Avalara + QuoteWerks Update: Mature, Yet Wild

By | Avalara, AvaTax, Etilize, QuoteWerks, sales tax | No Comments

QuoteWerks users collectively said,  “The Avalara for QuoteWerks connector has what we need to achieve tax automation, but how about a bit more flexibility, eh? ”  So that is our theme for this update – giving businesses the flexibility to deploy the connector, automate tax burdens and avoid disrupting “business as usual”.  Pick any address, commit to AvaTax at any stage and assign tax categories based on the way you catalog your products.


What’s New in 2.1?

Major Features

  • Validate Any Address: You may now choose which address to validate and send to AvaTax as the destination address (SoldTo, ShipTo, BillTo) for tax calculations
  • Tax Code Wildcards: Etilize and general tax code mappings now support wildcards. This allows logic statements like, “if the line item Description contains WARRANTY assign tax code A” and “if the Item Type starts with INSTALL assign tax code B”, maximizing tax code assignment flexibility
  • Commit to AvaTax At Any Stage: You may now choose when to commit the document to AvaTax, on Convert to Invoice or Order.  This is especially useful if you export orders to another system prior to or without ever converting them to an invoice in QuoteWerks

The Little Things

  • If configured to manage tax as a line item, the description of the tax line item will now include “Tax Exempt” plus the exemption type on fully exempt customers
  • The Generate Return button now forces a lookup on save to ensure we get a fresh tax calculation
  • Resolved a condition on address validation where the user would approve the address update, but in rare cases, it would not apply the changes
  • Resolved a condition where a call to AvaTax could still be made on an invoice that has already been committed as a record
  • Resolved a condition where, if managing tax as a line item, optional unselected line items in a group would be incorrectly included in tax calculations

QuoteWerks Level Up: Line Item Tax Rates and Global Tax Compliance

By | Avalara, AvaTax, Etilize, Global Tax, QuoteWerks, VAT | No Comments

On the heels of QuoteWerks releasing version 5.2, the app ecosystem has also solved a few problems for QuoteWerks customers to make life a little easier. Avalara for QuoteWerks, a way to simplify and automate tax compliance across business systems, has released version 2.0.  A flagship feature of v2.0 is accurate quoting when multiple tax rates need to be applied at the line item level.  This is especially important now that physical products are often being taxed differently than Cloud, Maintenance, Services and other categories.  I daresay taxes will not be getting simpler anytime soon as states pass “Amazon tax” laws and other legislation designed to close the tax collection gaps on internet commerce and hybrid product & service offerings.

Highlights of the release also include the addition of tax code mapping for the Etilize Product Catalog as well as handling international VAT and Intra-EU rates and compliance.

Have a closer look at :  https://www.connecttax.com

What’s New in 2.0?

Major Features

  • Multiple Tax Rates per Quote: QuoteWerks documents can now have multiple tax rates on a single quote, order or invoice allowing accurate tax calculations when different categories of products and services have differing tax rates.
  • Partial taxability: QuoteWerks line items and shipping charges that are partially taxable will now calculate tax correctly on your quote.
  • Etilize Mapping: Easily map Etilize categories to AvaTax tax codes to derive taxability and tax rates. Set it for your team and forget it.
  • Item and Category Tax Code Mapping: Use product codes, categories and other fields to derive taxability and category specific tax rates, then automatically have them apply in QuoteWerks.
  • Global Tax Calculations: In addition to U.S. and Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and all countries in the European Union have been added as regions where QuoteWerks users may now automatically apply taxability rules, perform tax calculations and achieve VAT compliance in and between countries. Add more countries and currencies through settings.

The Smaller Stuff

  • Avalara for QuoteWerks is now certified with version 5.2 of QuoteWerks.
  • Avalara for QuoteWerks is now certified for Global Calculations with AvaTax
  • Partial tax exemptions now get applied correctly rather than showing as fully tax exempt. An example case was exemption code “I – Industrial / Manufacturing” in California which now correctly results in partial tax exemption.
  • Resolved a scenario on ‘Convert to Invoice’ where items that had been bundled or converted to groups, whose tax amount was converted to a line item, would result in an incorrect higher tax amount than what was on the quote and order.
  • Resolved a condition where Avalara would return an error on really long product descriptions ( >2048 chars).
  • In the Avalara for QuoteWerks AvaTax Processing tab, the QuoteWerks ItemType field was added as a valid AvaTax ItemCode. This is in support of Etilize mapping and category to tax code mapping.
  • Address verification is now more secure (HTTPS).
  • AvaTax will now update the QuoteWerks Tax Code (Y/N) if a particular item is designated by AvaTax as taxable or not taxable for a given shipping address.
  • Added admin Tax Included checkbox applied at the quote/document level. This allows businesses to have a pricing strategy designed to be simple for customers where the quoted price is the same as the price paid, tax is already included in the price. Common practice in countries where VAT / GST applies.
  • EU VAT Reverse Charge messages can now optionally be displayed on associated line items.

Avalara for QuoteWerks is one of many connectors to Avalara AvaTax, the tax compliance platform.  Customers often use our connector in conjunction with other AvaTax connectors to systems like Quickbooks, Connectwise, AutoTask, Sage or Great Plains to automate and outsource their tax compliance responsibilities while keeping all business systems in sync.  Subscribe to the newsletter or schedule a demo if you would like to learn more.


Avalara for QuoteWerks 1.1 plays nicely

By | Avalara, AvaTax, QuoteWerks, sales tax | No Comments

Avalara for QuoteWerks, the sales tax compliance automation solution, has released version 1.1 now available for download!  Click here to get’r done.  As always the download and basic features are free.  In addition to shipping address validation, the “one click Product Return” function is also now part of the free basic features.

