Brian Tully – 2014 40 Under 40 Honoree
Sep. 08, 2014
Brian Tully – 39
V.P. & Head, ONESOURCE Transfer Pricing
What are the key areas of your firm that have seen the greatest change/challenge in workflow over the past few years? (Or, what are the key challenges you see firms facing?)
In today’s iPhone world, software needs to be intuitive and solve a user’s initial problem with functionality. Workflow has become synonymous with user experience. Over the past two years, we have created seamless integration of process and functionality. We guide remote global accountants through simple step-by-step processes that accomplish a very complex tax need. In transfer pricing, we are using a simple workflow process to comply with new OECD regulations. This allows both the experienced transfer pricing expert and the part-time user to comply with global regulations.
To what extent have you and your practice/company embraced cloud computing?
For the past 10 years, most of our solutions have been cloud based. Around the world, companies are frustrated with the lack of partnership or cost of their internal IT networks. Cloud solutions offer faster implementation and better customer support at a lower cost. This does lead to challenges expanding internationally where cloud based computing is not as readily adopted. The perfect model is a cloud based solution that can also be installed internally to fit a client’s needs. Giving your clients a choice is usually the best approach.
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it a better place?
To improve employee engagement and collaboration across businesses, the transfer pricing division of Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE has started a number of fun activities that join the group together. We’ve had yoga in the office, a corporate softball league, a corporate dodge ball league, in-office holiday celebrations, and even joined as a group to watch the US soccer team during the World Cup. At each event, we discuss a brief overview of business performance and goals for the company. These bonding activities have helped the cross functional areas of sales, consulting, marketing, HR, and technology development work as a team instead of in siloes.
In what ways do you participate in either the professional community or your local community to help others?
I’ve been an active supporter in the Hoboken business community. I currently work on technology initiatives including Tech Meet-Ups and developing a venture capital & startup support network for Hoboken based companies. I’ve also supported large businesses migrating from metropolitan areas to Hoboken. I was also a speaker at the Bridges networking group community event.
What major changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
Innovative technology is a major component in advancing the accounting profession. We see a number of clients that have been able to automate processes that were completely manual just 2-3 years ago. Tax professionals can have complex data easily processed in seconds. Reports can be generated in real-time. Tasks that used to take months or weeks can be reduced to just minutes or hours. With this shift, professionals are now using their extra time to review data and reports strategically, instead of simply processing them.
In the future I think we’ll see more demand and adoption of technology that allows professionals to see transaction level details for almost all tax calculations, instead of high level calculations. With high speed automated processing and data management, with lots reporting options on top of it, users are able to get to the real underlying transaction details instead of topside. Most people are still doing this from the topside, but eventually I think we’ll find it becomes expected that everyone will be able to drill down to the transaction level with click of a button.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
Over the past two years, I’ve filed two patents in the tax accounting industry. Both patents are whitespace opportunities to create products that help tax accountants perform daily functions currently performed in Excel. My team is always looking out for new, innovative ways to perform tax functions smarter, faster, and more efficient than the year before. Using this strategy, we create tools that will be used for the next twenty years, reshaping the way accounting professionals do business.
What is your career philosophy?
Throughout my career, I’ve developed three career philosophies:
- Always listen to the client.
- Grow or die.
- Treat everyone with respect.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why?
I’d have to say UBER. UBER has revolutionized an entire industry in a couple of years. For over 80 years, the taxi industry has not changed significantly. People stand on a street corner and raise their hand. With a very simple phone app, UBER has not only accomplished the initial task, but has also made the experience enjoyable. People can now track their car pickup from their restaurant table or inside their house. There is significant headwind from government regulators and taxi unions, but for the customer UBER is a huge win. Any innovation that improves millions of lives globally is one to be admired.
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
Olive McShane is one of my most important mentors. She is a single woman with two children and started her own PR firm. Through hard work and dedication she grew to a 12 person firm. She always made time to train employees and talk to clients. Her passion for creating a good client deliverable forced her to be the first person in the office and last person to leave. We never saw her stress in the office and she still balanced family commitments. Her employees knew they were supported and were allowed to take risks. When they failed, it was used as a review case for addition training. Most of the principles I learned from her are core to my leadership style. Hopefully I will continue to live up to the example she set.
Read more about this year’s 40 Under 40 Honorees.