Tax & Accounting Blog

Data Management Podcast Series: Why Data Management Processes are Priceless to This Tax Department

Compliance, Forecasting, Global Tax Compliance, ONESOURCE, Tax Provision, US Income Tax Compliance, Year End June 5, 2012

What if you could improve visibility into — and control over — your company’s tax data and tax-related systems and processes? Overall, how could you benefit from standardizing calculations? 

A year and a half ago, these are the questions that one global tax department looked into. Challenged with a material weakness and improving their spreadsheet-based tax process, they were forced to re-evaluate their data management strategy worldwide.  I sat down with Elaine Lundin, Manager, Global Tax Accounting at a global automotive manufacturer to hear what steps her company took to eliminate error, accelerate tax cycles and improve data collection and integration between their global return and provision process. Tune into our Data Management Podcast to hear about this dramatic transformation.

You’ll hear Elaine’s step-by-step account retooling their data management processes by first developing an intimate knowledge of their processes and then identifying who was going to be in the process.  They then embarked on a plan to explore tax technology to see what innovative solutions could help expedite their process, as well as ensure accuracy in their calculations. Ultimately, they chose to leverage ONESOURCE Tax Provision for non-U.S. entities and the ONESOURCE provision and return solution for U.S. entities. This process was divided  into three major areas:

  1. U.S. Provision – includes automated perms and temps where the data is tax sensitized detailed enough out of our HFM implementation.
  2. Global Access module of ONESOURCE Tax Provision – only top 30 material non-US units submit detailed provision submissions.
  3. Pull from Ledger units – units that are not material enough to submit Global Access and we want ONESOURCE Tax Provision to ‘accept’ what is on ledger.

“In terms of results, one significant area of optimization was in our provision and return process. As we implemented the provision software, we also took upon the challenge of making sure we had mapping and integration with our ONESOURCE Income Tax compliance software,” said Elaine.

Benefits are starting to reveal themselves in terms of time, process and accuracy of the computation for this global tax department. In the past, it has taken several months to calculate their provision to return and Elaine expects to see significant time-savings results, especially in the 2011 tax filing season. Another area where they’ve seen benefits is in the area of consulting resources. After being in a material weakness, it took outside knowledge to put this tax department back on track, but after about a year and half,  they’ve  been able to internalize global processes and spread that knowledge to develop very robust managers in other regions who have a great working knowledge of  ONESOURCE Tax Provision.

“One of the other major benefits we’ve seen to our process is that we have one global comprehensive solution. We approached our implementation with the mindset of standardizing as much as possible… and in general we’ve seen between 90-95% of our calculations around the world are standardized.”

To hear her best practice advice for organizations looking to take on similar initiatives, listen to her entire podcast.

Have your own best practices to share on data management? Submit your story today.