May 19, 2020

Your smartphone can help you save money on Black Friday

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Bizclik Editor
3 min
Your smartphone can help you save money on Black Friday

The November edition of the Business Review USA is now live!

By: Lester Bowers

According to the 2013 Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey, 41 percent of shoppers will be hitting up their favorite stores from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Beyond the devotion of these enthusiastic respondents, general participation in Black Friday this year is projected to reach a five-year high, notes Accenture. In other words, if you plan to slip out of your turkey stupor long enough to get that sweet flat-screen TV deal, expect to have a lot of fierce competition. Technology will be your ultimate tool for making this consumer holiday as painless as possible.

Mobile Shopping

If you get to the store and find that your flat-screen TV is sold out or selling for a higher price than you expected, you can whip out your T-mobile phone and check out the competition in seconds. Or better yet, enjoy mobile shopping from the comfort of your own home on Black Friday. In 2012, nearly six in ten shoppers used smartphones to look for Black Friday deals, according to IBM.

Ethan Cohen, CEO of Easy2 Technologies, said that mobile and tablet shopping reached a critical mass last year. According to his company's research, traffic from smartphones and tablets jumped an astounding 155 percent on Black Friday in 2012. Since this past August, mobile shopping activity has grown by 49 percent. Don't settle for a lesser deal on Black Friday. Do what your fellow shoppers are doing and use your phone to fact check and order online.

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Apps to Download

For those who prefer the convenience of a more tech-savvy approach to mobile shopping, there are tons of apps available for streamlining the comparing and shopping process.

Black Friday App (Free, iOS, Android):The Black Friday app by hooks users up with the latest Black Friday ads, personal wish list capabilities and connections with even more deals and sweepstakes.

TGI Black Friday (Free, iOS, Android):The Washington Post called this app a "number one shopping essential." Search for items to compare prices and create your shopping list right from the app. TGI Black Friday boasts early release of ads, while also making it easy to share your list with social media for some gift ideas.

Black Friday by (Free, iOS, Android):One of the most organization-friendly apps on the market, Black Friday by sorts deals by the item's category, store category, and price. You can even allow bargain alerts to prompt you right away when a certain item goes on sale.

Store-Specific Apps

Businesses know that competition is at its peak during Black Friday, so they're offering plenty of incentives to get customers to stay loyal to their brand. For example, Walmart has recently updated its own app to accommodate hardcore Black Friday shoppers. The app allows users to scan barcodes to determine the accurate price while shopping and find the products they want at a local store with GPS technology.

Make sure to download apps for the big retail stores, such as Target, Sears, JCPenney, and Best Buy to quickly compare major competitors. Amazon is another must-download, brand-specific app to cover a wide range of deals and access less common gift ideas.

About the Author: Lester is an app developer who is always the first in line for the latest smartphone release.

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

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.

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