2020 Tax Transformer Awards
Congratulations to the 2020 Tax Transformer Awards Grand Prize Winner!
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. – Christopher Bangit, Tax Technology Manager
Compliance Transforms Apportionment
The Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) apportionment process relied on 80+ Excel® spreadsheets in order to analyze and adjust apportionment factors. A copy and paste method of disparate financial data was used to compile each entity’s workpaper and required manipulation in Excel before importing calculated amounts to CSC Corptax®.
Other challenges the team faced:
- Manually analyzing data sources through formulas and linked workbooks which questioned data integrity
- Lack of traceability between workpapers and Corptax due to final results being submitted
- Uncertainty of Excel macro usage placed a risk on calculations
WBA created a holistic solution by standardizing workpaper templates and integrating CSC Corptax® Office and Data Exchange in order to:
- Reduce workpapers from 80+ to 6 to perform the calculation
- Create tax-sensitized state GL accounts before loading into Corptax
- Create apportionment adjustment codes to facilitate book-to-tax work
- Push and pull data to validate and load manual adjustments
- Centralize business rules that pertain to WBA
Corptax Office and Data Exchange transformed WBA’s apportionment process by enabling team members to focus on more value-added compliance tasks. Additional benefits include:
- Elimination of ~800 hours of non-value-added compliance activities
- Immediate validation of book data between federal and state trial balances
- ~ 2 hours to automatically post recurring reclasses and special allocations for all entities
- Enhanced usage of out-of-the-box apportionment reports in Corptax
- Ability to query data for state tax strategy and planning scenarios
- Added transparency and documentation for audit support
Congratulations to the 2020 Tax Transformer Awards Finalists!
Altagas Service (US) – Kimberly Bell, Tax Manager
One Team, One Touch
After Altagas Service acquired a new gas company with two major subsidiaries, we were tasked with combining provision and compliance from three different companies. Disparate systems made it challenging to consistently train and update team members during the quarterly and annual close.
The provision needed to be reviewed and reported at the Altagas Service (US) level, which presented the following issues:
- Merging two Excel® files together to report the consolidated tax disclosures
- Providing the information by segment and/or utility vs non-utility, which required excess hours from the tax team
- Addressing these challenges with our tax teams split between Michigan and Washington, D.C.
When completing the tax returns, one team recalculated the tax adjustments for inclusion in a separate income tax compliance software, and manually entered them. After the return was completed:
- True-up was entered into two different provision modules to ensure the accumulated deferred income tax balances were accurate
- Journal entries for the provision-to-return true-ups for all companies were completed in Excel and entered into the general ledger accounting system; a process that required a 30-day commitment from the entire tax department.
The CSC Corptax® team was stellar in helping us meet the goal of implementing CSC Corptax® Provision and Compliance in less than 6 months.
We actively use Corptax to generate provisions and post to the general ledger system. A single system ensures we touch data just once. Now, the team:
- Reports with detailed information by segment and/or utility vs non-utility companies using very specific “utility” accounting
- Reports tax information based on the software’s industry-specific FERC accounting
- Determines consolidated results without the need to merge Excel files
- Generates current taxes payable, current tax expense, accumulated deferred income taxes, and deferred tax expense within minutes of uploading monthly GL balances
We anticipate the process will be shortened by at least 25% – 40% this year from improvements, given that all the data is in one software.
Boston Scientific – Robin Simpson, Senior Manager, Tax Operations (Technology)
Free Yourself from Excel!
Using Excel® to calculate current E&P adjustments required constant updates with new accounts and new entities. It also took multiple days to maintain the import function and to process the import. It was so large and cumbersome (awful) that we only used it once a year. Importing current E&P adjustments took an entire day.
We automated many E&P adjustments using Corptax Automated Adjustments, allowing us to post and review all at once.
With the improved process we achieve the following benefits:
- Change process to a more data-driven review and eliminate data manipulation and Excel workpaper formatting.
- New accounts are automatically added to workpapers
- As ownership changes are added to Corptax®, entities are automatically added/removed to the entity group “U.S. Related CFC”
- Eliminate manual data entry by using “Corptax Import Template” to add “Other Workpaper Adjustments” required to calculate the correct values
- Using the Corptax Cart with the “U.S. Related CFC” entity group, adjustments are posted and printed to PDF all at one time
- Corptax creates a workpaper for each and every entity/adjustment, along with a consolidated workpaper for each adjustment
- A consolidated trial balance is created from our accounting consolidation software to review against the consolidated workpaper for each E&P adjustment
- We leverage the beginning balance case override setting in Corptax Cart for balance sheet fluxes
The real pay-off: A smarter role for preparers! When you are done with your preparation and review of these workpapers, you are REALLY DONE! It’s all in Corptax. No more reviewing Excel workbooks and then reviewing the data in Corptax after import/submission. It’s already in the system! This process is so much faster—minutes vs. an entire day—we can use it every quarter.