New Feature – Custom Field Mapping:  This is the ability to map which custom fields the module uses to store information on a QuoteWerks document.  This allows Avalara for QuoteWerks to play nicely with any other QuoteWerks integrations you have configured.

– What else is new? –

  • Zip vs Zip+4 option:  An admin option to validate addresses at the 5 digit zip or zip+4 level.
  • Converting to Invoice now performs a silent save if converting the tax to a line item, solving a scenario where the sales tax as a line item may not persist.
  • Internal Part Number is now an option to send as the ItemCode in AvaTax
  • Trigger to call AvaTax on shipping selection now only executes on quotes and orders to avoid changes to an invoice after it is considered a final record.
  • Several other changes to improve exception handling and resiliency in strange scenarios.

– On the horizon –

This is where we need YOU.  We have designed a solution for 1) Managing multiple tax rates on a single quote and 2) Custom tax code mapping (beyond yes and no), including automatic Etilize category to tax code mapping.  We would like to hear from you to know if these are problems worth solving or if there are bigger fish to fry.  Drop us a line.

Happy Quoting,
Tom “Monty” Montgomery
Co-Founder | ConnectTax

The Taxman Cometh and I’m Armed to the Teeth

By | App Development, Avalara, AvaTax, QuoteWerks, sales tax | No Comments

In 2015, Greystone started an apps business.  The simple mission is to solve painful business challenges for our customers that many will find beneficial.  On March 14th 2016, Greystone launched it’s first software product: Avalara for QuoteWerks. We did it for selfish reasons, at least at first. Collecting and remitting sales tax was a pain, so we asked ourselves, “How can we automate everything to do with sales tax compliance, solving the pain while removing associated risks?”

This is the story of how we got from that question to launching a software product.

Greystone has typically focused on the human component, i.e. technical knowledge and IT services.  When we needed hardware, software, and other products, we went through a third party for purchasing. In 2014, a decision was made to take on product sales. The reality was we could save our customers money, increase our revenue, and provide higher quality service because we would be in control of the procurement process.

We evaluated several quoting and proposal solutions and QuoteWerks quickly rose to the top, due to its ease of use and the strength of its out-of-the-box integration with ConnectWise and QuickBooks. You might be thinking “I don’t use QuoteWerks; this probably isn’t for my business”, but that’s the elegance of Avalara: it works with every business system, syncing and integrating with nearly every business application on the market.  We can dive into how Avalara can simplify your business, but for now, back to our story.

Product sales went from “zero to sixty” in less than a quarter.  We learned a few lessons the hard way, but we focused on streamlining the process and making sure systems stayed in sync so we could keep up with our customers’ needs.  Heads came together, and soon things started to click. Communication with distributors improved because it was just us and the distributors; no more middle men. Customers were happier because of the quicker turnaround, better communication, and simple invoicing. We knew we had made the right decision to take on product sales and to use QuoteWerks to do it.  Yet there was a problem brewing.

When we were purely a service company, sales tax was simpler. Introducing products adds complication.  There’s a concept called Nexus, which basically means if you have a physical presence somewhere, you owe taxes there.  Our systems, and sadly most systems on the market, don’t automatically take that into account. This means that even though you have all the rate tables up to date you are collecting too much tax, a disservice to customers. None of our systems applied different tax codes or rates across products and categories. Add in Colorado’s complex tax jurisdictions, and you can see how we found ourselves wasting lots of time reconciling across systems. Bottom line – we knew we had to automate sales tax or it would hinder our growth and leave us open to risk.

“According to a 2014 survey the average sales tax audit costs a company more than $114,000, up 19% from 2013”  – Wakefield Research Report


Enter Avalara. Avalara’s AvaTax was everything we needed to automate sales tax compliance. The elephant in the room was that they didn’t have QuoteWerks among their many integrations. It just so happened that Greystone had a product development team focused on solving exactly this kind of business challenge. The decision became a simple one.  Build the integration for ourselves, then share it with others.

In the two quarters using it, here is what we’ve seen:

  • Fewer clicks per quote
  • Reduced shipping errors
  • Increased tax accuracy
  • Less time spent on reconciliation – by 10+ hours per quarter
  • automated tax return filing – saving time while eliminating risk
  • Improved audit preparedness

…all of which add up to more productivity and peace of mind

We’ve saved money.  We’ve improved our ability to grow. We’ve empowered our people to provide exceptional service in an area where we often felt our hands were tied.

In the process of creating the Avalara for QuoteWerks solution, Greystone has become something of an expert on sales tax compliance.  If sales tax is a pain for you and your business, we should have a conversation.  We have a solution to that problem.  Take a minute to explore ConnectTax and contact us if it makes sense for your business.

If you have other business challenges, give us a call.  We want to understand them and explore whether Greystone can make an app for that.

Avalara for QuoteWerks is officially launched!

By | AvaTax, QuoteWerks | No Comments

We did it!  Avalara for QuoteWerks has moved from beta to version 1.0.  If you are a QuoteWerks customer, you can now automate all your sales tax compliance needs including tax calculation and aggregation across invoices, sales tax remit to states and jurisdictions, exemption certificate management and audit preparedness.  There are also several “nice to haves” added to QuoteWerks like shipping address validation, marking quotes tax exempt and generating a product return with a single click.

Many thanks to our beta customers who have helped us get off the ground with constant feedback.  Our appreciation also goes out to our internal QuoteWerks users and to the Jedi across Greystone Technology that have come together to launch the first AvaTax connector under the ConnectTax brand, Avalara for QuoteWerks.

We look forward to hearing what you think and learning whether we need to make adjustments to the integration to help you achieve your goals.

everything is difficult until it’s not,
Tom “Monty” Montgomery
Co-Founder | ConnectTax