catching up with our customers and discussing how they are preparing for these changes.

Join Kid Misso for his session, “The Future of Indirect Tax Technology,” on May 3. For more information on CRUSH AUSTIN 2017, visit our website that includes all conference sessions, speaker bios, location information, after-hours activities, and more!