Vorwerk Group Optimizes Transfer Pricing Efficiency

In this case study, we dive into German conglomerate Vorwerk Group’s experience with automating transfer pricing controls with Impero. 

17,000 automated controls      20 country rollout        13k independent sale channels

Background: A family business gone global

Since 1883, Vorwerk Group has developed products that live with you inside your home; from cosmetics and beauty products to flooring and kitchen items, Vorwerk Group has taken part in your life and continues to do so by developing robotics and keeping an eye on the future.

 You probably know their products, found in most homes across the globe, but you may not know the family or global group behind the beloved household names. 

Represented in more than 70 countries worldwide and 13,000 full-time employees and 610,000 independent sales partners, the financial footprint of this international conglomerate is a large one. Headquartered in Wuppertal near Cologne in Germany, Vorwerk Group is a family company that organically grew into a global conglomerate and is still run by the Vorwerk family. 

In keeping with its heritage and mission to continuously implement sustainable strategies, Vorwerk Group is placing great emphasis on creating a digitalized organization. 

Challenge: The issue with proper documentation

As Vorwerk Group was ushering in an era of digitalization, Director of Transfer Pricing, Carsten Bonnerup, was adamant the tax department was not left behind.

With a significant amount of controls that were performed but oftentimes left undocumented, Carsten Bonnerup saw an urgent need to implement a system that could automate and streamline transfer pricing control processes, ensure clear control documentation, and foster a culture of tax compliance.

Vorwerk Group chose to move away from a perceivably outdated, manual control process and upgrade to Impero to optimize their processes in an efficient manner. 

Discovery: An easy and efficient problem solver

Carsten Bonnerup explains that an important reason for the tax department’s highly increased efficiency and controls accuracy is due to its effective processing with automated controls and transparency that stems from using the Impero platform. 

According to Carsten Bonnerup, it was increasingly difficult for his teams to present proper documentation to internal and external stakeholders, which at the time was not centralized in a single, easily accessible location.

As a cloud-based SaaS service, Impero required no installations or downloads and was immediately accessible. Upon onboarding, Vorwerk Group’s tax department spent a single day setting up a control framework for transfer pricing and was able to send out its initial controls within a week.

Initial concerns about implementing a new system to Vorwerk Group’s broadly diversified, complex group structure instantly vanished when the tax department was introduced to the Impero platform’s seamless workflow and opportunity for a clear and concise control overview. 

With Impero, Carsten Bonnerup and Vorwerk Group’s tax department use less time managing and documenting their transfer pricing controls and the accuracy of performed controls is no longer a concern.

The team is now able to devote their time to other, more value-adding tasks and can focus on these instead of continuously following up on manual control documentation.

Solution: Transparency is key

Increased transparency within the tax department and the ability to ensure subsidiary compliance even from afar are both keys in minimizing the margin of errors in the tax department’s documentation.

 Using Impero’s reporting system, Carsten Bonnerup says he is able to track and manage controls and even uses the platform to audit his control framework;

With subsidiaries and partners in more than 70 countries worldwide, Carsten Bonnerup and his colleagues were eager to establish a high leveled compliance culture – one where employees felt mutually responsible and would strive to adhere to the strictest compliance standards. 

Because of Impero’s scalability, Vorwerk Group rapidly scaled its transfer pricing controls setup to include upwards of 1700 controls in 2020 which are simple to roll out when adding a new business unit or expanding to new regions. 

Vorwerk Group is a family-owned business with subsidiaries and partners in more than 70 countries worldwide. This poses exceptional challenges when setting up controls processes and ensuring proper documentation. We wanted to stay ahead of the game by digitizing this entire process.

-Carsten Bonnerup, Former Director of Transfer Pricing

Moving forward: Scalability and shared learning

With an internal focus on shared learnings, Carsten Bonnerup is confident that Impero will help improve workflows in other divisions of Vorwerk Group and has taken it upon himself to introduce his colleagues to the system, as he also emphasizes how the Impero platform has enabled organizational maturity through standardizing and simplifying controls and creating structure.