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EY - Innovation of the Year

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Company: Ernst & Young LLP, New York, NY
Entry Submitted By: River Communications
Company Description: EY (Ernst & Young LLP) is a multinational professional services firm. EY is one of the largest professional services firm in the world and is one of the "Big Four" accounting firms. The organisation operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Innovation of the Year - Business Service Industries

Nomination Title: EY - Innovation

Tell the story about this nominated innovation since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe how the innovation was discovered, developed, refined and/or deployed. Provide an assessment of how the innovation has impacted or will impact your organization, your industry, markets or society.

The world of work is undergoing its most dramatic transformation since the Industrial Revolution. Who will be the competitors of the future? What industries and companies will survive? What will the workforce of the future look like? Increasingly, the answers to those questions are determined by how rapidly and effectively organizations address the four major shifts—economic, geographic, demographic and technological—that are reshaping the future of business and work.

EY is the leading global adviser in future-of-work strategies and processes. It is the only organization among the largest accounting firms to achieve first-mover advantage in workplace robotics with a proven track record in delivering robotics globally through Robotics Process Automation (RPA). This work is extremely important not only from the standpoint of accelerating technology capabilities, but because of how it directly impacts the other major disruptors mentioned above: appealing to the technology sensibility of Millennials, facilitating global and virtual teaming and providing numerous economic benefits both for clients and the firm.

EY combines RPA and extensive tax proficiency with a global team of 1,000 robotic engineers and analysts, pioneering automation applications and deploying fresh solutions at an unrivaled level of productivity. Over the past 18 months, the firm’s innovation in RPA has embedded more than 200 BOTs in the firm’s extensive tax practice operations, dramatically improving more than 300 key business processes, touching 50,000+ clients and saving over 800,000 annual hours of process time. In addition, EY has implemented BOTs into its own core business functions, including finance, business development, recruiting, performance management, compensation, and deployment, realizing a reduction of more than 15,000 annual hours. The sheer number of BOTs at work in the firm today easily puts it in the Top 10 BOT users in the US across all industries.

Over the past year, RPA has evolved into much more than a breakthrough service and efficiency tool. In addition to its technological prowess, RPA supports the firm’s optimistic view that accelerating technological innovation provides a means to even higher quality work, more exceptional client service and new and exciting opportunities for its employees. RPA has created a technological “environment” at EY and client locations that better positions these organizations for future success—providing accessibility to the latest technology tools for all and fulfilling a Millennial generation focus on performing work that has purpose and value.

Understanding that it is essential for BOTs and humans to work together collegially, EY’s work force model has been redesigned, enabling compliance professionals to “upskill” for higher level roles and more purposeful, strategic work, allowing the BOTs to do the “what,” while people focus on the “why." Accordingly, EY also has modified its learning and professional development model to equip professionals with new skills and competencies that keep them relevant (e.g., data analytics, project management, negotiation techniques; creative problem solving).

With RPA, EY has developed a business-led, IT-supported, agile robotics implementation process that is tailored to meet clients’ specific requirements as well as a positive employee experience, delivering:

-Speed to delivery
-Process agility
-Increased productivity and quality
-Enhanced compliance functions
-Sustainable cost savings of 25%-40%+

For example:EY successfully transformed a diversified consumer products client global shared services through automation and RPA by:

-Enabling the client’s finance function to execute processes at a fraction of previous time.
-Operationalizing RPA across finance, procurement and HR, and developing a global Center of Excellence (COE) governance structure.
-Since November 2016, EY has coordinated implementation of eight RPA pilots (two in HR, three in finance and three in procurement), significantly increasing efficiency across these functions.
-Simultaneously, EY designed the COE, including training, procurement, governance and standard operating procedures, while client was able to focus on job impact and change management based on EY’s framework and recommendations.

This project is one of many prime examples of how EY’s team can automate key manual processes to improve efficiencies and add value to operating models.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) chief characteristics or benefits of the nominated innovation.

-Automated client’s sales and use tax process for 25%-40%+ estimated sustainable cost savings.
-Automated 2,500+ tax filings, reducing average time to complete each filing process from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.
-Streamlined processes updating client’s tax fixed-asset register, increasing accuracy and efficiency while reducing time and labor costs by eliminating manual data entry.
-Developed production-ready BOT to automate 23 of 26 steps in a manual, time-consuming sales and use tax process.
-Automated client's key processes in HR, finance and procurement significantly improving overall business operating model through increased accuracy, quality, capacity and customer satisfaction.
-Created RPA innovation test centers for clients, enabling execution of processes performed at a fraction of the time of their human counterparts.
-Transformed client’s tax function by reducing manual processes, allowing the team to focus on value-added activities and additional workload associated with new legislation.