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Wolters Kluwer - Jim Edwards - CCH Integrator™

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Wolters Kluwer, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Entry Submitted By: 12 Worlds Communications
Company Description: Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Product Development/Management Executive of the Year

Nomination Title: Jim Edwards, CCH Integrator Product Development/Management Executive

Tell the story about what this nominee has achieved since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

With solution founder, Jim Edwards, heading up the powerhouse product development team for CCH Integrator™ since launch, the team has enhanced and expanded the platform to meet rapidly transforming needs for tax, compliance and reporting. Today CCH Integrator™ ™ has reached the milestone of over 15,000 users in 80+ countries and is in operation at the world’s largest professional services firms.

Under Jim’s tenure the CCH Integrator™ development team has invested over 360 people years into its development, growing the department from its initial handful of staff to a permanent headcount of 30 and establishing affiliations with technology incubators and universities responsible for providing graduate interns and specialist insights into projects and programs directly.

CCH Integrator™ was launched to address how tax functions around the world could improve the management of tax data across the organisation. Lack of insight into local tax data from head office due to disconnected local systems and/or teams had challenged corporations on a daily basis. Collaborating and sharing data with all parties with input into and interest in tax was difficult to non-existent. A proliferation of spreadsheets and bespoke point solutions leading to duplication of data and reconciliation headaches was more often than not the norm.

The Wolters Kluwer CCH Integrator™ development team launched a solution to address these issues and has continued to roll out enhancements to meet the broader range of global compliance and reporting requirements throughout its history. The team’s goal has been to provide corporations around the world with real time access to local and global tax data on a single cloud platform – automating reporting with a comprehensive audit trail.

And today it remains unashamedly committed to pushing boundaries for automation. You can now find its team embedding robotics into modules to meet the data transformation challenges that exist in tax compliance, for example, analysing and disclosing large sets of transactions. In fact, its latest initiative of data transformation through Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an industry first.

The CCH Integrator™ development team does not develop the platform in isolation to its client base – in fact it only develops the platform directly with its clients, through collaborative design and development with progressive tax functions around the world. The team embed themselves into various tax functions to truly understand people, process and technology challenges and collaboratively design solutions with ongoing client interaction.

Each year the team accelerates its own approach to industry disruption with overseeing up to 30 separate development initiatives to examine new technologies and patterns for solving business problems. Of these 30 initiatives, 10 are shortlisted for separate development ‘innovation teams’ to investigate further and build a business case if warranted. Approximately five development projects are commercialized annually to continue to innovate the CCH Integrator™ platform in live client sites.

Over the last 12 months, the team has focused on rapid roll out of CCH Integrator™ compliance modules to support different compliance deliverables around the world. These initiatives will continue to enable progressive corporations and service firms to self-configure their own solutions (compliance modules) to adapt to local country and client requirements. Additionally, it will enable service firms to commercialise their own IP (e.g. compliance templates and calculations) through CCH Integrator™ compliance modules.

This will create the foundation for the next level of transformation of compliance technology globally, allowing domain experts to create their own technologies and share these through the concept of an international marketplace. Whilst a concept familiar to other industries, this will be another first for the reporting and compliance arena.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominee since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

With its development centre in Australia, Jim has ensured the launch of:

-Launched first robotic module, “Bob” to enable robotic data transformation for corporate tax compliance for the first time.
-Innovated WebSheets, the latest module to enable end-user configurable compliance data collection, calculation and reporting and disclosures for any compliance obligation. In use with the world’s Top 4 professional services firms and MNCs.
-Rolled out Linked Workbooks features to build WebSheets ecosystem – ability to exponentially calculate across multiple global workbooks and spreadsheets.
-Collaborated with Top 4 professional services firms to establish foothold in global tax networks. Rolled out CCH Integrator™ to 90 countries.
-Established second project for WebSheets for operational transfer pricing – to tackle cost allocation models/profit splits.
-Built framework for cloud-based data transformation as a service.
-Undertook engineering program to scale CCH Integrator™ for continued global rollout.