Overcoming Tax Management Challenges Through Automation Within Dynamics 365 Business Central (Video)
Businesses small and large are pursuing digital transformation (DX) at a faster pace than ever before. Even before COVID-19 took the world by storm, business leaders across the globe were readying their companies for DX, and the trend has only accelerated since the pandemic’s onset. In fact, many believe DX is the key to recovery, allowing businesses to be more efficient, resource conscience, and responsive to customers’ needs.
Tax compliance is naturally well suited to benefit from DX through cloud agility, machine learning, and automation. This is especially true now that 45 states are enforcing economic nexus laws, requiring remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax in a state – even without physical presence.
If you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and are wondering if you’re covered with the recent sales tax law changes (and if there’s a more efficient way to manage compliance that frees your finance team to focus on critical issues), this on-demand webinar is for you! We reveal the biggest challenges in tax management that can cost a business precious time and money and provide a first-hand look at how automation can increase accuracy and efficiency.
- The current state of sales tax compliance
- Key trends in tax legislation that will drive DX in the future
- Why businesses are choosing to automate tax compliance
- Demonstration of how the Avalara suite works inside Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
The last thing your business needs to worry about is tax compliance. Watch this on-demand webinar to make sure your obligations are being managed properly and efficiently.
Melissa: Hi there everyone. Thanks for joining us today. We’ve got Avalara here and we’ll be talking about overcoming tax management challenges through automation within Dynamics 365 Business Central. So we’ve got Jammahl and Will, and Larry here. So thanks so much for joining us. I will let you take it away.
Jammahl: All right. Thank you so much. We really appreciate, you know, our partnership with Encore Business and appreciate you allowing us to be here today. So thank you to everyone who’s able to join us live today, and those who may be listening to this recording at a later date. My name is Jammahl Sims. I’m a strategic Alliance manager here at Avalara. I’m joined today by a couple of great coworkers, Microsoft sales executive here at Avalara, Larry Sheetz, and product solutions engineer Will Hodgson. I’m gonna kick us off and lead our discussion on the current state of digital transformation and why automate sales tax management. Larry will lead our discussion on cloud versus on-premise tax solutions and tax compliance done right with Avalara. Will, will take the anchor leg with a great demo of Microsoft Business Central. And of course we’ll have some time at the end for questions. So let’s get into it.
So we’re here today to talk about digital transformation and tax compliance. Two things many likely would never group together, but I believe they are in fact logical partners. Before we dig in that far, let’s start by discussing digital transformation and the role its played over the past year as businesses have faced what feels like change after change, after change.
At its most basic form, digital transformation occurs when technology is used to change how business operates and provides value to its customers. In recent years, digital transformation, well, first of all, it’s one of those buzzwords that we talk about, you know, a lot. It has to become a central for businesses who wanna keep pace with changing consumer behaviors and business demands. All of which begins with the scalable and flexible foundation that enables growth. I love this quote by Danielle Hernandez that you see here on the screen. The quote really helps us understand how we can go from, and I guess really bridge this massive inflection point from COVID and all the changes that have been imposed as a result and figure out how to utilize digital transformation to move forward and ultimately to boost our economic recovery. Excuse me.
When I think about what the impact overall, so many impacts of COVID, you can’t really go through a day without talking about what impact or what change and as we think about returning to office, etc., of course, all businesses experience the pandemic in different ways, and many are experiencing this need firsthand for thinking about cloud first, digital first. How do I become more efficient? How do I take this driver of change and do something positive with it to accelerate my business? The pandemic did that. It accelerated the need for businesses to embrace digital transformation as work shifted completely remote and business again, our business began taking place predominantly online.
So whether it was us work from home or shopping online, it necessitated that we look at our businesses differently. We have to look at human resources differently. We have to look at commerce differently and just make some different primary emotions for businesses around the globe. And what’s fascinating about these stats that you see here is that not only did COVID drive digital transformation, but for a lot of businesses, we’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Some have taken accelerated steps, some have needed that motivator, you know, of a significant shift in business to make that change. So for a lot, this isn’t new. We just had to put our foot down on the accelerator in 2020, and you can see, you know, this is from 2019, these stats here. Ninety-one percent of IT decision makers said their business had a digital first strategy in place. This was back in 2019, but you know, we can tell you from experience that as we talked with a lot of businesses, they just were not ready for that switch to people working from home and, you know, it really made a big difference in having that plan and being able to implement it right away.
