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Identifying and Reporting Missing Tax IDs in 20 seconds

Created on
Name: Michael V Barone
Title: Data Scientist
Company: Paychex
Overview of Use Case

We pay and file employment related taxes and tax returns for approximately 500,000 employers across the country. Including local municipalities, this accounts for thousands of tax agencies.  Each agency can assign their own tax ID number.  Using this tax ID number when making payments and filing returns is essential to employers' accounts being properly credited and kept in good standing with the taxing authorities. It is imperative to identify our clients with missing tax ID numbers, and send correspondence to our branch locations so they can obtain and enter the proper tax ID number for each taxing agency.

Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve

With data being stored in clustered environments, hours were being spent sorting through several reports (one per cluster) that identified clients with missing tax IDs. More hours were then spent splitting these clients out into separate spreadsheets based on our locations that serviced them. And then even more hours were spent compiling and emailing these spreadsheets out to the various locations. 

Describe your working solution

Create a repeatable app that can be run on-demand by the applicable business unit via Alteryx Gallery. The app would require no inputs (parameters) other than the “push of a button”.



Step I

  1. Union all the reports (CSVs) in one input tool using a wildcard
  2. Perform data manipulation
  3. Left (outer) join to service center file




Step II

  1. Bring in (join) location email addressesCapturar2.PNG


Step III

  1. Using a Formula Tool, update the “Email_To” field dynamically, based on the DSC field.
  2. In the same Formula Tool, create a text string for the subject field, for each email, that will dynamically insert the location number.
  3. In the same Formula Tool, create a text string for each record, that will detail the spreadsheet that particular record will go on; there will be multiple spreadsheets (one per location/center).



Step IV

  1. Output the spreadsheets to a storage location for internal purposes.
  2. Email the locations/service centers their spreadsheets.







Describe the benefits you have achieved

The process that once took about 5 hours to complete, now takes about 20 seconds from start (compiling the reports) to finish (emailing every effected location with a list of their missing tax ID clients). The app has eliminated all manual work involved with the process and can be run on-demand by the business unit.


I like the way you documented the solution.  Thanks for sharing your use case.


You're welcome @papalow - glad you enjoyed it!