Sales Tax Management Development: Self-Audits

Part of being a great manager when you lead a sales tax team is keeping your employees engaged. Sales tax can get boring and repetitive for even the most seasoned sales tax professionals and it can be tough on employee retention if you’re not doing what you can to keep employees happy. At the same time, however, you might not have a big budget for employee development or the time built into your sales tax department. So how can you go about making your team’s skills better while using time constructively to help the bottom line? One of the best things you can do to help develop your workers is to complete a self-audit. They’re not for the faint of heart but for employees who like to learn from their mistakes and become better at their jobs, a self-audit can be a good way to keep engaged and pointed towards development goals.

Working with your team to go through a self-audit and coming out the other side more knowledgeable about individual and team weaknesses can make your business and workers stronger. A self-audit process using automated software to comb through past returns for over payments and underpayments makes it faster and easier to get to the productive steps of a self-audit. Instead of spending hours going through receipts and searching for errors, your staff can find problem areas to focus on in minutes. Once you have errors in hand, fixing them is where the good development work begins. Ask your employees to find what lead to mistakes in the return, whether it is software related or employee created.

Checking back through work can provide quite a bit of insight into system limitations, work flow or procedure issues. When employees find and correct filing issues, it’s a better idea to lead them through the process of reflection rather than to just let it end at getting correct returns. Be sure to hold a meeting with individual team members and your group of sales tax professionals to talk about areas that need improvement and how that improvement can be made. Inviting employees to move towards improvement through discussions is a sign of a good leader, notes the Harvard Business Review. Regularly making self-audits part of your department’s development can help employees stay engaged while doing constructive activities for the company. If you’re the only one in your tax department, you can do this on your own too to improve your skills and keep your job interesting.

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