As we look forward, digital transformation strategies will continue to be based in the cloud and a top priority for businesses. For most businesses, having a cloud-first approach is essential and many believe cloud-based solutions provide that scale, that agility and that flexibility needed to not just survive, but thrive and succeed in the digital age. Clearly cost savings, right, as a top winner when you think about the real drivers for why digital first, why now? And then of course followed by migrating more workloads to the cloud, given that this return to office or stay remote is still in place for a lot of companies. And, you know, none of us wanna talk about the increase in numbers. So, you know, hopefully it goes down and we’re able to return to office in some sort of normalcy.
So with all the change and digital transformation taking place, how do sales tax come into play? There’s a direct correlation, some outcomes of digital, excuse me. There’s a direct correlation between some outcomes of digital transformation and tax obligations. Industries of all kinds are reinventing themselves. Retail is a great example of an industry that is undergoing digital transformation to keep pace with changing customer expectations. The restaurant industry is another one. You see more food trucks on the road now than, you know, ever before. They had to make that change on it to adapt to the way business has changed. One key change retailers are making is that they are embracing new sales channels across online, and in person experiences. This shift to an omni-channel approach is essential for retailers that wanna reach customers where they are. But it also creates new tax obligations.
For example, if a retailer that sold primarily in store at one location now sells online to customers across the U.S., they not only have tax obligations in that state, but likely across the country. It’s not so much where you are. It’s where your customers are. Let’s dig into some of the nuances of sales tax to learn more about why this retailer now faces more tax complexity. Like, many business functions, managing sales tax is complex and extremely time consuming if done manually. Larry can tell you we’ve been on calls with customers and they produce some pretty impressive Excel spreadsheets. That works to a certain extent, but when you talk about accuracy and when you talk about, just the ability for that person to be doing something that’s better suited and you know, more revenue generating, it’s not scalable. It doesn’t work, you know, that person gets sick, that person is out, again, very impressive with some of the spreadsheets that we’ve seen, but it’s time for a change.
Let’s say I have a clothing business based in Washington, but I sell online in 20 other states. The complexity is immediately evident. There are more than 13,000 tax jurisdictions in the U.S. with thousands of exemptions that may or may not apply. Further to the complexity of sales tax, it’s not just jurisdictions and varying rates. It also includes varying definitions of how specific products are taxed across jurisdictions. When you look at the United States and you look at the tax jurisdictions, it’s like a patchwork quilt, you know, you can’t just utilize or rely on zip codes. Things change from, it could be directly across the street and the tax rate or how a specific product is taxed could be different. It’s really hard to keep up with. For example New York, bagels are taxable if they’re sliced, but exempt from tax if purchased whole. Crazy. Again, how it is used and how it’s purchased. The ingredients in candy make a difference on whether or not it’s taxed, you know, you look at Indiana there. Snickers, taxable, Kit-Kat, Twix exempt. And more than likely its the ingredient. So flour, you know, wheat, something that’s in that that’s taxed differently in different places. So we’re gonna transition a little bit. I’m gonna turn things over to Larry. He’s gonna talk about the 2018 Supreme Court decision, South Dakota versus Wayfair. Take it away, Larry.
Larry: Thanks Jammahl. That was a great overview of really why digital transformation is key, especially in, you know, even without the impact of COVID. And the next few slides are gonna detail why and why automating your current sales and use tax processes is going to give you and your high value workers time back while elevating your standard of compliance and, you know, returning folks to those key revenue generating activities. So, as Jammahl mentioned, we’re now about three years removed from the South Dakota versus Wayfair ruling that allowed states to implement economic nexus laws on remote sellers. So the gold standard had been physical presence, that has not disappeared. Now we’ve just added one more layer that could impose a requirement for your business to register, collect, and remit sales tax in a given state in the U.S. So the actual impact that we’ve seen on businesses is pre-June, 2018.
