Our client is a global tech company. Every month, their tax team in Mexico went through the painstaking process of collecting data from various sources, cleaning and manipulating it, and running various checks on it for their monthly tax reporting. Doing this in Excel meant the entire process was highly manual – and took three people four days to complete every month.
How We Helped Them
1. Understanding the entire data journey. We worked with the team to fully document the process their data went through – from the different source systems to the various checks, manipulations, and transformations the team performed in Excel, and the rules they applied. It took an iterative process to finally get to the data in its rawest format – a prerequisite for full automation. (This may sound straightforward, but required a forensic dissection of an incredibly complex process).
2. Engineering an automated process. Once we had the full picture of the entire workflow from end to end, we were able to review and simplify the rules and cut out the manual steps in the middle. We directly connected the raw data sources and automated the entire reporting process.
3. Validating the results. The results from the new automated process need to be checked to make sure that they are 100% correct. This is done by performing a parallel run, where the final output is created with both the old manual process and the new automated process. The results are then compared to ensure that the new process takes everything into account and that all the rules have been correctly built. The validation is used to find gaps in the logic and also serves to build confidence in the new process.
• Monthly tax calculations now take seven seconds – instead of four days.
• Reporting is fully automated. The data is pulled directly from the source systems – without the need for manual intervention.
• This has eliminated the potential for human error – and created an automated audit trail.
• Team morale is up: upgrading the previous highly manual, arduous, and error-prone process has freed the tax team to focus on higher-value activities – which boosts job satisfaction.
• Excel has been taken out of the equation. This has given the team the ability to mine their data for insights – and spot new opportunities for improvement.
• Our client’s team have discovered the power of data strategy and automation. They’re already working on new optimisation initiatives using Alteryx.
We never thought we would see results like this. The fact that this automation has taken a monthly reporting process that used to take 4 days down to a 7 second process is, frankly, incredible.
Lisa Green, CFO
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