PQ Group Closes Significantly Faster by Leveraging ONESOURCE Tax Provision (OTP) and GTM’s Tax Technology Implementation Expertise
“GTM was a true partner end-to-end during our OTP project. Their direction and expertise ensured that we received an implementation that fit our needs. We prepared our provision nearly three weeks faster this year. That’s a huge win for PQ and we couldn’t have done it without GTM.”
~ Andrew Walsh, Tax Manager, PQ Corporation
PQ Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PQG) is a publicly held manufacturer of specialty inorganic performance chemicals, environmental catalysts, and glass materials for the industrial and packaging sectors. PQ serves over 4,000 customers globally and operates over 70 manufacturing facilities, which are strategically located across six continents.
- OTP implementation for year-end provision
- OIT implementation
- Corporate income tax compliance support
- Sales and use tax compliance outsourcing
Prior to the company’s IPO in October of 2017, PQ’s Tax Department was afforded significantly more time to complete its annual financial statement close as a privately held organization. As part of a newly public company, PQ Tax was faced with the challenge of a 60-day close in order to comply with SEC reporting requirements, as well as maintaining strict internal controls dictated by SOX.
Achieving the necessary time savings required enhanced integration and automation of many Excel-based provision workbooks and complex consolidation files. These calculations include data received from countries all over the globe. As part of the IPO process, PQ’s Tax Director onboarded a Tax Manager to help bolster the provision process in the context of a SOX environment, select a provision software vendor, and have the system go live in the next fiscal year.
In the summer of 2018, PQ selected Thomson Reuters’ ONESOURCE Tax Provision (OTP) as its preferred provision software and engaged GTM as the certified implementation firm. PQ and GTM personnel worked side-by-side to design a process in which legacy Excel workpapers became a supplemental component of an automated, OTP-driven calculation. The ultimate software solution was able to automate the data entry for over 50 foreign (non-U.S.) tax provision packages, calculate a state-by-state provision for multiple domestic legal entitites, and standardize a set of consolidated tax provision workpapers that could be handed off to the Company’s external auditor. PQ’s OTP system now performs calculations for worldwide tax expense, payable, and deferred balances. To do this, OTP’s workpapers and journal entry modules are used to automate calculations (pulling data in using an Excel add-in) and outputs (using the systems reporting functionality).
Because of the OTP implementation and the enhanced automation the system provides, PQ was able to smoothly meet its accelerated reporting deadlines for 2018 year-end close. Year-over-year, the tax provision process was completed nearly three weeks faster. In addition to closing more quickly, OTP allowed PQ to centralize data entry, replicate complex calculations with ease, and distill its global provision into reports that were much easier to analyze. These improvements made operating in a SOX environment significantly less challenging.
After seeing the impact that tax technology makes on group efficiencies, the successful OTP project led PQ to license ONESOURCE Income Tax. As part of this, the Company has been able to transition more of its income tax compliance process in-house. GTM and PQ also partnered on the OIT implementation and were able to leverage the newly improved provision process as the foundation for building a fully integrated income tax process.