LYCEUM: J. Richard Stamm Outlines Industry Landscape

The current tax environment is one of constantly increasing regulations, a strong economy, significant merger and acquisition activities, globalization, and a focus on internal controls and financial reporting accuracy, J. Richard Stamm, National Partner-In-Charge of Tax, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP told students during his April Lyceum presentation.

According to Stamm, the top two concerns of corporate tax professionals are that they either want a reduced tax rate or a reduced risk.

“Our corporate clients are very focused on the risk they take on,” he said. “It is the number one area of concern for corporate tax directors.” Other areas of concern are the increasing focus and expectations on financial reporting disclosures and transparency in areas related to disclosures to the SEC, IRS and others.

“Our clients are incredibly understaffed to deal with these issues,” said Stamm. “Our profession has under-hired for the past ten years and the net effect is not enough people with 8-10 years of experience.”

The current PwC tax practice is approximately $2 billion. With 7,000 employees in the U.S., the number of entry-level employees has doubled in the past four years.  “The only reason we’re hiring 1,000 new grads this year is that we can’t get 1,200,” Stamm said.

We are seeing more demand for domestic tax preparation from corporations, he said.  Because of globalization, a company may have actually used five different accounting firms in five different companies. Stamm prefers to run the tax practice as one organization, relying on talent in geographic locations as needed to provide superior client service.

“As leader of our practice, that’s a speech I give a lot