COVID-19: UPS donates US$481,100 to Indiana/Kentucky region
In a recent announcement made by UPS, the company has donated a further US$481,100 to non-profit organisations in the Kentucky and Southern Indiana region of the US to support their relief efforts in combating COVID-19. This donation is in addition to the US$297,000 UPS donation earlier in the year to support the efforts locally.
Recipients of the 39 regional grants include the likes of: the University of Louisville, Dare to Care, WaterStep, Uspiritus, Ronald McDonald House - Kentucky, Volunteers of America, Association of Community Ministries, Scarlet Hope, SOS International, Family Scholar House, and Home of the Innocents.
The money donated by UPS will support the critical COVID-19 operations of the companies receiving the grants.
In the latest funding round by UPS, the University of Louisville received the largest grant, which will help to fund promising research into blocking the virus from infecting human cells. Originally its work was developed as a cancer treatment by researchers Paula Bates, John Trent and Dr. Don Miller.
“I deeply appreciate the gift from UPS that helps support my work,” commented Bates, a professor of medicine. “It is with gifts such as this that we will be able to advance our research and our ability to treat the novel coronavirus.”
The recipients of the grant witnessed a surge in the need for services directly related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with concerns that some of the important community resources were underfunded and unable to meet growing needs. AS a result UPS’s donations will help to fund the growing needs. “Being a good corporate citizen is about helping our community with purposeful giving. Working with these community organizations to identify immediate needs allows us to provide resources that give the largest impact,” UPS Public Affairs and Community Relations Supervisor Justin Heckel said.
Another recipient of the grant Dare to Care - which helps to feed the hungry in 13 counties in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio - is also tightening its belt when it comes to the pandemic. For every dollar of the grant, received by Dare to Care three meals were donated, as a result 75,000 meals were served to local families.
“Dare to Care is so excited to be a recipient of a grant from UPS, helping us supply thousands of meals to those in the community. UPS employees donated more than 7,000 volunteer hours last year to help us with our cause,” added Annette Ball, Chief Programs Officer of Dare to Care.
Recognised by the governments of countries around the world as a ‘critical infrastructure business’, UPS deliveries are saving lives and livelihoods.
“The company offers its heartfelt thanks to the 495,000 UPSers around the world, whose work is essential during the pandemic, and who continue to deliver safely every day,” concluded in a company statement.
Image source: UPS
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.