Case study: Level 3

Post 11i to R12 technical upgrade eBTax re-implementation for Level 3, the global communications (Telecoms) provider.


Level 3 Communications is a global communications (Telecoms) provider headquartered in the United States of America but with operations all over the globe reaching more than 500 markets in more than 60 countries. They provide communication services to enterprise, government and carrier customers with extensive fibre networks on three continents, connected by undersea facilities. Level 3’s global network reliably and securely provides enhanced, scalable network capabilities to address the increasingly complex operating environment of today’s technology landscape. Their initial requirement was to implement 37 countries across the EMEA and APAC region and then follow up with the re-implementation of the USA and Canada.

Already a heavy Oracle eBTax user, their original indirect tax solution was created by a hybrid of Oracle 11i to Oracle R12 upgraded tax regimes and newly, manually created tax regimes for countries added after the 11i to R12 upgrade. The upgrade meant that they were unable to take advantage of many of the features and enhanced functionality that the Oracle eBTax module can provide.

As a result, they were heavily reliant on manual intervention on both the entry of tax related data when entering transactions or during the maintenance of the tax solution. In particular, AP and AR subledger teams were required to understand and correctly apply VAT treatment on transactions across all the EMEA countries that in most cases were done manually and without any inbuilt validation, this led to multiple mistakes, many of which were not traceable or easy to identify.

The accounting and VAT reporting teams then had to manually re-class incorrect data and make manual adjustments to VAT returns which would consume valuable time that was often rushed, putting the teams under enormous pressure during the month end processes.

They also knew that they were at risk with not being compliant with the local authorities as they could not produce several regionally required regulatory reports with the current tax set up. So along with the improved efficiencies gained, they wanted to also ensure that they were on the path to total compliance.

Key points

  • Post 11i to R12 technical upgrade eBTax re-implementation for Level 3