Client Stories

R.B. Stewart Petroleum Products Inc. automates tax process with IGEN

Returns Self-Implemented
Increased Filing Efficiencies Overall
Weeks from Project Start to Testing Handoff

Company Overview

R.B. Stewart Petroleum Products Inc., a Texas-based fuel distributor, has served the fuel community for over 90 years. Over the decades, they've grown to nearly 115 trucks and trailers and are still growing today, delivering fuel in eight states across the United States.

With an accounting department of ten, including a tax team of one, and increasingly complex requirements from jurisdictions, they knew they needed a tax compliance platform to scale with them and create efficiency across the team.

The Challenge

R.B. Stewart’s excise tax filing process involved filling out 9 individual spreadsheets. In addition, jurisdictions began requiring different filing formats, such as XML and EDI, and at the time, they didn’t have the capabilities to generate those specific formats.

With that added complexity and the time it took to file, they were searching for a tax compliance system that was easy to use, could customize data, and had a reputation for excellent customer service.

“The biggest thing was the customer service factor and being able to pick up the phone and talk to somebody, a real person, and get help,” said Dave Ripkoski, Accounting Director at R.B. Stewart.

The Solution

Having a small team by design meant they needed to be as efficient as possible while utilizing automation where they could.

“There was a lot of rigidity in the data requirements some competitors needed versus what we have, and IGEN offered more flexibility,” said Ripkoski.

R.B. Stewart chose IGEN’s tax compliance platform to solve return preparation and data reconciliation.

With data housed in their back-office system, Enterprise by PDI, IGEN’s platform was able to create a matching process for receipts and disbursements, fill in missing gaps in data, and clean that data in preparation for filing.

In addition, IGEN’s database tools now allow R.B. Stewart to quickly and easily analyze their data after it's cleaned to examine transactions based on schedule, origin, destination, terminal, purchases, and other combinations.

They can also search by total gallons reported and analyze the relationship among state activity or for future tax planning.

Client Support

“It’s one thing to say that you have good customer service; it's another to follow up and have action behind that. I feel like that's been our experience with IGEN; great customer service, and full transparency, which we're looking for in a business partner," said Ripkoski.

IGEN client support has a 4.9/5-star rating based on hundreds of client reviews.

Accelerated Onboarding & Self-Implementation

Within 5 weeks, IGEN’s onboarding specialists had 12 returns configured and handed off to the R.B. Stewart tax team for testing.

"From the beginning, there was a lot of communication and regular meetings to make sure we were on schedule," said Ripkoski.

Meanwhile, IGEN trained the R.B. Stewart team on how to implement their own returns. They became masters of the platform with the IGEN team nearby to troubleshoot and make any adjustments to meet their needs.

R.B. Stewart now has the tools and expertise they need to implement their own returns for future jurisdictions. They’re able to move faster and scale as the company grows, work independently and self-sufficiently in the platform, and reduce costs when adding new returns or jurisdictions.

Since their initial onboarding, R.B. Stewart has implemented 8 additional returns from 3 different jurisdictions.

The Results

It used to take an R.B. Stewart tax analyst 25 to 30 hours a month to file reports; now, with IGEN, it takes 8 to 16 hours a month.

“Manually creating and filing returns for Texas would take 4 hours; it was very difficult to make sure everything was correct and troubleshoot. Now with IGEN, it takes less than 45 minutes to complete," said Jerry Ortiz, Tax Accountant at R.B. Stewart.

With all the data available in one place, R.B. Stewart has created a more efficient reporting process. Tax analysts now have time to take part in strategic projects and assess issues, such as diversions, sooner.

The ability to complete returns on time and file accurately the first time has created organizational efficiency across the R.B. Stewart business, from the accounting department to the accounts payable department.

“We appreciate that flexibility and willingness to try new things from IGEN,” said Ripkoski.

R.B. Stewart’s team has:

  • Transformed their excise tax process from multiple spreadsheets and manual work to automation for reporting and data matching.
  • Increased filing efficiencies by 60%
  • Minimized errors and inaccuracies that would have caused late filing and amendments.
  • Reduced filing time for Texas returns by 81%
  • Internally implemented 8 returns for 3 jurisdictions
This analysis is intended for informational purposes only and is not tax advice.  For tax advice, consult your tax adviser. See the full disclaimer here.

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