How a Large Fragrance Company Whittled Tax Prep from Days to Hours

CCH helps Scentsy Inc. manage the accounting demands of rapid growth

Success Stories  |  May 2012

(Rate This Article)

The sweet smell of success emanating from the headquarters of Scentsy Inc. comes from more than $500 million worth of products sold in 2011 alone. Based in Meridian, Idaho, the company is on both the Inc. 500 and Forbes' "America's 100 Most Promising Companies" list.

Behind the scenes, accounting professionals keep the company in compliance with federal and state taxation requirements. Tim Larsen, Scentsy Tax Manager, and Matthew Birkeland, Scentsy Tax Accountant, share how CCH has helped them efficiently handle the company's taxes.

Q:  Your company follows the "party plan" model of companies like Tupperware, selling through independent local representatives instead of retail stores. How is that working?
Larsen: Very well! We offer wickless candles and other scented products through sales consultants in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany, and we're continuing to expand. Of course, that means our tax situation is quite complex.

Q:  What's your background in corporate tax and finance?
Larsen: I started out doing tax work at KPMG, then spent several years in a construction company's tax department before joining Scentsy three years ago.

Birkeland: I did two internships in public accounting, then joined Scentsy in early 2011.

Q:  What CCH products do you use?
Larsen: We use CorpSystem® Tax and CorpSystem Fixed Assets.

Q:  Why did you choose them?
Larsen: I have used both a competitor's product and CorpSystem Tax. I liked CorpSystem so much more that when I joined Scentsy, I encouraged the company to adopt it and do their returns in-house.

Birkeland: Before I was hired, Scentsy took days to enter thousands of fixed assets manually. When I brought in CorpSystem Fixed Assets to integrate with CorpSystem Tax, I invested some time in learning the software and talking to CCH Support, so that when we started doing our tax prep this year, importing our fixed assets took less than a day.

Q: CorpSystem Fixed Assets helped you reduce time spent importing data from days to less than a day by automating the import?
Birkeland: Yes!

Q:  What types of benefits has your tax department experienced as a result of the CCH software?
Larsen: In addition to the obvious time savings, CorpSystem costs about half what the competition's solution does — and CCH's Knowledge Base includes both the software and the tax system itself. Our communications with the help desk are clear and concise, and they have the expertise to back up their answers.