Case study: RX

Leveraging Oracle ERP to automate tax determination and calculations across 22 countries for the world’s leading events organiser

About RX

RX, previously known as Reed Exhibitions until a recent rebrand, is the world’s leading events organiser, holding more than 400 exhibitions and trade fairs in 22 different countries each year.

It hosts business events spanning 43 industries, including IT, oil and gas, construction, aviation and pharmaceuticals, serving customers in 180 countries from its offices in 40 nations.

What tax challenges was RX facing?

Due to the global nature of its business, RX was registered for tax (including VAT, GST or Sales and Use) in multiple locations around the world. As a result, it faced a variety of complex tax liabilities and calculations, often resulting in it being liable for different taxes in various countries from each transaction.

For example, for an event taking place in France, the company would have to charge both French and UK VAT, due to sales for admission falling under the local (French) jurisdiction, while sales for exhibition sales at the event coming under the UK jurisdiction.

Its challenges within its Oracle ERP were compounded by the necessity of the event location being a tax determining factor, yet Oracle offering no functionality to support this.

What did we do?

As with all projects, we invest time in understanding the complexities surrounding a particular business and the unique tax challenges it is facing. Once we had gained extensive knowledge of the capabilities of RX’s current tax module, we were able to create a simple solution that would fully automate its determination and calculation of tax for any jurisdiction within Oracle with only minimal impact on its standard functionality.

We then used our RapidInstall™ tool to implement the VAT solution for RX initially to cover a total of nine countries.

With the framework of our core solution in place, we implemented a series of bespoke automated workflows designed to meet the extensive and complex requirements of RX; specifically, the processes needed to handle the precise rules and rates of a global events business.

Our tax logic was enhanced to incorporate:

  • RX’s specific taxable categories of insurance and administration, both of which affected the tax outcome.
  • The type of customer.

In total, more than 50% of the solution was based on client-specific rules. Despite this, the original Innovate Tax solution with our core rules was never changed or removed.

Instead, the client-specific rules were neatly and easily added to our standard logic, maintaining the naming and numbering convention for easy maintenance.

While most event-based transactions would use the new tax rules, any other type of transaction would still use the standard rules. This ensured the solution was future-proofed and would work across the entire business, rather than being restricted only to events.

It took only a few minutes to copy the solution to the other instances required by RX, rather than the weeks it would have taken had the process been completed manually.

The results

RX was pleasantly surprised at how quickly our team of tax technologists were able to understand their unique requirements and build a solution that automated all aspects of its tax management.

The solution we implemented delivered:

  • Full automation of tax transactions within the Order Management module in Oracle.
  • Instant, reliable determination and calculation of tax across multiple regimes based on the location of an event.
  • Accurate tax determination across all transactional modules (Receivables, Purchasing, Projects and Order Management) without any requirement for human input.

In addition, RX can utilise our solution across all parts of its business – not only tax. This is because we created bespoke rules designed to meet the nuances of tax in events and built them on top of our core solution, meaning our standard functionality not specifically linked to events still worked.

Key points

  • Full automation of tax transactions within the Order Management module in Oracle.
  • Instant, reliable determination and calculation of tax across multiple regimes based on the location of an event.
  • Accurate tax determination across all transactional modules (Receivables, Purchasing, Projects and Order Management) without any requirement for human input.
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