Case Study

Hyland Software Reduces Reliance on Outside Advisors With Bloomberg Tax’s Integrated Tax Solutions

June 10, 2024

Challenge:

  • Outsourcing complex tax calculations is expensive and limits control of data


Solution:

  • Bloomberg Tax’s suite of integrated solutions that provide transparency and control of data


Results:

  • Time savings and greater confidence in tax calculations


Next steps:

  • A long-term investment in Bloomberg Tax’s innovations

Hyland Software develops enterprise content management and process management software used by organizations worldwide. With 40+ entities around the globe, Hyland is responsible for a large number of tax calculations, which meant they often had to rely on outsourcing that work to outside advisors.

The tax department went from primarily outsourcing complex tax calculations to leveraging Bloomberg Tax’s integrated suite of solutions to enhance efficiency, control, and in-house capabilities.

Challenge: Outsourcing complex tax calculations is expensive and limits control of data

Hyland’s tax team is small, with just three members in the U.S. and teams in India and Japan who work on international tax. To increase their capacity, they often outsourced more complex tax calculations and analysis to outside advisors.

“Outsourcing that work is very expensive and also time-consuming because it requires a lot of collaboration,” said Christine Kennedy, associate tax director at Hyland Software. “We wanted to bring that work in-house to have more control over it and more ability to analyze the data on a detailed level. That’s why we started looking for our own technology.”

One of Kennedy’s primary concerns about too much outsourcing is the lack of visibility into the calculations and the data powering them.

“The information we get from our third party providers is oftentimes a PDF document where we don’t have insight into how things are calculated,” she said. “So if I’m questioned about something by either an auditor or my leadership, I might not know how to answer.”

Kennedy also wanted to understand how changing tax laws – particularly on the international front – would impact the business, without having to ask an outside advisor.

“Our legal entity structure is very complex – we have disregarded entities as well as CFC entities – so I needed to know how the Pillar Two regulations will apply to us. Also, we needed to do Safe Harbor calculations first to determine what additional tax might be due for us, and if we needed to make changes to our legal entity structure or our internal systems to track different expenses for Pillar Two.”

But asking her team to build the calculations in Excel was a big ask for the small team.

“Not only are they new, but they’re very complex calculations, and to start from scratch would be a very large undertaking,” said Matthew Russell, Hyland Software’s domestic tax manager.

He also emphasized the unique skills required to effectively run the calculations in Excel.

“Sometimes you’re building pivot tables or doing complex Excel formulas, and you have to really get into the weeds and know what you’re doing,” he said. “Plus you can build a whole Excel formula and run a whole calculation through and not realize until you’re done that it’s incorrect.”

Solution: Bloomberg Tax’s suite of integrated solutions that provide transparency and control of data

With access to several products in the Bloomberg Tax suite, Hyland Software is able to multiply value and optimize some of their most time-consuming tasks.

Staying ahead of tax law changes with Bloomberg Tax Research

Hyland Software’s entire tax team uses Bloomberg Tax Research extensively for federal, state, and international tax. Kennedy, in particular, has been a fan of Bloomberg Tax Research for many years and started using it before joining the Hyland team two decades ago.

“The research tool is my go-to for everything,” Kennedy said. “The porfolios are invaluable, and it’s very easy for me to find what I’m looking for. I’ve used other research tools, and in my opinion, the Bloomberg Tax Research tool is the most user-friendly.”

Russell agreed, saying he finds useful information in the research tool on everything from state tax compliance to federal compliance to sales and use tax rules.

Bringing complex calculations in-house with Bloomberg Tax Workpapers

It was through her regular use of Bloomberg Tax Research that Kennedy first discovered the Excel templates available for download to demonstrate the functionality of the new Bloomberg Tax Workpapers product.

Kennedy downloaded a few free templates – specifically ones for GILTI and Safe Habor – and immediately recognized that Bloomberg Tax Workpapers would provide what Hyland needed to perform many of their complex calculations themselves.

“I really like the fact that you can just click on a link within Bloomberg Tax Workpapers and go straight into the research tool to get the information needed for calculations,” Kennedy said. “Having insight into the laws and how they filter into the calculation will help us tremendously.”

Kennedy decided to schedule a demo of Bloomberg Tax Workpapers, and from the first meeting, it was obvious how powerful yet user-friendly the software is.

“It’s very clear how the formulas are linked throughout the workbook, so it made sense,” Kennedy said. “When I need to make changes or look at different scenarios, that’s very easy to do. It was incredibly impressive to me.”

Russell emphasized that the calculation templates were particularly valuable.

“To have a starting point from Bloomberg Tax Workpapers is extremely helpful as opposed to building it all from scratch, which we could do, but it would just be a massive undertaking,” he said.

Also, unlike in Excel, the instant data connections and preview function make it easy to know if everything is working.

