How workflow engines increase the value of tax data
Do you have confidence in your data? A workflow engine can give you a methodology for owning and managing your tax data so that its value and validity increase as it travels across the tax lifecycle. The more your data is validated across the different systems in a tax workflow engine, the more confident you can be that it is valuable and accurate.
Many organizations still struggle with fundamental challenges around capturing, integrating, and analyzing the data needed to complete their tax computations. Source data is typically stored in multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems — and some of that data may be missing. Tax teams may also use manual processes and spreadsheets to collect and analyze data. At a tactical level, these challenges can lead to hours wasted, repetitive data entry and manipulation work, and errors that can cascade across calculations. At a strategic level, they mean that global tax departments lack confidence in the data they need to do their jobs. This leaves them out of step with enterprise business strategies and makes it difficult for them to communicate the value they provide. A workflow engine can help you overcome these challenges.
How does a workflow engine work?
Workflow engines bring data into a pipeline of systems, where it can be cleaned, validated, and enhanced. Each time that data is validated by a different system, it gains value and accuracy — and its value is compounded when it is aggregated into a single global tax repository; used in standardized, globally aligned processes; integrated and automated; and then fed into a tax technology strategy and road map.
As a result, your tax team can trust and understand your data. Not only does this make it easier for you to defend it in an audit, but you can confidently use that data for risk planning and advice to your organization, making your team a valued partner in the business.
Benefits of achieving a seamless data flow
You can achieve the following benefits using a workflow engine:
- Increased efficiency: Reduce the amount of time and cost spent collecting, managing, and transforming tax data by around 50%.* Spend your time on value-added work, such as data review and analytics.
- Better data: Provide the business and your tax team with transparency around processes and a single version of data truth they can use to make informed decisions.
- Improved controls: Leverage standardized processes and automation to reduce duplicative work, error, and risk. Get the right level of data you need for tax planning and forecasting faster and more easily.
- A scalable solution: Harness the principles of data lakes, warehouses, and marts to scale with your growth. A scalable solution lets you accept large volumes of data in myriad formats, begin applying validations, and then zero in on the strategy that works for that data type, increasing your flexibility.
- Reduced vendor fees: Reduce the fees you pay to third parties for tax compliance outsourcing and co-sourcing services by 25% to 35%* while getting more value for your spend.
- Accelerated cycle times: Reduce end-to-end tax compliance and provision cycle times by approximately 25% to 30%*, matching pace with digital business and market and regulatory change.
Extract more value from your data with the right architecture
Achieving this state takes time, a solid strategy, and a phased approach. An experienced partner can help you capture more value from tax data by implementing a scalable architecture with a standardized workflow engine. The right partner will work with you to:
- Review the current state of your architecture. First, it’s important to fully understand the current state of your tax department’s technology architecture, the tools you use, current pain points, objectives, and requirements.
- Design the tax architecture you envision for the future. Your partner will help you design a solution that enhances your performance by connecting all your data sources, processes, and people. Connectivity to third-party analytical and visualization tools is also important, so you can build a process to suit the needs of your organization.
- Find the right tax data management software. A good tax data management software solution, such as Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE™ DataFlow, helps you standardize, organize, and optimize your data at every step. The solution should give you greater visibility and control of your existing tax packages, offer additional structured storage, and enable your clients and partners to use a simple and familiar Excel interface to enter tax data.
- Implement a powerful workflow engine. A workflow engine such as Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE™ Workflow Manager will standardize your processes, streamline task and due date management, integrate process controls, and allow for effective collaboration.
- Build your own tax data repository. Core to this process is developing a centralized global tax repository that will serve as a single version of truth for all your tax data. A data repository such as Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE™ DataHub provides a broker capability within your platform to ingest, classify, validate, store, and access all of your data. The data is collected only once, automated, and then integrated across all the tax systems and processes you use.
How Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE adds value to your tax data
Thomson Reuters offers the power of ONESOURCE WorkFlow Manager and ONESOURCE DataFlow software to help you optimize key processes and data management. You gain document management capabilities, use standardized processes to manage tax responsibilities, and track the progression of work against key deadlines.
Our partnership with Alteryx also brings great advantages. Together we handle data collection and transformation, and load and prepare your data for enhanced reporting and analytics. Alteryx brings all your business’s data at your fingertips: enhanced scenario modeling, streamlined trend analysis, and proactive planning to be nimbler in the face of change. Customers were able to eliminate 90% of manual effort within the quarter with a streamlined implementation process, setting themselves up for optimization for years to come.
ONESOURCE DataFlow provides advanced Excel capabilities, enabling you to create secure, standardized templates that you can use to distribute, collect, track, store, and extricate data from your repository. The data that is entered into your tax packages is cloud-based, enabling you to repurpose it as needed. Any changes that you make to one tax package can be applied to others, even if they are live, keeping data and processes standardized. Finally, the system’s rollover capabilities save time as you begin work on filings for the next quarter or year.
If you want to showcase increased efficiency, comprehensive automation and analytical skills using ONESOURCE and Alteryx, now is the time to enter the ONESOURCE Innovation challenge!
When you adopt a stable, trusted workflow, you not only speed up data and tax processes, you also increase their value. Tap your greatest resource with confidence to drive change, scale tax operations, and be a better partner to your business.
Start today by learning more about data management software for corporate tax businesses.
For more articles to help you transform your tax department, read our latest blog posts:
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- Entering a New Era: The Future of Corporate Tax Management