The Challenge of Data: How ONESOURCE Cut One Tax Department’s Processes in Half


State Income Tax Manager Lashell Estes Shares How ONESOURCE Helped Her Tax Department Process Data and Deal With Tax Reform

In her role as State Income Tax Manager at WestRock Company, LaShell Estes says the biggest challenge she faced was data. Her tax department has many sources of data and it was difficult to bring them all together. When selecting tax and accounting processes, Estes looked at the biggest pain points for the entire tax department and focused on how she could alleviate them in the fastest, quickest and most efficient way.

WestRock chose ONESOURCE as their solution and have been a client of Thomson Reuters for the past five years. And within the last year, their tax department implemented DataFlow, revamped ONESOURCE Tax Provision, ONESOURCE Income Tax, ONESOURCE State Apportionment, leveraged Data Query, Active Workpapers, and Audit Manager. ONESOURCE pulls in data quickly and consistently, allowing Estes to use the suite all year round. It has allowed them to cut their processes in half. They have found ways to stretch GLM for DataFlow, OTP, Active Workpapers, and with this level of engagement, they are now, what Estes calls, “superusers.”  

This came in handy when the company dealt with tax reform. As a fiscal year taxpayer, the company faced the challenge of three different sequential data sets in order to complete their provision. Being able to isolate the different rate changes, roll it up and see the entire picture, and layering in the payable module proved to be difficult. Estes said OSA was a great tool for modeling, working with data sets and seeing their impact on deference and tax liability.

Estes likes that ONESOURCE has been great both for its cost savings and efficiency. The relationship WestRock built with the solution allowed them to fine-tune it and tailor it to their processes, needs, timing, and demand.

 “ONESOURCE is the product you need to have if you want to have a great tax department,” Estes said. “Are you going to be a tax department that uses technology or are we going to be an innovative tax department?" For WestRock, an investment in technology is an investment in ONESOURCE. She hopes for her team to continue to grow and build as ONESOURCE grows and builds and capitalize on the ability to use different betas.