Paychex is an American provider of human resource, payroll, and benefits outsourcing services for small- to medium-sized businesses. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 670,000 payroll clients in the U.S. and Europe.
One of the services the company offers is payroll tax administration, through which it withholds payroll taxes from the paychecks of a client’s employees, then files and pays those taxes on behalf of its client. Not surprisingly for a company filing a large number of client tax returns, Paychex also files a lot of amended returns when information included on the original return changes or turns out to be incorrect.
Previously, the staff had to manually submit requests to have amended returns completed. By the way, there were about 100,000 returns every year and the company had more than 60 people in the different business groups spending up to 15 minutes on each of those amended returns, which was too ineffective.
The operating risk team developed a plan to centralize and standardize the process for requesting amended returns. They were also interested in adding as much self-service and automation into the process as possible. That’s when they saw a demonstration of testing software the Paychex IT group had developed in-house. The tool that brought RPA to the software development process creates amendment requests and adjusts billing to reflect them. Now, when a client changes something in the self-service portal that affects past tax returns, the solution generates a new instance of the amendment-request form. It automatically fills in about 85% of the form’s fields, then generates an alert, proactively reaching out to the field staff to request the few remaining pieces of information.
“The process of requesting an amendment used to take the field 15 minutes; now it takes 2 minutes. At the same time, the tool automatically adds the fee for the amended return to the client’s bill. We’ve seen a 25% increase in submissions of amended returns since putting this tool in place because it proactively identifies every situation where an amended return is needed. As a result, it’s had a meaningful impact on increasing gross revenue.”
Eric Weber, Operating Risk Business Intelligence Analyst, Paychex
Overall, employees are saving thousands of hours a year on tasks related to generating and processing amended returns.