Meet Eric Schaefer. Eric is the Practice Lead for Technology and Communications at CereTax. He is also an attorney and CPA who has worked in tax for 11 years specializing in transaction taxes and tax technology — along with a heavy dose of telecommunications tax.
Eric first became interested in automation when he was responsible for the monthly compliance data processes at Level 3 Communications. He taught himself VBA to streamline processes and further leveraged those skills when he rejoined Deloitte as a member of the Multistate Tax Data & Technology team. While he was there, Alteryx began to sweep through the tax and accounting industry. Recognizing the considerable potential and user-friendly nature of the Alteryx software platform, Eric opted to obtain both Core and Advanced certifications. Subsequently, he embarked on a journey across the country, offering training sessions to his Deloitte colleagues and providing support for the most complex and challenging workflow implementations. In addition to the Alteryx training, his fascination with machine learning opened doors for him, which granted him an opportunity to work in the rapidly expanding field.
Eric transitioned to Twilio, initially contributing to the implementation of telecommunications taxes, and streamlining cumbersome legacy compliance processes. At the time of his arrival, Twilio had recently acquired Alteryx licenses but had yet to fully leverage their capabilities. He began migrating all indirect processes into Alteryx and training coworkers on the value of the software. In his second quarter at Twilio, he received the CFO Magician award for improvements to the monthly transaction tax processes. Eventually, Eric pivoted to focusing on establishing a dedicated tax technology team at Twilio, serving the entire tax department and the broader CFO org. On top of tax technology duties, he was the de facto Alteryx champion at the company, taking responsibility for the procurement of licenses, training users, and supporting workflow development. By the time he left Twilio after two years, they had over 50 users on an enterprise Alteryx license agreement and they had saved over 10,000 hours that used to be dedicated to annual data processing.
At CereTax, Eric enjoys collaborating with diverse teams to curate and expand our content, streamline research processes, enhance our user interface, and discover innovative ways to leverage our flexible rules engine to meet the needs of our clients. Eric is also eager to implement numerous ideas for the product, including leveraging cutting-edge data science techniques such as machine learning and generative AI.
When he’s not at his desk, Eric tries to spend as much time as possible playing hockey and taking his boys on adventures through the mountains (skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, camping, hiking, and biking). However, he is most looking forward to getting his oldest on the ski slopes this season!