In the workplace, it’s hard to argue with ideas and actions that deliver real value throughout the enterprise. This is precisely what Taxologists do. Taxologists are the tax professionals who use technology to reduce risk and automate processes.
The outcome of their work transcends their own departments. They improve how tax departments achieve their mandate, and they also streamline work across the entire organization by enabling tax professionals to be more focused on the strategic aspects of their jobs.
The Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Taxologist Awards program recognizes the outstanding tax departments and individuals who have excelled in maximizing effectiveness while driving significant value to their organization. This week, we are highlighting 2015 Taxologist Award winners. Today’s category recognizes a mastery of the knowledge and use of ONESOURCE to maximize tax function effectiveness, data management, and research in tax.
Excellence in Data Management
Joe May, Director, Tax Compliance, VF Corporation
When Joe May joined VF Corporation, the department was using ONESOURCE as a vendor, but they only used basic integration to handle the State Apportionment process, and they still relied heavily on Excel. Joe saw an opportunity to more efficiently coordinate across the three responsible groups. So he set out to create a system that performs real-time tax calculations, which was a new capability for the 110-year-old company, and the results have been staggering.
From a compliance standpoint, more than two months of time for a department of 25 has been eliminated from the Federal consolidated 1120 compliance timeline. The state compliance timeline has been reduced from more than 4 months to 8 weeks. During the 2015 provision season, the federal team was able to complete the provision with a week’s less time. On the international side, Joe’s use of the ONESOURCE platform eliminated more than 40 hours from an 80 hours process.
It was natural for Joe to bring an outside passion to the enterprise because he is always keeping up with technology when he’s off the clock. Joe is an early adopter of the latest and greatest personal technology, from gadgets to software, and he was able to channel this passion toward innovation in the office.
Excellence in Tax Effective Supply Chain Management
Brian Gardner, Global Indirect Tax Senior Manager, Adobe Systems
Brian Gardner and Adobe undertook a global project to transform how they manage indirect tax globally and moved from having tax managed in several systems around the world to a single global solution. Despite the very aggressive timelines due to the EU changes that went into effect on Jan 1, 2015, they were able to deliver a successful project on budget and on time. As part of the project Brian was given global responsibility for indirect tax in addition to VAT.
And the results have been incredible. The compliance that previously took 7 business days to complete has been reduced to one day with ONESOURCE. Moreover, prior to implementation, Adobe had $2M in annual tax writeoffs mainly associated with VAT, which has been reduced to $100K per year (the remaining is a result of master data issues), providing Adobe with $1.9M in annual savings.
Brian’s project succeeded because he was thinking holistically. He saw an opportunity to improve the system by looking beyond the obvious and beyond the scope of his personal responsibilities to see the grand scheme. Brian’s work broke down silos, engaged his colleagues inside and outside of the department, and learned about their experiences with technology. Making connections and identifying opportunities for improvement across the board.
Excellence in Tax Research
Zach Thies, Trust Tax Officer, Dorsey & Whitney Trust Company LLC
A resource on all manner of tax questions, Zach Thies has become an invaluable member of Dorsey & Whitney Trust Company LLC. Client account tax preparation has increased business by a net 13% and 6%, respectively, over the past two years. The tax team headcount has grown and is a significant part of the services offered to clients. The firm credits Zach’s work ethic and great attitude as a significant reason for success.
Over the years, Zach has uncovered numerous tax savings and deferments for the most complex client accounts to gain the trust and respect of the estate planning attorneys. He implemented an alternative reporting method for grantor trusts that hold an interest in a pass-through entity that has numerous state filings. His tax technology has not only let clients keep more of their own money, but also
Zach is being resourceful with more than numbers, seeing opportunity where others see barriers, and leaning into the change, which is a Top Trait of a Taxologist. He wrangled outside experience and applied creatively to the problem at hand.
On behalf of everyone at Thomson Reuters, congratulations, Joe, Brian, and Zach! Thank you for carrying the Taxologist torch.