Most businesses were comfortable with where their obligations were just a handful of states post Wayfair, especially now since nearly every single state in the U.S that has a sales tax regulation also has an economic nexus threshold. The only holdout is Missouri. We’ve seen an exponential growth in businesses obligations from a sales tax standpoint. So there largely hasn’t been a change to the operations of the business, but the amount of money required to remit as well as the amount of time and effort to track all those obligations in the changing requirements state to state has ballooned exponentially. So, Jammahl, you can jump to the next slide. We can show a graphical representation of that. So you can see here on the left. The status of economic nexus in June of 2018 versus June 22nd of this year. Florida was the most recent state to come online with an economic nexus threshold. So we expect this to continue to get more complex. So kind of the inside baseball is most states launched economic nexus regulations on the heels of Wayfair, whether it was later in 2018 or early 2019. They’ve then since modified their criteria to basically require more businesses to register and collect, or at least start reporting their sales in a given jurisdiction. So not only are these regulations on the books, but they’re also changing. Which is another thing that we can help with. You can jump to the next slide.
Thanks, Jammahl. You can see here this just as a couple snapshots of the complexities and varying requirements, state to state. North Dakota, pretty straightforward with, if your business has a $100,000 in taxable sales within their borders, you are required to register with the state and start collecting and remitting sales tax. Kansas does not have a threshold. They look at if you have any remote sales within their borders, you are required to register and start collecting. California includes exempt sales as does Texas in their half a million dollars in revenue threshold. Other states like Georgia have a combination of total revenue, as well as total sales orders within their boundaries. So there’s a lot of complexity, it’s regularly changing, one of the reasons we like to automate, especially in this space, through an integration like we have with Business Central, is we can track these changing obligations in real time, and we have visibility on what your sales are through your invoicing platform, whether that’s your ERP or eCommerce shopping cart, point of sale system. And we can actually show you in real time where your sales are putting you up against the economic nexus thresholds in states where you’re not currently registered. So that’s the common theme for today’s presentation. Complexity is here to stay, and it’s only going to get more extreme. Our solutions are designed to basically take that work off your plate, and run in the background. So you no longer have to track all that. So you can jump to the next slide, Jammahl.
All right, let’s get the nitty gritty of why automating sales tax compliance is the go-to move here. Our solution is guaranteed accurate for calculation. It’s done in real time in less than four tenths of a second on average. So the common question that I get when, you know, interacting with customers is, “That’s great. The standard of compliance is clearly way beyond what we’re currently doing, but we’re an ecommerce business,” or, “We can’t afford, like we need immediate invoicing for our fulfillment processes. Is this solution gonna slow us down?” And the answer is you probably won’t even notice it. It’ll be immediate calculation through the integration there’s an API call to our engine, which is then returned to your system for committal. And then that information is shared with our return service if you’d like us to file those returns on your behalf as well. It’s efficient, we’ve already talked about the time, but we’re also guaranteeing that it’s going to be done accurately each and every time.
The customer satisfaction is through the roof. We’ve got over a 98% customer retention rate year over year, for a reason. We’re giving you that time back. We’re removing the audit risk and providing a solution that scales with your business. Jammahl gave a great recap of the impact that we’ve seen at Avalara from COVID, you know, with businesses that have been able to maintain or thrive through the economic uncertainty. It’s launching new sales channels. Our solution’s designed to complement that. So, and give you that flexibility to launch what you need to continue to grow and be successful. We’ve kind of hinted at the risk management piece. Let’s see here. The top challenges that most companies face for managing tax compliance goes right to that risk management and business growth piece. They have new obligations, but they’re not sure how to meet them, or if they need to hire or increase head count in order to meet those obligations.
That’s the most common reason that folks come to us. These other reasons listed here go directly to the precision of our calculation service and overall solution guaranteed accurate calculation. We provide an efficient process and management tool for the exemption certificates for your B2B sales. We offer now nearly a 1,000 pre-built integrations to any system that you’re using. So for that lack of integration with existing systems and technology piece, we checked that box immediately by plugging directly into whatever systems you’re using. Constant updates from both the tax, as well as technology standpoint and then it’s an efficient, scalable solution for you. With whichever path your business takes, we have something pre-built on the shelf, or you can leverage our API to install our integration and solution moving forward. Jammahl, you can jump to the next slide.
