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How Intuit Managed 19M Processes During Peak Tax, Accounting Seasons

For a second straight year, experts from Intuit presented at CamundaCon and shared stories of challenges conquered through the power of automated workflows. The presentation offered a detailed look into how end-to-end process orchestration has helped the global technology company manage massive surges in traffic and requests during the always-busy tax and accounting seasons. 

With Camunda serving as its process engine, Intuit was ultimately able to manage 396 transactions per second during the company’s most demanding months, while also enabling 100% service level agreement availability.

This blog post will recap the insightful presentation and explore how Intuit has taken scalability to new heights with Camunda. 

Intuit Presenters: Nivedita Nayak, Principal Engineer, and Raghav Agarwal, Software Engineer 2

Tax and Accounting Seasons Drive More Traffic to Intuit 

Every year, Intuit experiences predictable surges in traffic and demand on its workflow automation platform. These peak periods occur twice annually: at the beginning of the new year when customers tend to open or close accounting books and then during tax filing season in the United States. 

“Our traffic was in the range of 50,000 visitors per day, but during peak demand, it surged to five times more at the new year and four times more during tax season.” 

– Nivedita Nayak, Intuit Principal Engineer

In addition to surging traffic during peak seasons, Intuit also sees a significant increase in its customers’ needs for transactions, review of transactions, and subscriptions. As a result of this across-the-board increase in activity, the need for a platform that provides customer and internal workflows as a service across the Intuit ecosystem became an absolute necessity. 

Handling Requests and Automating Workflows  

To build scalable workflows that can be customized to suit the needs of its customers, Intuit leverages end-to-end process orchestration from Camunda to build a product capable of managing such a massive increase in demand. 

“We use Camunda as our process engine,” Nayak said, “Camunda provides us with scheduling, state management, and acts as our rules engine.”

With Camunda serving as its process engine, Intuit’s workflow automation service acts as the stored house for templates and offers a designer interface – allowing customers to create their own workflows. Nayak said, “this service orchestrates both the definition of workflows and decreases program runtime,” while also, “providing abstraction, customization, and configuration for any workflows at scale.” 

Offering a custom workflow experience allows Intuit to tailor its offerings to customers based on use case, with the most common use cases involving approvals, reminders, bookkeeping, onboarding, and automation. But the workflow automation built on Camunda also has use cases within Intuit’s internal operations in areas such as loan processing and hiring.

“Two years ago when we started, we had one workflow and today we have over 22 diverse workflows that are being used,” said Nayak.

Intuit: Automating, Orchestrating, Scaling

During the most recent peaks for Intuit, the company supported up to 1 million workflow executions a day – an exponential increase from the 20,000 workflow executions per day the company was managing just weeks prior. During tax and accounting season, Intuit saw and managed more than 19 million total requests. In this critical time of the year for the company and its customers, scalability is critical to success. 

Not only was Intuit able to manage the surge in visitors and requests effectively, thanks to its workflow automation service, the company was also able to do so without any downtime, proven by their 100% availability during peaks. But, as it turns out, Intuit may just be at the start of its process automation journey with Camunda.

“We are evolving into an AI-driven expert platform,” Nayak said, “We want customers to focus on their business, which means we do all their accounting and tax filing. We want them to do less work and have more money.”

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