Tiptree Inc. – James Hilton, Tax Manager
Taking Tax Back!
External vendors involved in all of our tax processes left us with high costs and limited control of our own tax function.
- Close process took 3 weeks to complete
- Calculations relied on trial balances from multiple ledger systems, dozens of internally/externally managed Excel files, and an entirely manual process to consolidate and prepare footnotes
- Number of parties involved and the manual process exposed us to serious data integrity risks
- Federal and state tax return preparation was fully outsourced at significant cost
- Limited control over timing of return filing: many returns filed close to deadlines, leaving little time for review
- Difficult to provide audit support without additional cost and coordination as ledger mapping and supporting schedules resided with external vendors
CSC Corptax® Professional Services helped us rapidly implement CSC Corptax® Compliance, Provision, and Office for insurance. With all tax data in one place, we seamlessly consolidate for the provision, fully control federal return preparation, and instantly access our tax data.
- Using Corptax Office, adjustment workpapers are standardized and cleanly calculate and push adjustments into Corptax from the trial balance
- Corptax Compliance combines all subsidiary inputs and deferreds into a consolidated group with consistent presentation of the return across the entire company
- Ability to view RTP in real time because provision and compliance data is all in one place
- Can utilize all provision calculations and copy them over to tax returns in an instant
- International calculations streamlined and organized
Now, we control provision and compliance in-house using the highly scalable and cost-efficient Corptax platform.
- $700,000 annual reduction in outsource fees after software costs
- 1 full week saved on the close process
- 4-month early filing of mixed group return, accelerating refund claims
- One team (us!) manages all of our tax data for faster modelling and footnote preparation and reduced data risks
- Full detail and insight into how our returns are prepared allow for ownership and ease of audit support
Transamerica – Brea Fender, Intermediate Tax Accountant
From Provision to Estimated Payments – Corptax Does It All
The Transamerica state tax team faced several challenges around gathering and analyzing apportionment data for 80+ entities to process 300 state tax returns.
- Many entities have disregarded LLC’s that roll up to the legal parent; it took more than a week to gather and organize data before apportionment analysis could begin
- Process included extracting data entity by entity and manually rolling up to the legal parent
- Spreadsheet often crashed, creating inefficiency when trying to consolidate apportionment for combined and consolidated reporting
- Entire return process took 2-3 weeks from analyzing data to reviewing results on the return
We implemented numerous efficiencies using CSC Corptax® Office and POV functionality.
With POV pulls, we implement a faster, more efficient process to analyze apportionment by state methodology, and perform data driven reviews for state returns:
- Save 200+ hours of work compared to our process last year
- Pull a large amount of data out of Corptax in an organized fashion in a pivot table format
- Gain time back to quickly analyze, review, and make sure data makes sense
- Achieve year over year comparisons, allowing us to start returns earlier and with more efficiency
- Begin analysis after the first data pull instead of spending a week organizing data pulls for one entity at a time
Zurich American Insurance Company – Marta Escobar, Tax Specialist
Innovate to Automate Today’s Provision
As a result of new reporting requirements and a growing workload, Zurich North America’s tax team faced increased responsibility and more stringent deadlines.
We operate with an “innovation” mindset, which allows us to become a simpler, more innovative company well-equipped to adapt to the changing environment. Accordingly, we optimized our use of CSC Corptax® solutions to fulfill additional provision requirements timely and efficiently.
- Automate workpapers using Corptax POV to populate a tax note disclosure for the Annual Statements for the insurance companies, significantly cutting preparation time and enhancing accuracy
- Post multiple automated adjustments with Corptax Cart for each reporting basis with a click of a button, and re-post just as quickly if book numbers change
- Integrate SAP AO reports with CSC Corptax® Office, allowing us to quickly pull book balances and push manual adjustments to Corptax—as well as to populate journal entry templates—all within one workpaper
- Automate what used to be manual entries into our Corptax auto adjustment workpapers and provision tables, avoiding manual data entry into three separate cases
- Simplify posting of the STAT-to-IFRS adjustments using Case Selector to reduce the need to copy data
- Automate our trial balance data import process with use of RPA, replacing a highly repetitive process performed by admins under tight quarterly close deadlines and enabling preparers to upload TBs even during off-hours
- Automate the system back-up process via RPA, eliminating the need for admins to perform this process early or late in the day