The client used to be one of the biggest banks in the world. After several acquisitions, it had multiple legacy systems globally but its headquarters and main client base were in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Unfortunately, after almost three years working with other consultancies, the bank was still unable to sign off the proposed tax solution as it consistently failed to meet its needs with rate determination, tax recovery and reporting. Nearing the go-live date and desperate for a solution, as a result of a recommendation, the bank engaged Innovate Tax to resolve these issues.
Our first task was to inspect the existing tax configuration to assess how we could get the client live in the short time frame (just three months left to go live). It was clear the configuration was not fit for purpose, having been set up by one entity then obviously modified multiple times as issues arose. The first phase was for the Oracle Payables modules with Oracle Receivables coming at a later date. The tax solution in place was not suitable for the existing Payables requirements but would have completely failed for the Receivables requirements when that phase was introduced, causing even more work and issues.
Even though it was so close to go live and against the original remit not to start again, we were able to convince the client’s senior management to allow us to disable the old tax solution and install our award-winning one. In just three weeks of working on the project, we had successfully implemented our proven and predetermined VAT solution using our Rapid Install™ tool. In that time, we were also able to test and subsequently get a provisional sign off with the client’s Tax Department exclaiming that “finally, someone is listening to our requirements and understands what we want”.
Our Rapid Install™ tool was adopted into the core deployment process for the bank and as a result, we were able to take the previous 15 days configuration time per instance down to just two hours! This was a 98% saving in configuration time and because it was an automated process it was 100% accurate. With the core solution in place and the client happy, we turned our attention to the tax recovery solution that was desperately needed by the bank.
We were able to provide a fully automated tax recovery solution, supported by several reports that gave the control to the Tax Department so they could keep track on what the recovery rate was now and the last five rates, what tax rules were driving the different tax recovery rates and a process to allow the support team to easily add or modify new or existing recovery rates. We used RapidInstall™ tool to migrate the solution to more than 10 instances over a period of four months. When the first month’s tax reports were run, they discovered more than 400 tax issues. Initial fingers pointed to our solution.
The irony was that every single issue was either a user or source related issue and that 95% of the issues would never have been picked up in their previous legacy tax solution! When the magnitude of the number of mistakes was identified, the bank was able to put in a process whereby the tax department checked the data and pushed back to the Payables team to get the erroneous transactions corrected at source. This meant the users were being trained on how to process invoices correctly and all transactions were corrected at the source, so what would have been manual adjustments were now automated with a full audit trail in Oracle.
After about three months the error count was down to about 15 transactions a month – a substantial saving. After the project, we asked the client if they have seen savings in the amount of tax paid and they replied: “actually no, we are paying more tax but now we are 100% sure we are paying the right tax and so now we know we are compliant”. We were able to turn what would have been a total disaster for the bank into a positive success that provided efficiency savings and total compliance.
One of the reasons why we were successful, other than understanding Indirect Tax and having a prebuilt solution, was the fact we dared to challenge in the interest of our client. In one case, because of the large number of legal entities in place the previous integration partner had created separate tax rates for each legal entity. This was a maintenance nightmare because by the time the solution would have been set up they would have had around 2000 tax rates to maintain!
We were told we could not use SLA to streamline the process but we challenged this, citing the immense immediate and future benefits. Through our sound logic and constructive argument, we were able to change the decision and get SLA introduced. We succeeded where the previous integration partners failed because we refused to simply accept something that was clearly a bad decision. Our tag line is ‘Compliance without Compromise’ and we live by that and will always work to get the best solution for our clients. We will never take the easy route just because it means we reach a milestone and get paid. Our solutions are designed to be future-proofed and allow for total compliance.
What did Innovate Tax achieve with a Top Global Bank?
The work that was done by the previous integration partners was typical of what we consistently see, a client left with a solution that does not activate the full potential of the Oracle eBTax Tax Engine and a hefty price tag. We delivered a fully automated solution for both the determination of the tax and the multiple partial recovery rates that are so important for the bank. We were able to resolve many of the issues linked to customizations and interfaces designed without consideration for tax requirements and to provide standardization.
Had we been introduced at the beginning of the project we would have provided substantial cost savings and provided better interfaces but even coming in at such a late stage we delivered on what we promised. The client now has detailed tax reporting, a solution they trust and believe in and a solution that is easy to maintain.
- eBTax Rapid Install Solution For a top global bank.