Property tax is becoming increasingly cross-functional. Today, the typical property tax team works regularly with accounting and finance, asset management, operations, and executive teams, among others.
However, it’s clear that when it comes to collaboration and communication, many organizations have room to grow. A report of more than 1,400 corporate executives, employees, and educators found that 86% believed poor collaboration and ineffective communication were responsible for workplace failures.
Without regular, reliable communication between departments, processes can slow and decision-makers may fail to receive important data and insights when they need it. Further, it can lead to a lack of team alignment and reduced team morale.
As property tax teams are asked to supply insights and fulfill data requests across teams and departments, effective communication strategies and data availability are key to their success. Below are three recommendations to improve data availability and communication channels both within your property tax team and with other departments and stakeholders.
A key aspect of increasing collaboration between teams is maintaining a central data repository. This allows teams to streamline data sharing while reducing unnecessary back and forth. What’s more, a central data repository cuts down on data requests that must be fulfilled by individual team members; instead, departments can access the data they need directly, without having to ask someone to fetch it on their behalf.
Property tax teams need to be able to quickly generate reports in a format that can be quickly understood. These reports and key insights are shared with executives and colleagues to aid in strategic tasks and decision-making.
Moreover, as we learned from speaking with industry professionals, property tax teams are regularly asked by their colleagues for specific data points. For example, team members may require numbers or reports on a specific region, tax year, or appeal outcome. Often, these requests come with little notice or lead time, meaning property tax teams are finding the necessary data points or building reports on the fly.
As we’ve said in earlier blog posts, the volume of property tax data is growing and analyzing this data is inherently complex. As such, being able to generate reports that are not only comprehensive, but also concise and easy to understand can be a game-changer for informing business strategy.
But making these types of reports can also be time-consuming, especially when it’s consistently on a one-off basis. As such, software that supports your ability to generate reliable standardized reports, as well as custom ones that reflect your business’s property tax objectives, will help improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency.
Particularly for teams or departments that are regularly sending data back and forth, one of the easiest ways to improve collaboration is to automate data transfer. Property tax and accounting teams, for example, share information with each other all the time. This includes tax bills, assessment notices, and data for forecasts and budgets.
Through integrations and automation, you can set up workflows between systems and reduce manual data entry and duplication errors. What’s more, integrated software solutions typically provide an electronic audit trail so it’s clear what was completed when and by whom. Moreover, software that allows you to set up designated approvers in the system ensures that tax bills are seen and signed off by the right person.
Cross-functional collaboration comes down to enhancing internal communication. With enhanced data availability, teams can break down information silos, improve efficiency, and streamline communication. When teams can easily access the information they need from other departments using a central data repository, decisions can be made quickly and effectively, helping organizations to achieve strategic goals and business priorities.
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