Mission Pharmacal San Antonio, TX
I am the tax director of Mission Pharmacal which sells drugs and medical devices nationwide. Generally, my role falls into one of three buckets: tax compliance, tax provisioning and tax planning.
One of our key tax issues is staying ahead of everything. Tax is a rapidly change area. There’s always new legislation. Look at the fifty states: every state is different in what they tax, what companies they want to tax, what is taxable. We need to stay abreast of all of these changes and trying to do something proactively in areas where we might have a material exposure, rather than being reactive. At the federal level, one of the key issues we are tackling is the Affordable Care Act. This is an issue that is impacting our company and every taxpayer in terms of documentation and change to the status quo – and it’s still evolving. There is still a lot of analysis and research to be done. Another issue is FATCA, another information reporting and withholding regime that we need to comply with. So our issues cut across federal, state and international areas.
We have been a direct Bloomberg BNA subscriber for about 2 years. We previously accessed Bloomberg BNA through another platform.
I am in the Bloomberg BNA platform at least once or twice a day.
We use the Bloomberg BNA U.S. Income Portfolios Library on the Tax and Accounting Center. I rely heavily on the federal portfolios and the tax practice series, and the Fast Answers section. We also subscribe to the Premier State Tax Library. With the increased focus on our state tax positions and the different manner each state employs, we need the analysis and tools that are part of the state product to stay on top of everything.
I can research as little or as much as I want to. I can go from the shallow end, to swimming in the deep end when doing research. The state tax portfolios are almost like having a state tax expert right next to me to understand what I need to. I don’t want to be an expert in 50 different state laws, but with the Bloomberg BNA state portfolios, someone else has already chosen to be that expert and put that analysis on paper.
The amount of expert analysis within each Portfolio and the vast array of topics in the library is astonishing. To have that knowledge at my fingertips, readily accessible, is so beneficial. I can’t be an expert in everything, but I can know where to start and what questions to ask to further my research.
Beyond the Portfolios, one of the things about the Bloomberg BNA Tax and Accounting Center that sticks out at me is the user-friendliness of the interface. Looking at the Federal tab, everything that I need and want to know is on the electronic desktop. It adds a level of value beyond the source material and the level of analysis. With a previous provider, I might have had all of the same information, but I didn’t know where to find it or where to start.
Real Problems. Real Solutions.
There have been numerous times when Bloomberg BNA has saved me quite a bit of time, quite a bit of headache. When I moved from a major accounting firm to my current role, I was asked to pick up our annual benefit returns, the Form 5500 series that Treasury produces. I had never done this before, had no idea what to do. I used the integrated search functionality in the Tax & Accounting Center and it returned an array of answers from Fast Answers to information in the Portfolios. I started with the Fast Answers to get started. But then the Compensation and Benefits Portfolios became my handbook. I had the expert analysis on my desk – everything I needed to prepare the return. I went from a neophyte to someone that can answer 90% of someone else’s questions on these returns as a result of the Portfolios. Without Bloomberg BNA, I would have had to spend weeks researching the issue using multiple, disconnected sources or I could have sent the question to our outside accountants – and I know their billing rates.
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