Grant Thornton was initially engaged to perform sales tax compliance for a multi-billion-dollar online retailer of sports apparel. The monthly source data files provided by the client for the engagement were fragmented, non-structured and in need of cleansing. Mismatches in the city, state and ZIP Code entries resulted in a number of transactions being rejected from the tax return prep software, causing additional time incurred related to the compliance process. Furthermore, the tax engine being utilized by the retailer was generating many inaccurate tax calls, resulting in incorrect sales tax collections. The incorrect sales tax calculations were causing large audit assessments throughout many states, resulting in large expenses being taken on the P&L.
Our team initially worked to consolidate the source data files and built a tool to merge the formatting so only two source data files would be needed to prepare the returns. Through the use of DOMO, a business intelligence and data visualization tool, Grant Thornton developed an application to cleanse the data and recalculate sales taxes for upwards of 15 million lines of data each month.
Robust DOMO visualizations allowed the retailer to decrease the retailer’s hours spent on the monthly compliance process by 60%. The retailer was now able to fully reconcile the sales tax payments to the general ledger, something that wasn’t previously possible.
Robert D. Clarke
National Managing Principal – Tax Digital Consulting
Rob Clarke has more than 10 years of experience working with clients in the areas of sales and use taxes, sales tax process automation and controls, income and franchise taxes, and documentary stamp taxes. Clarke has broad state tax experience, including audit defense and appeals, state tax refund reviews, letter ruling requests, corporate reorganizations and planning, and comprehensive purchase and sales tax analyses for large organizations.
- Technology and telecommunications
- Retail and consumer products
- State and local tax
Mark A Sumlin
Partner, Tax Digital Consulting
Mark is a Partner at Grant Thornton, specializing in Enterprise-wide Finance Transformation, bringing more than 20 years of experience both in consulting and large corporate roles. He specializes in the improvement of control managed processes, operational optimization through technology applications, global organization design and crisis management through times of disruption and leadership voids. He also advises clients in matters of alternative operating models, including business process outsourcing, co-sourcing, center of excellence and shared service center design. Mr. Sumlin focuses on strategy development, transaction advisory services and technology solutions to enable enterprise-wide transformation and operational effectiveness.
- Tax Reporting & Advisory
- Risk, Compliance & Controls
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