Société Bic, commonly referred to as BiC, is a manufacturing corporation based in Clichy, France. The company, founded in 1945 by Marcel Bich, is best known for making consumer products such as stationery products, lighters, and razors.
Multiple Challenges: Transfer Pricing, Country-by-Country Reporting and ETR Forecasting
As with many multinationals, BiC’s tax data was spread across multiple sources, including HFM, JD Edwards and other local systems. Before implementing Longview Tax, BiC was using time consuming processes to pull together and manipulate financial data used in tax management. For example, Excel was used to compute fees to subsidiaries, requiring manual entries from other financial systems for allocation of management fees. Inna Kostuk, Group Tax Director at BiC, said that while they managed with Excel, when it came time to implementing Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting in 2017, they needed a more sophisticated tool to streamline the process.
Ms. Kostuk said “A lot of processes were manual before we started using Longview Tax. This was extremely time consuming for our small tax department and the final checks and different reconciliations were done manually and took more time than expected.” What took the most time was to retrieve data for allocation keys because we needed the data of all entities and their structure at BIC is large and complicated. Ms. Kostuk knew that her small team of three couldn’t easily meet the needs of CbC reporting, particularly because the data required was not automatically available in the HFM group consolidation system.
The team was looking for something to simplify and secure the process. As they searched for a new solution, Ms. Kostuk noted that there wasn’t much on the market at the time. BiC needed something that was easy to integrate with their existing finance systems. Other solutions they considered weren’t viable because they required multiple products to be bolted together or weren’t flexible enough to meet Ms. Kostuk and her team’s needs.
Building a Centralized Tax Database with Longview Tax
Ms. Kostuk said that thanks to Longview Tax “what took around one week for allocation before, now takes one day.” She said that the most time-consuming part of the intercompany recharge was removed from the allocation process, and they can now take the whole balance sheet and P&L from the consolidation system and upload it directly into Longview Tax.
Longview Tax also enabled Ms. Kostuk’s team to reduce the risk of introducing human errors into their process, she said. Before they implemented Longview Tax, they’d import and manipulate information manually. Now the data load and intercompany recharge calculations are done automatically, so the probability of errors is much lower than before. She said her team can now “upload large volumes of data into the software and easily make manual adjustments where required.”
Ms. Kostuk said the stress of having a small team on a tight deadline is that sometimes the amount of work required for a quick turnaround can be overwhelming. “With Longview Tax we know we can complete the work on time. This is something the whole team appreciates. We are now confident that we can manage our workload.”
BiC has seen number of improvements as a result of implementing Longview Tax, including:
- What took “one week… now takes one day.” Longview Tax offers huge time savings.
- “The probability of errors is low.” Greatly reduced scope for human error.
- “We can manage our workload.” CbC reporting and complicated calculations are now possible for small tax teams.
- “It was really easy to implement.” Small teams can hit the ground running.