Automatización de los precios de transferencia: Cómo Workiva potenció la documentación de precios de transferencia de JDE Peet's
Retos de la desconexión
- Before Workiva, the transfer pricing documentation was time-demanding and error-prone
- The number of manual activities introduced risks
- Version control was challenging, with many versions from different locations
- The team was dependent on the external tax advisor
- Control over the transfer documentation process
- Reduction of manual activities and related risks
- Increased version control and accuracy
- A clearer distinction between the advisory and in-house activities
Por qué ellos eligieron Workiva
- JDE 's was already using the Workiva platform for their financial statements
- The user-friendly platform improved adoption by local users
- The possibility to extend the platform to other processes, such as the operational transfer pricing process
- The flexibility to be customised based on JDE 's needs
Soluciones de Workiva
- Informes reglamentarios
JDE Peet’s is the world’s leading coffee & tea (C&T) company. The group consists of two sub-divisions: JDE and Peet’s.
JDE offers a range of high-quality and innovative coffee and tea products and solutions to serve consumer needs across markets, consumer preferences and price points. Its established brand portfolio is comprised of brands like Jacobs, L’OR, Senseo, Tassimo, TiOra, Douwe Egberts, Kenco, Moccona and Gevalia.
With over 15,000 FTEs during FY2021 and activities across more than 44 countries, a smooth and reliable transfer pricing is crucial.
As JDE’s Global Transfer Pricing Manager, Ramon Hogenboom recognised the need for an improved transfer pricing process. "We were facing statutory deadlines, so reports had to be prepared. The transfer pricing documentation needed to be completed in time, and it needed to be accurate."
Ensuring the transfer pricing documentation was correct and up to date for all the JDE countries involved was time-consuming. "In my role I need to focus on what's going on in the business to ensure that my transfer pricing policies align with the direction of the business and the way we operate."
Before implementing Workiva, Ramon relied heavily on JDE’s tax advisor to maintain the transfer pricing documentation. However, he wanted to bring more activities in-house. "I wanted to gain more control over the process. Our external tax advisors are less connected to our business than I am, and I felt the process had become cumbersome and error-prone."
Ramon started by hiring a dedicated transfer pricing specialist at JDE, Galina Gorkovenko, to support the new direction.
A simple solution for complex challenges
First, Ramon and Galina standardised data gathering through a questionnaire in Excel spreadsheet, which was sent out to all users involved in the process. This standardised approach enabled them to gather the information in a structured way.
According to Galina, the next set of challenges they faced are common across multinationals. "Probably the biggest factor is human error in any aspect of the preparation of the local file, ranging from consistency in terminology to adjustments. Every local file had to be prepared individually. If an update is material in one local file, this should be applied consistently across all local files that fall within the same category of companies. The result is a lot of manual work."
In addition to the number of manual activities, many different versions for each local entity were exchanged by email.
To solve these challenges, the team aimed to automate the data gathering and transfer pricing documentation process in the Workiva platform. "When you don't have a direct link between the data gathering and the documentation, you're still subject to human errors. After all, someone needs to transfer the information from Excel to the report," explained Ramon.
Smooth implementation within 3 months
The implementation, done by Workiva's implementation partner Taxtimbre, went very smoothly and was realised within 3 months. "Taxtimbre's consultants fully prepared it based on our requirements, the way we would like to structure the information, and the way we want it to flow into the local files," Galina said.
One of the key characteristics of the Workiva platform is its user-friendliness. During the implementation, Taxtimbre ensured that Ramon and Galina could take full advantage of this benefit. "One of the objectives of the tooling was to empower Galina and Ramon to be independent of any advisor, whether that be a global service provider or us. Now, we're just there when it becomes a technical question because it's intuitive enough for the day-to-day topics," Monica Erasmus, partner at Taxtimbre, explained.
This aspect is much appreciated by Ramon. "It is crucial to have someone who keeps that end goal in mind, is conscious of timing, and then pushes at the right moments. Taxtimbre has the experience and detailed knowledge needed to set up the platform. The team had the right set of personalities and capabilities, which brought us to where we are."
Galina agreed with Ramon: "I strongly recommend Taxtimbre as an implementation partner. They were very open to accommodating our needs and specific requirements on how we wanted things to be structured. The process was a true partnership."
Reduced efforts and cost, increased accuracy and control
Looking back, Ramon feels he has accomplished what he was looking for.
"We have gained much more control over the processes and increased the accuracy of data and efficiency in the process. Also, we managed to reduce the efforts from both my team and the local teams in JDE’s locations across the world."
The latter was a key objective for Ramon. “Many other things occupy the local teams, so the transfer pricing process is not a high priority for them. But, with our previous setup, they needed to be heavily involved. Now they can focus on what matters most to them and treat transfer pricing with a light touch.”
The Workiva platform’s user-friendliness also helped here: “The local teams needed only a bit of training in addition to detailed instructions, as the tool is very intuitive. Another characteristic that supported the adoption is that the tool can be branded in line with the company's identity, making it feel familiar to all users,” Galina said.
Another key result is the cost savings. "Based on the reduced fees from our advisor and the reduced amount of manual work we now have, it's clear that we have realised cost efficiency as well," Galina continued.
Galina feels the real benefits will show even more in the coming years. "The first year, we need to check that all the settings are correct, and some countries will have deviations that have to be implemented. The following years we’ll only need to make the data adjustments. What I love about it is that we now have ownership over our time management and quality control. It's like a little jewel."