With the tax provision a primary concern for corporate tax organizations today, we interviewed Nick Frank, Tax Prodigy CEO for an inside look at tax provision software. More Fortune 500 to 5000 companies are now implementing this software because it is so easy to use! When you are a corporate tax executive and expected to know so much these days, it is nice to have software that cuts the provision time down from weeks to a few days.
Here is an interview about tax provision software Tax Prodigy. For companies undergoing transformation and change, this is the ideal tax software to implement in a tax organization. It does not require you buy some big complicated software system you do not need or know how to use.
KAT: What are areas of the tax provision the auditors are looking at closely right now?
NICK: Auditors really want traceability, clarity and reconciliation. The easier that they can see these three things, the more straightforward their job will be.
KAT: What are three things that you would advise corporate tax to pay attention to about their tax provision?
NICK: Corporate tax accountants need to step back and understand what ASC740 and tax reform really requires from them. The process of doing your tax provision correctly has changed and requires a balance sheet approach.
KAT: What motivated you to build a better tax provision software program?
NICK: Two of the drivers for building a better tax provision software program were: (1) reduce the over-reliance and complexity of doing tax provision in Excel and (2) ASC740 requiring a balance sheet approach which would be challenging to do in Excel and more straight-forward and standardized in a formation software solution.
KAT: Why should a corporation move from an in-house Excel sheet for the tax provision to new tax provision software?
NICK: Excel is extremely flexible and powerful, but it can easily mask errors, issues and become very complex. Tax provision software can be more comprehensive, provide data and calculation transparency, and provide powerful standardized reporting that can make reviews and auditing easier.
KAT: What advice would you give corporate tax executives confused by all the tax software today?
NICK: Tax executives should strive for tax software that helps to standardize, simplify, allow better calculation transparency and data traceability, less manual (error prone) steps, and provides good outputs and reports.
KAT: What is the benefit for a corporation moving the tax provision from an in-house Excel sheet to Tax Prodigy tax provision software?
NICK: Our Tax Prodigy Provision solution provides a straightforward, easy to use, and comprehensive balance sheet approach to ASC740. In addition to being an intuitive piece of software that can scale from the simplest tax provisions to the most complicated ones, the output reporting with calculations in each sheet is built to make the auditing process faster.
KAT: Many corporate tax executives I speak to struggle with the complexity of learning how to use tax software. How did you build easy-to-use tax provision software?
NICK: As a former Director of Accounting in a Fortune 500 and a Senior Tax Manager at a Big Four firm, I discovered all the tax provision software was complicated to use. There needed to be a better way. As an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota who teaches tax classes, when ASC740 came out, I needed to figure out a straightforward way to teach this to students. Starting from the technical requirements under GAAP for ASC 740, I built out the balance sheet framework that became the basis for Tax Prodigy today.
KAT: How long does it take you to implement the Tax Prodigy software for a large corporate organization?
NICK: Since Tax Prodigy Provision is software as a service (SaaS) and browser based, implementation is very quick and is a matter of setting up access, entities and loading in data. Rolling out Tax Prodigy Provision typically involves us or our partners doing training on the software and then providing hands on support during the initial use period. In addition, we have an extensive video library with use cases and also a support site with videos for specific tasks.
KAT: You are a known expert on tax provision software. What would you advise anyone looking at all the different tax provision software out in the market? What can you advise people of the mistakes people have made implementing the wrong tax provision software?
NICK: People should look at whether they are truly embracing the ASC 740 requirements or just trying to use their old tax provision approach. Also, anyone looking at tax provision software should look at how much they will be using Excel versus the tax provision software. A common mistake, in many cases, following tax provision software implementations, organizations do some of the tax provision and the reporting in the tax provision software, but they are also effectively continuing to do the entire tax provision in Excel.
I’ve heard from a few corporate tax executives that the upgrades on many other tax software programs were so costly and training expensive. This is not the case with Tax Prodigy tax provision software.
KAT: How is it that Tax Prodigy is provided at a lower cost and is easier to use than all of the competitors on the market right now?
NICK: We took a lot of time to develop an intuitive and flexible ASC 740 web interface and framework and an extensive video support system for self-serve learning and question answering. We designed Tax Prodigy Provision for tax professionals as tax professionals. This has resulted in lower training expenses for our clients.
KAT: Thanks Nick! I genuinely appreciate your time in answering my questions. I have personally spoken to people who are very grateful to know you have simplified the tax provision process from weeks to a few days.
If you would like a tour of this tax provision software, you can request one here.