We sat down with Chris Kayondo, (left), CSC Corptax Lead Engagement Manager, to learn about his engagement with GE Appliances. He discusses implementing state compliance software and providing loan-staff assistance.
Can you share why GE Appliances hired Professional Services?
GE Appliances decided to bring state tax compliance in-house and take ownership of their data a bit sooner than originally planned. They hired CPS to accelerate their state compliance implementation, and with filing deadlines imminent, they also engaged us for loan-staffing.
What are a few reasons GE wanted to own their data?
After bringing their federal compliance process in-house, GE knew that getting their state data into the system would accomplish key initiatives.
- React quickly to changes in their data, entity structure, and tax laws. With instant access to their data, GE no longer waits for external resources to tell them how a change will impact their key performance indicators. Calculations are streamlined, so something like a new tax rate can be easily incorporated into their workpapers and processes. They see results of changes quickly. And because they’re more familiar with their data than any third-party can be, there’s less risk for errors.
2. Centralize storage. With data under one roof, GE lowers the risk of information getting into the wrong hands, being misplaced, altered, or not reconciled. They substantially reduce the time to pull the information they need for analytics to help them make informed decisions. Before, when some data was in-house and the rest spread across various third parties, it was challenging for them to consolidate and feel confident in the accuracy of the current dataset they had to work with. Further, storing data in one system means they set up core information once. After they prepared their federal return, information then flows through to their state returns.
3. Visualize, plan, and execute. We live in a data intensive world, and Tax is in the spotlight as we prepare filings for the SEC and IRS. Owning their data positions GE to build analytics and visualize results in dashboards. By quickly conveying information in heat maps, graphs, waterfalls, and pie charts, to name a few examples, it’s easy to identify trends, anomalies, risks, and opportunities. That helps Tax not only improve reporting but contribute valuable information to company planning.
4. Control timing and costs. Owning data gives GE instant access to manage unanticipated work that inevitably comes up. Performing the work themselves eliminates the cost of project creep.
5. Home field advantage. Doing tax in-house gives GE what we like to call ‘home field advantage’. It allows tax teams to do big-picture thinking and feel they’re an integral part of the company’s mission. That helps the tax department attract and retain the best talent.
And because GE stores their data in a single system, they avoid additional time and cost moving and reconciling data that’s sitting in third party proprietary software. Plus, they don’t lose the knowledge they cultivate over time. They understand their business and data better than anyone else can, and they’re genuinely invested in company growth.
Tell us a little about the loan-staffing you did for the GE Appliances team?
GE realized that even with a rapid state compliance implementation, they would still need help getting their returns out the door. They considered outsourcing again but decided to use loan-staffing services instead. That way, they could learn from us at the same time and be independent going forward.
When we help a client, our loan-staff experts tailor services to meet the customer’s specific needs. We cover compliance, provision, automation, analytics, tax planning, and business process improvement—all cost effectively and without long term commitments.
Plus, an important advantage: we transfer our tax and technology knowledge, so tax teams can take it from there.
What did GE Appliances gain by owning their state compliance process?
With Corptax State Compliance in place, they’ve reduced reliance on manual Excel workbooks. By automating more and more of their work, they’ve eliminated a lot of time spent on lower-value tasks, and they navigate internal and external complexities much more easily. Plus, their new process gives them a great user experience and lets them analyze and visualize their data and maintain its integrity.
What determines a successful Professional Services engagement?
We pride ourselves on finishing projects on time and within scope and budget. No one at GE Appliances had previous Corptax experience. We helped them take it one step at a time to develop processes which built momentum and made a huge difference.
We work closely with clients to ensure a knowledge transfer to automate processes and gain ongoing efficiencies. The pinnacle of a successful engagement is when the partnership and trust we’ve established lead our clients to understand what they’re doing and how to build onto that in future years.