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Case study

A harmonized future: How one tax director cuts days off his client’s process with a click of a button 

As a director at KPMG, Andrew Maryott — also, 2019 CIP Taxologist of the Year — oversees the delivery of tax services to business clients around the world. Clients seeking more effective, efficient tax management frequently come to him with a mandate to do more with less, which often means finding ways to automate time-intensive manual processes that prevent his clients from keeping pace with the demands of a modern tax department.

One of the main issues facing Maryott’s clients is uncertainty about how to move forward. “They know they need to update their systems and automate certain processes,” he says, “but they just don’t know how.”

To get them on the right track, Maryott often guides his clients toward implementation of the Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE platform and its robust suite of tax tools, including DataFlow and Workflow Manager.

Solving data management challenges for clients

“The first thing we do is really listen to the client to find out what their needs and concerns are, what pain points and problems they have, and what they can automate, both on the front end and back end,” says Maryott. Budget constraints are almost always an issue, he says, but data management is typically the biggest struggle—“getting the data in and out”—and clients often don’t know where to start.

“Clients want to know how to get the data in, but the data is spread across multiple platforms throughout their business,” says Maryott. “They also want to get the data out, so they can present it accordingly to the chief tax officer, CFO, and so on. ONESOURCE fills a lot of those needs.”

According to Maryott, clients who have yet to automate are often caught in a cycle of manually entering data into Excel spreadsheets over and over again, then having to deal with bloated spreadsheets that take longer and longer to load, and which may or may not crash. In this situation, “clients spend so much of their time on the front end trying to fix the worksheet that they can’t validate the numbers. 90 percent of their time is spent trying to copy and paste data into a worksheet and then fixing errors and links.”

Streamlining time-intensive, manual processes

ONESOURCE DataFlow solves the data-collection problem by providing users with a familiar, easy-to-use Excel interface to enter relevant tax data, which is automatically organized and optimized for use in other ONESOURCE tools via the platform’s centralized, web-based architecture. Maryott’s clients particularly like “the checks and controls,” he says, as well as the ability to roll forward deferred assets and run multiple planning scenarios. ONESOURCE Income Tax (OIT) and Tax Provision (OTP) are the primary tax modules Maryott uses. Data sets from those and other tools are then managed through ONESOURCE Workflow Manager, which provides a suite of collaborative organizational tools that allow tax teams to track and analyze multiple projects from start to finish. 

Timely access to current information

Once clients are set up on a ONESOURCE system and learn what it can do, the time savings and other capabilities suddenly available to them can be transformational. Maryott has many clients who end up cutting days off their close process. Once, one of his clients spent three frustrating days trying to transform a trial balance in Excel into something readable for a presentation to upper management. Using two ONESOURCE tools—Alteryx and OTP—“they were able to transform that trial balance in about twenty minutes,” he says.

In addition to smoother processes and lots of saved time, what Maryott’s clients find most valuable is their newfound ability to pull real-time data and analyze it for patterns and trends that have more strategic value for the organization’s they serve. “They’re able to run a dataflow or workflow with real-time data in the general ledger, analyze it, and have the most current information available. That’s the biggest savings,” Maryott says.

Keeping clients smiling with ONESOURCE

As a tax consultant, Maryott recommends ONESOURCE to his clients not only because it is so easy to use and solves so many of the problems faced by systems-challenged tax departments—but also because it makes his clients happy. “If I had unhappy clients, I wouldn’t be here today,” he insists. ONESOURCE helps keep them smiling.

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