Is Statutory Reporting Software Worth the Investment?

The combination of an unpredictable global economy and ever-changing regulatory landscape makes it imperative for organisations to choose their technologies wisely.

When it comes to maintaining financial compliance, legacy statutory reporting processes and software is not a viable option. The potential risks include penalties for late filing, inefficiencies, reputational damage, costly audits and downstream impacts for tax teams. There is a global push for tax transparency, real time reporting, and all the global minimum tax developments cannot be ignored.

Leading businesses run better with disclosure management tools to achieve cost efficiencies, report on time, increase global oversight and provide full compliance assurance. As businesses turn to a centralised operating model to drive cost-efficiency and consistency, they have realised the importance of embracing technology. Organisations that do not leverage standardisation and automation in global statutory reporting will be at a disadvantage in the coming year.

How to demonstrate the value of Thomson Reuters statutory reporting technology?

Thomson Reuters commissioned Forrester Consulting to independently assess the business benefits and cost savings derived from ONESOURCE Statutory Reporting (OSR). The research and advisory firm interviewed four OSR customers in depth and then aggregated the data to provide indicative results for a composite multinational corporation with 100 entities in 20 countries.

The full financial analysis is available in the study, The Total Economic Impact™ of Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Statutory Reporting. Read on for some highlights of the Forrester Consulting Study.

Calculating the potential ROI of statutory reporting technology

Forrester Consulting’s research and analysis identified that OSR provided the composite organisation with an 84% return on investment (ROI) over a three-year period, (based on progressively implementing OSR in 100 entities across 20 countries, over 12-18 months).

This ROI was achieved by using the features available in OSR’s platform, which enhance reporting quality and process efficiency. These include country-specific generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) compliant local language templates for more than 45 jurisdictions, translation capabilities, XBRL tagging, a full audit trail and automation functionality.

“There were no real other players in the market who were offering that coverage across different countries.”

Statutory Financial Systems Manager, Manufacturing

What are the key benefits?

The Forrester Consulting study identified that quantifiable savings (three-year, risk-adjusted, present value) came from these four areas:

  1. Efficiency gains for the process, leading to more time for value added activities (US$437,000)
  2. Statutory reporting team resources reallocated with the opportunity to centralise ($173,000)
  3. Saving on costs such as outsourcing, audit overruns, legacy processes etc. ($803,000)
  4. Improvement in on-time compliance rates by 5%, reduction in late-filing penalties ($32,000)

Total benefits: $1.44 Million

By utilising the specialised, comprehensive disclosure management tool, the customer was able to save considerably, reduce audit costs and eliminate legacy manual processes, as well as increase rates of on-time compliance and reduce penalties. Furthermore, the composite company saw a 68% increase in efficiency due to the preparation time saved and was able to centralise their statutory reporting processes and reallocate their resources accordingly.

Participants noted a range of other benefits while using OSR. These included:

  1. More efficient generation of compliant reports
  2. Greater process continuity
  3. More effective remote working and centralisation opportunities
  4. Enhanced collaboration and visibility
  5. Compliance with statutory reporting obligations worldwide

What are the costs to consider?

The Forrester Consulting study identified that the quantifiable costs (three-year, risk-adjusted, present value) involved the following key elements for the composite organization:

  1. Licensing and professional services fees ($695,000)
  2. Internal implementation and maintenance costs ($81,000)
  3. Internal training costs ($7,000)

Total costs: $783,000

Each of the organisations that were interviewed negotiated scalable per-entity rates for licensing OSR and used Thomson Reuters’ professional services for their implementation.

“We contracted with Thomson Reuters for the initial configuration, training and support, and they brought us excellent experts who invested in the journey. I was happy with the pace of execution from Thomson Reuters”.

OSR User, Asia Pacific Controller, heavy equipment company

The implementation of any new enterprise software invariably requires investment of staff time to ensure effective process alignment, data transfers etc. In modelling the costs, Forrester Consulting accounted for time committed to project management, change management and on-going maintenance.

For the composite organisation referenced in the study one team member allocated 40% of their time for six months to project management and implementation and then, 40% of year one and then, 10% of year two. Ongoing annual maintenance required 10% of the time of one team member.

Training is another necessary part of any software deployment to ensure the solution is used to its full capacity. Whilst all interviewees mentioned that training was important, each implemented training differently. The teams that devoted the time to train and learn about OSR and designed their own training programs were deemed as carrying out a best practice approach.  Forrester Consulting’s analysis determined that end users typically required initial training of three days, followed by annual ‘refresh’ training of four hours.

What was the return on investment?

Forrester Consulting’s financial analysis showed that, by implementing ONESOURCE Statutory Reporting, the composite organisation achieved risk-adjusted PV benefits of $1.44 million over a three-year period, with total costs of $783,000. Overall, OSR delivered a net present value (NPV) of $661,000 and an ROI of 84%, clearly more than paying back the investment.

Another customer noted that the benefits of the software might extend well into the future:

 “It is a premium product, no doubt. There is a lot of value that needs to be seen and experienced. In the long term, I am a very strong believer in leveraging technology … and you may end up saving quite a lot of money in areas you may not be even aware at this point in time.”

Asia-Pacific Controller, heavy equipment company

To learn more about the benefits of ONESOURCE, read our earlier article Measuring the ROI of ONESOURCE Statutory Reporting: 2023 Forrester Consulting Study.

For a detailed review of the research findings, download your copy of The Total Economic Impact™ of Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Statutory Reporting.

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