In today’s increasingly complex tax environment, state departments of taxation struggle to manage cumbersome, paper-based processes.
Employees often have to manually enter data into legacy mainframe applications and personally handle cases where current automation falls short.
In addition, IT teams fight to keep up with new tax laws that have to be tested and deployed in automated applications by the first day of the fiscal year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, almost 300 new tax laws were passed in 2018.
In the increasingly demanding regulatory environment and with growing taxpayer populations, states can no longer afford to use legacy systems that are inhospitable to change. They must find ways to shift to a responsive architecture, lower costs and speed development cycles.
Many state IT groups have turned to Progress Corticon business rules management system (BRMS) as part of their modernization effort. Those that have integrated Corticon BRMS have realized up to 90% reduction in their development efforts and time to market.
With Corticon, states can detail and deploy complex tax regulations for applications handling return processing, payment processing, account status updates, tax program eligibility and more. Taxpayers feel the benefit of powerful self-service and employees free up time for public outreach and other strategic projects.
Corticon enables automation for key transactions, including:
Automating tasks such as tax credit applications, tax payment calculation and compliance checks for returns requires applications that can execute sophisticated tax rules. A BRMS makes the development, deployment and maintenance of these rules simpler and faster, saving person-hours and costs.
In most legacy systems, the business logic is hidden within endless lines of software code. It’s often difficult to tease out the business rules from the rest of the code.
Thus, when a new tax bill passes and business rules need updating, it takes extra time and labor to find the rules and then change and test them. And mistakes will happen as a result.
With a BRMS, all the rules are contained in one place and shared as a service to any applications needing to access the logic. When a change is required, rule modelers can quickly locate all the relevant logic and make the updates, cutting out the extra work and allowing IT to deploy updates faster.
In the same manner, a BRMS lowers the time and cost of developing new automation. Applications can access existing logic, so it doesn’t have to be re-built. And if additional rules are required, rule designers can quickly build, test and deploy them as a service to the application.
When logic is hard coded throughout legacy software, it’s almost impossible for business analysts to keep track of which rules have been implemented and whether they’re performing as required. The situation creates a real risk of inconsistent or incorrect results from automated systems and possible harm to taxpayers. With a BRMS, analysts can tell what rules are implemented and test to ensure compliance with state regulations, avoiding costly errors.
Corticon emphasizes flexibility, transparency and maintainability. These advantages, based on decades of field deployments, have proven to maximize return on investment.
Corticon allows taxation departments to bypass the misunderstandings that arise during traditional requirements phases. Corticon Studio is a user-friendly, no-code development environment that empowers non-technical experts to write business logic directly and turn rules into code, ready for IT to deploy. The process moves faster and produces better quality code with less cost.
The extensive testing capabilities of Corticon help root out logic problems long before integration or deployment, at which point uncaught errors can cost up to 30 times more than those fixed in requirements.
Corticon Studio also includes tools that help identify logical conflicts or gaps that are often not obvious from flow charts or requirements documents. As tax regulations grow more numerous and complex, finding conflicts between new and existing rules or data scenarios that slip through the cracks becomes more crucial to high-performing applications.
Taxation departments are under considerable pressure to maintain perfect performance and keep impeccable records. Many departments devote time and resources preparing for regular audits.
With extensive logging capabilities, Corticon records a history for each transaction, including the timing logs and customized rule-triggered messaging. With detailed records, preparing for audits becomes less time consuming and costly.
Taxation departments not only face constantly shifting regulations but also personnel changes. Even as developers and analysts leave and join the team, the applications must carry on. Software has to be well-organized and commented so new team members can understand and maintain it, even when the original developers are gone.
Corticon Studio promotes best practices for maintainability. Modelers can express the rules in plain language and add comments to any part of the model. And the dataflow is represented graphically, providing an overview of the rule operations.
Moving from legacy technology to modern systems takes a long time. At each step, new applications need to adapt to changes, or they’ll stop adding value. Corticon is designed to fit in Java or .NET environments and work with legacy databases, REST-based web applications, or containerized applications in the cloud.
Corticon is the chosen rules engine for 28 state governments, handling mission-critical transactions ranging from health and human services to vehicle licensing and registration. Agencies depend on Corticon’s reliability to handle high volumes of transactions and efficiently execute complex decisions, even as the public continues to demand more self-service and faster processing.
And for states that are trying to do more with less budget, Corticon provides user-friendly development that helps lower labor costs and shorten development cycles.
There’s nothing like firsthand experience to help you determine if Corticon is right for your state. If you’d like to test drive this powerful rules engine and see for yourself, download a trial version or request a demo today.
James Goodfellow is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Progress and focuses his efforts on the DataDirect suite of solutions. Through his tenure at companies like Progress and SAS, he has spent the bulk of his career launching successful marketing campaigns for data and analytics products. James blogs here and around the web on topics such as data connectivity, analytics, IoT, visualization and machine learning. You can follow him on twitter at @jcgoodfellow.
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