“This is pulling in a lot of different data but it’s still pretty intuitive. You’re just dragging boxes over and connecting things in a way that makes sense to you,” Russell said. “You can see the output too, so if you do something wrong, you can pretty much tell right away.”

“I really like the fact that you can just click on a link within Bloomberg Tax Workpapers and go straight into the research tool to get the information needed for calculations.”
Christine Kennedy
Associate Tax Director
Hyland Software

Automating fixed assets management with Bloomberg Tax Fixed Assets

Hyland Software is also a longtime customer of Bloomberg Tax Fixed Assets software to manage all of the fixed assets and intangible assets for the book and tax side, because their ERP system does not have a tax module that will calculate the tax depreciation.

Kennedy led the procurement and implementation of the software and said she finds the most value from the automation of accumulated earnings and profits, bonus depreciation, and book-to-tax differences they were previously tracking manually.

“I was able to set up multiple books – federal, AMT, state, E&P, and tax – and that’s not a standard functionality among fixed asset products,” she said. “Bloomberg Tax Fixed Assets is definitely the best tool out there, and we’ve been very happy with it.”

[With tax tools that talk to each other and share data through key integrations, Bloomberg Tax’s suite of solutions gives you confidence that everything from calculations to reporting will be accurate. Request a demo.]

Results: Time savings and greater confidence in tax calculations

Implementing Bloomberg Tax Workpapers has allowed Hyland Software to bring a lot of their tax calculation work in-house without overwhelming the small team.

Although it does take some time up front to input the data, the team is already saving time by having templates to start from. They’re also looking forward to the time they’ll save when they can quickly roll forward workpapers from month to month and year to year.

“Just starting with a template for calculating FDII, GILTI, and other month-end rollforwards saves us a lot of time as opposed to opening up a blank Excel sheet to start building a complex calculation,” Russell said. “We can build out what we want to see and then just roll forward month over month a lot faster than we’re currently doing it. That right there will save hours and hours of work.”

Russell also appreciated the centralized storage and peace of mind that comes from the added controls in the system.

“It’s saved automatically, so there’s not a fear of losing all your work papers,” he said. “If somebody breaks their computer, all the data is stored. It’s just going to be a really helpful tool going forward and it’s going to save everybody a lot of time.”

Above all else, Kennedy values having more control over calculations that have a material impact on Hyland’s financial reporting.

“As a leader, I don’t want to rely on someone else to give me an answer without understanding how they got there,” she said. “Using Bloomberg Tax Workpapers to create the calculations, I know where the data’s coming from, and I know it’s correct. I know it’s supported by the data in our systems. That gives me a lot of assurance that the output is correct and I can explain it.”

“Using Bloomberg Tax Workpapers to create the calculations, I know where the data’s coming from, and I know it’s correct.”
Christine Kennedy
Associate Tax Director
Hyland Software

When it comes to fixed assets reporting, Hyland has gained significant time savings, even as acquisitions happen.

“Using Fixed Assets has saved a lot of time in calculating the annual book-to-tax differences for all entities for our annual financial statements,” Kennedy said. “It’s also very easy to do acquisitions because we can upload an asset acquisition or a stock acquisition into the system, keep track of all of the separate intangibles as well as fixed assets, and run reports very easily.”

[See how Bloomberg Tax’s flagship research platform and best-in-class software solutions have been integrated to help you modernize your entire tax workflow. Request a demo.]

Next steps: A long-term investment in Bloomberg Tax’s innovations

Throughout the decades of her career as a tax professional, Kennedy has enjoyed using Bloomberg Tax products. She remembers installing the fixed assets software updates from CD-ROMs, and the company’s transition from BNA to Bloomberg Tax. She’s impressed by the continuous innovation of the software and trusts that she’ll always find the latest tax information and insights when she logs into the research platform.

Kennedy knows that investment in a technology solution is also an investment in the viability of a company – and her investment in Bloomberg Tax has been fruitful.

“The evolution of the technology has been very, very fast,” she said. “The transition from the discs to the online fixed asset system where updates are made automatically and the changes to laws are implemented immediately is great. The research is very robust and very timely, the tax law changes and updates are always clear and easy to find.”

With the addition of Bloomberg Tax Workpapers, the Hyland Software tax team expects to continue reaping the benefits of the latest technological advances to make them more productive and effective.

“I’m excited about the Bloomberg Tax Workpapers tool because I think that’s going to really help us a lot with efficiency, taking more control over our own work, and creating cost savings for the company,” Kennedy said.

Bloomberg Tax’s suite of solutions transforms disjointed and manual processes into a seamless workflow. Data from multiple business systems is prepped automatically and feeds into your tax calcs, including those for Provision, Fixed Asset depreciation and more – all supported by a foundation of Bloomberg Tax Research, the intelligence you know and trust.

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