Case study

Data transformation company Informatica trusts ONESOURCE with tax data Recognizing that data quality was one of the biggest tax challenges they faced, Informatica turned to Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE

It takes one to know one, they say. As a data driven provider of trusted answers and a respected partner in business, Thomson Reuters sees a lot of themselves in Informatica®.

Informatica (NYSE: INFA), an Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader, empowers businesses to realize the transformative power of data. They pioneered new categories of software and services powered by AI and a cloud-first, cloud-native, end-to-end data management platform that connects, manages, and unifies data across any multi-cloud, hybrid system, empowering enterprises to modernize and advance their data strategies.

Recognizing that data quality was one of the biggest tax challenges they faced, Informatica’s Director of Global Transaction Tax, Rob Newlin, turned to Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE. ONESOURCE calculates, records, and reports indirect tax into a centrally secured enterprise cloud that allows Informatica’s tax team to integrate their systems with configured rules applicable to their business processes globally.

When companies don’t leverage the type of indirect tax automation that ONESOURCE provides, they can be exposed to increased audit risk and lost capital associated with data quality issues and inconsistent tax results. Without ONESOURCE, IT departments are also faced with the tremendous challenge of keeping systems up to date and responding to ad hoc requests for indirect tax information that result from rapidly changing business and statutory requirements.

Prior to implementing ONESOURCE, the Informatica tax team had only automated — and been responsible for — the management of Informatica’s indirect tax needs in the U.S. and Canada. Everywhere outside the U.S. and Canada, indirect tax rates and rules were maintained manually within the ERP. According to Rob, “It was primarily the IT department working with the local controllers to maintain those systems.”

ONESOURCE gave Informatica’s tax department the ability to bring global indirect tax processes under one view, centralized to provide more visibility and consistency to indirect tax determination. This also forced the tax department to collaborate more closely with their local finance teams and provided a higher level of transparency should they need to respond to audits.

Partnership with Oracle

Informatica kicked off a global business transformation project in October 2016; a key element of that project was upgrading to Oracle Cloud ERP starting in November 2017. Opportunity and timing were significant drivers behind the decision to implement a new tax solution.

The strong partnership Thomson Reuters has with Oracle was a major reason Informatica trusted and ended up selecting the ONESOURCE Determination solution.

Before deciding on a new tax solution, Informatica used an on-premise, third-party solution —for the U.S. and Canada — as well as the ERP system to manage indirect tax determination, both of which gave the IT teams greater control. Yet, when the finance or tax departments requested changes, such as when rates or rules needed an update, those departments had no choice but to rely solely on IT to make the changes in what was hopefully a timely manner.

The Oracle Cloud ERP implementation was the ideal time for Informatica to simultaneously implement ONESOURCE Determination Enterprise Cloud, a perfect fit for its global indirect tax calculation needs.

Keeping up with regulatory changes

Tax legislation changes frequently. Keeping up with those changes can be difficult — a challenge that is compounded when a business must also quickly adapt to constantly evolving economic and operating environments, especially in the world of technology and data management.

When a tax department relies solely on generic internal systems to manage its indirect tax obligations, those legislative changes can be missed or complicated to implement. Even when a tax department stays current with indirect tax changes that impact its organization, IT may still be involved to push those changes into the transaction systems.

IT departments that are associated with major digitization or transformational projects are already addressing large volumes of system updates and shifting priorities. Indirect tax updates may not be a top priority and delays can result in retroactive adjustments to fix errors that not only affect the tax team, but also billing, credit, and collections.

Because Informatica uses ONESOURCE, they can be confident that the changes impacting indirect tax rules and rates used in their business are being continually monitored and kept current by Thomson Reuters. The peace of mind that ONESOURCE Determination provides means that Rob and the tax team can focus on other indirect tax priorities and, when changes are made, he knows indirect taxes on invoices will continue to be accurate.

ONESOURCE also helps to identify transaction data entry and quality errors.

According to Rob, “ONESOURCE makes Informatica’s transaction data better. Sometimes, invoices generated from the transaction system are wrong, but not because ONESOURCE made the wrong decision. It’s because the data entry was incorrect in the first place. ONESOURCE helps identify gaps in the data entry process at Informatica and brings tax and other departments closer together globally to figure out how to close those gaps. As an example, we centralized all indirect tax maintenance with ONESOURCE, which [allows] me to stay in touch with other regions that were previously maintaining indirect tax rules and rates locally.”

Expansion efforts that drive growth

ONESOURCE also allows the tax department to support growth and expansion efforts across the business. Not long ago, the indirect tax team Rob led at Informatica was only managing tax in the U.S. and Canada. After the initial implementation of ONESOURCE, Rob’s team was able to efficiently manage indirect tax determinations in roughly 30 countries — and has since expanded ONESOURCE into more.

Thomson Reuters helped with the initial implementation through support and professional services and provided sufficient training for Rob’s team to independently expand ONESOURCE into the additional countries. 

Informatica’s plans for the future are also important to note. Rob is ramping up for electronic filing and invoicing, two key initiatives for many international tax departments dealing with tax authority mandates, such as the Making Tax Digital initiative in the United Kingdom. To address these growing digital tax requirements, as well as Informatica’s continued business growth, Rob plans to hire more indirect tax professionals and leverage additional ONESOURCE functionality.

Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE enterprise cloud solutions provide small businesses up to multinational organizations with a single, unified tax and trade engine that automates the ever-evolving tax landscape. As Thomson Reuters turns to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as part of a multi-cloud strategy, ONESOURCE helps simplify processes and elevate performance for Oracle customers.

Cloud-first solutions, working better together

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