By now, you’re likely aware that centralized data is a core element of a robust property tax management strategy. Data centralization helps streamline processes, improve data accuracy, and enhance security.
But there’s more to it than that. We spoke to property tax professionals about the biggest advantages they experienced as a result of data centralization. In this post, we explore their top answers.
One of the key functions of property tax teams is to pull together the data from both real estate and property tax sources to build a high-level picture of the portfolio. But this is a challenging task. In part, that’s because portfolio analyses require data from so many sources.
A Property Tax Manager at a major global retailer said he needed to be able to pull store-level data, including store number, type of store, square footage, and grand opening dates. These data points were key for forecasts and estimations, so any variation or inaccuracies would have a big impact on projections. But they also aren’t “typical” property tax data points. As such, he found himself needing to regularly work with team members from other departments to fill in the gaps.
Without a centralized property tax management solution, simple reporting would drag on for days (or weeks). With software, however, it becomes much faster to call on the data points you need in a single, electronic location. Not only does this make everyone more efficient, but also frees up the Property Tax team to provide more regular, consistent reports that are necessary for strategic planning.
If you’re in property tax, you’re likely being peppered with questions all the time. Queries like,
While each on their own isn’t a necessarily difficult question, hunting down the data for each takes time. And as property tax becomes more cross-functional, the number of these requests you’re getting every day is only going to grow.
Being able to quickly and accurately answer these questions relies on your ability to access the data fast. If you can’t, it not only hinders your colleagues’ workflows – it eats into your time.
When data is centralized in a property tax management system like itamlink, it’s easy to quickly look up those tidbits of information – like how many stores you have in a particular state – or run report that shows you just how much you paid in property tax last year.
While the property tax teams we spoke with all agreed they hope to one day be paperless, that’s just not the reality right now. Bills, assessment notices, appeal documentation, data from other departments – those are just a few of the examples of data still being served largely in paper format. Property tax teams agree that paper documents are difficult to manage and may be housed in different departments.
As such, electronic document management is key for ensuring you can access the original documents you received by mail when it’s needed. Ideally, documents should be centralized and also associated with the relevant properties and parcels. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending minutes or even hours tracking down an original tax bill or appeal document from decades ago.
Documents must also be easy to retrieve and extract. Otherwise, conducting audits, producing historical reports, and other regular tasks become monumental projects. It can take days or week of back-and-forth with various departments collecting and analyzing data. With dedicated software, you simply have to run a report.
Consider, for example, your company is going through the process of selling properties. Toward the end of the transaction, closing documents (including tax bills and assessment notices) must be provided. Centralized data makes it easy to access and share these documents. On a day-to-day level, Property Tax Managers are finding themselves needing to access original documents more often, such as the original copy of a lease, to carry out their duties. And legal teams are accessing documents to close deals and acquisitions.
These are just a few of the advantages of centralized data for managing your property tax processes. Of course, it varies by organization and industry.
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