A circular workflow showing all the stages of tax exempt document management using Avalara CertCapture.

Avalara + QuoteWerks + ConnectWise: You Had Me At Tax Exempt

By | Avalara, AvaTax, CertCapture, ConnectWise, Global Tax, sales tax | No Comments

This past year, nearly every QuoteWerks customer that installed Avalara for QuoteWerks wanted to make sure that applying tax exemption on customer quotes was automatic, just like the rest of the tax compliance automation.  The majority are pulling the exemption status from ConnectWise, but we have consulted on the setup with Dynamics, SalesForce, QuickBooks, Sage Accounting and Great Plains too.  A pattern emerged and here we are, with a well documented set of steps to automatically pull in exemption status from ConnectWise to QuoteWerks, which is also a blueprint for all the popular systems.

Avalara’s CertCapture offering takes this concept to the next level, relieving businesses of the burden of keeping their customer’s exemption certificates on file and tracking when they expire, not to mention asking customers for new certs.  This is the “hands free” option if you use QuoteWerks and some of your customers are tax exempt.

Whether you are upgrading or just jumping on board with sales tax automation,  Get The Download.

Basic install takes about 30 minutes to get up and running with automated address validation and tax rates.  If you run into a snag, send us a note.  We are here to help.

What’s New in 2.2?

Major Features

  • Avalara CertCapture – Exemption Management Automated: Subscribers of Avalara CertCapture now have tax exemptions automatically applied to customers in QuoteWerks.
  • Tax Exemption from ConnectWise (and other CRMs): Automatically pull in the exemption code from ConnectWise on Contact Record Lookup in QuoteWerks. Sales will never need to remember which customers are exempt. This is configurable for other CRMs too.

Other tiny joys in life:

  • Resolved a condition in the Admin where Tax Line Item Field default values may not save
  • When managing tax as a line item, the ItemType is now set to ‘TAX’ so that it may be easily filtered out of the QuoteWerks Purchasing Window
  • The admin setting “Omit tax line from document (Don’t Print)” now also applies when tax is moved to a line item after Convert To Invoice. Previously this setting was applied only when managing tax as a line item was checked.
  • Added a setting to “Allow tax lookup after AvaTax Commit” to continue to perform tax calculations after the document is committed as a record in AvaTax. Only applicable after converting tax to a line item following a particular workflow to outside accounting systems.
  • Address line 3 is no longer longer validated or updated. It often contains “Attention” or “Care Of (c/o)” information and is not typically relevant for geolocation.

Check out the new Setup Guide to see the different ways and steps involved to automate sales tax on the whole, and just added, applying tax exempt statuses across systems.

Humbly at your service,

Tom “Monty” Montgomery
Co-Founder | ConnectTax

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.

GET THE DOWNLOAD

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

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.