Bloomberg Industry Group Counts on Actian for Data Integration
Taxes may be inevitable, but tax laws and tax regulations change. So do companies—and the systems they use to track and manage tax-related activities.
All these changes can generate serious headaches for the financial professionals tasked with managing tax compliance in a large organization. Tax changes mandated by Congress or the IRS may require finance professionals to begin gathering data they have not had to track and monitor before. That data may not even reside in their primary ERP systems. Tax changes may even be retroactive, so finance professionals may need to interact in wholly new ways with systems and data repositories configured to support compliance with rules that no longer apply.
For enterprises using on the Advantage Fixed Assets software from Bloomberg Tax & Accounting, a division of Bloomberg Industry Group (formerly Bloomberg BNA), though, accommodating these changes involves very few headaches. Bloomberg Tax & Accounting relies on Actian DataConnect, which makes it easy for Bloomberg to integrate Advantage Fixed Assets with any other system or data store that an organization requires.
Connecting any system, anywhere
Actian DataConnect is a hybrid integration solution that enables Bloomberg to quickly and easily design, deploy, and manage client integrations — on premise, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments — with no limit on data types or volumes. With its emphasis on reuse and adaptability, DataConnect makes it easy for Bloomberg to integrate the data and applications that any client is using with its flagship Advantage Fixed Assets software.
“Tax law and regulatory changes can drive significant changes in the data that our clients need to track and report,” says one executive long affiliated with Bloomberg’s tax and accounting products. “This means we often have to gather information from sources outside of ERP systems, including data that is still housed in spreadsheets. We strive to be all-encompassing in our integration efforts, which means we need a way to pull data — automatically — from any sort of solution and in any format. Actian DataConnect is key to ensuring we can do that.”
Speed of business requires integration
Bloomberg has worked with more than a few customers that have encountered challenges after modifying their ERP systems in response to tax or regulatory changes. One change to a tax law, for example, allowed companies to reclassify certain assets and shorten their depreciation times. While this change could reduce a company’s income tax obligations, it also required significant changes to the structure of fixed asset data within a company’s ERP system.
As a consequence of these changes, the finance personnel in many companies found themselves forced to managing data and workarounds using manual processes, which were error prone and could take weeks to complete. Using DataConnect, Bloomberg could work with these companies integrate the disparate back-end systems with Advantage Fixed Assets. By automating the manual processes that the employees had been using, DataConnect made it possible for personnel to complete the same tasks — without error — in a day or less.
“Today’s complicated technology infrastructures require that software systems play nice together,” the executive goes on to say. “That’s why Actian DataConnect is so important. As a commercial software provider, Bloomberg needs a way to integrate each customer’s systems — which differ from customer to customer — with our tax software products. It’s not just a matter of convenience. The speed of business and the sheer volume of data requires them to automate access to data as much as possible. And when we make that happen for customers? This can dramatically shift the experience for the personnel responsible for managing the finance and regulatory systems. Suddenly they can focus on analytics and planning, which is not only more personally rewarding but that also can have a huge impact on the business.”
Integration impacts more than manual processes
Bloomberg personnel are quick to point out that using Actian DataConnect to overcome a client’s integration challenges can lead to much more than a reduction in manual processes, errors, and costs. They spend a lot of time with clients identifying the higher-level value points arising from a broadly integrated solution — such as supporting growth strategies like mergers and acquisitions, improving Sarbanes-Oxley controls, closing financials faster, and reducing tax liabilities.
“These are the priorities that are more important to the C-suite, and Actian DataConnect gives us the tools to integrate the infrastructure elements required to move in those directions.”