Streamlining slow Excel workbooks across 11 entities into a standardised workflow cuts VAT process time from 7 to 2 days.
See Severn Trent's success with ARKK
- The problem
- The solution
Founded in 1989, Severn Trent supplies water to over 4.5 million households and businesses across the Midlands. Listed on the LSE and the FTSE 100 Index, Severn Trent first started working with ARKK in early 2021 to optimise and automate their VAT process.
Severn Trent had several issues that they wanted to solve. “We had a lot of complex processes that roll 11 entities into a group VAT return and a large finance team,” said Mike Bannister, Head of Indirect Tax. “With different team members approaching each entity in a different way and no way to keep track of where individuals were in the process, we were reliant on slow clunky Excel workbooks and lots of keying in of data, leaving open the scope for errors.”
Whilst the team had attempted to add their own checks into a unified process for greater accuracy, this still meant sifting back manually through huge amounts of data to make corrections every month.
“ARKK was a game changer for us,” adds Mike. “Firstly, it can handle big data easily. It can take our data straight from source direct to the platform and do the heavy lifting in terms of processing for the user”.
ARKK’s customer-first approach meant that we consulted with Mike to fully understand his process and created a solution that would suit his needs. “ARKK listened to our requirements and provided a bespoke unified standardised workflow allowing a consistency across the team that has been a step change in the management of VAT risk.”
Mike’s team were able to get working on their new process quickly thanks to ARKK’s user-friendly platform: “We have been using the product for over a year now and it’s easy and straight forward to use.”
As a result, ARKK have cut Severn Trent’s VAT process time down from seven to two days every month - “The utilization of the team is so much better – freeing up their time to do real value-add work.”
As a manager, Mike now has visibility over where each member of the team is at a glance, and full control through the approval stage. “We are now not only fully MTD compliant but we have more efficiency as team.”
With efficiency as a key-outcome of the project, Mike also credits ARKK’s support team for timely responses: “The support we received from ARKK is excellent. Our queries are acknowledged immediately and longest wait time to resolution has been 24hrs.”
By cutting down processing time by over 60%, the tax team at Severn Trent have more days to focus on value-add work for the business whilst using an automated, MTD platform for their VAT returns.
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