So we’ve been mentioning a lot of these benefits, but I wanted to call some of these out here explicitly. One of the lead benefits is the increased confidence with your sales and use tax overall compliance program. So it’s guaranteed accurate. It runs in the background with minimal staff or team member intervention. So we do all this work for you, so you don’t have to track those changes. The reporting, we guarantee you, if we file on your behalf, that it’s gonna be on time using the correct method every single time and then most of these other pieces are directly linked to the technology that Will is gonna show here in a few moments. Jammahl, you can jump to the next slide.
All right. So these are criteria that we’ve put together at Avalara for really our best in class solution. And this is kind of what we hint at and kind of walk you down the path for each new customer we chat with. So a good solution will offer accurate calculation, certificate management solution, timely return filing as well as the reporting capability. That’s our core business, but we go well beyond that. We’re a technology company first and foremost, we’re constantly improving our offering to provide a better user experience increasing the overall standard of compliance and pushing that deliverable, excuse me, product quickly and efficiently to your customers. That solution also must grow with your business as the, you know, economic conditions dictate. Whether you’re opening a new place of business, brick and mortar or launching a new e-commerce site, or just changing the backend accounting software, we’re designed to scale with whatever needs your business has. And then finally integrating with your existing systems as well as providing you a roadmap for RA. A common example is, upgrading from NAV to Business Central. How long an implementation takes, what implementation looks like. We work hand in hand with Encore to provide you that roadmap. So you can see not only what the solution would look like 18, 24, 36 months down the road, but as well as the time to get live on that solution, as well as the associated costs.
All right. Key differences between on-premise and cloud solutions as we see them from a sales tax automation standpoint. Full disclosure, Avalara is the only vendor that was native to the cloud from when we were founded in 2004. Here’s why. We have a subscription model, our pricing is based on how much of our services you’re using, because we only want you to pay for what you’re using. We found that that’s a much better and easily digestible path to take versus basing it on revenue. The cloud solution is much faster and simpler to set up and deploy, you know, we just referenced implementation. Typically depending on the system, you’re installing, 10 to 30 hours with minimal development work. We have these pre-built certified connectors that we’ve built in-house that you install on the back-end, and then they require minimal, if any intervention, day-to-day and moving forward. So we connect easily into most ERP and e-commerce, CRM tools, point of sale solutions. And then we also support, more than just U.S sales tax. We support VAT, GST, customs and duties, import taxes and fees. We can help you automate all of that. So we understand just the U.S is only a part of the equation here. Our solution is truly global and scalable and efficient and cost effective.
You can jump to the next slide. All right. So where do we start here? First piece is understanding where your obligations are today and then showing you the path for scaling a year, two years, three years down the road. So that’s through understanding where your customers’ nexus obligations are. So we’re looking at physical presence, where do they have inventory? Where do they have employees? Where do they have places of business? That’s the gold standard since sales tax regulations were originally put on the books. Then we look at the economic activity in a particular state which is really the total number of sales orders, as well as revenue in that state. We provide a free sales tax risk assessment to help with that process. That’s really the first hurdle when we’re scaling out a solution and providing that scope for you is understanding where your obligations and requirements are. And then we move from there to see if you’re currently registered and we look at how many returns we need to file, how many exemptions certificates we need to manage as well as kind of throw some additional states maybe that you weren’t thinking about, but you’re maybe near the threshold. That’s saying, hey, keep these in your back pocket may need to register in the next couple quarters, things like that. Can you jump to the next slide?
All right. Why Avalara? Everything we’ve been talking about to date. It’s plug and play solution, got over a 1,000 certified prebuilt integrations to nearly every third party system on the market, whether that’s ERP, e-commerce, CRM or point of sale. We wanna plug in directly to whichever systems you’re committing invoices in. Then we’re designed for global e-commerce, sorry, global commerce. So your obligations, we understand don’t stop just within the U.S borders. We wanna provide you a capability that gives you a lot of flexibility and expands with your business without sacrificing that compliance. We wanna keep you doing those key activities that add value, that generate revenue and continue growing your business without slowing you down with indirect tax compliance.
Now, our track record, in this space speaks for itself. You know, we handle billions of transactions annually, process nearly $30 billion in returns and funds remitted to various jurisdictions annually. We manage over 18 million exemption certificates on behalf of our customers as well. All that’s to say, if you use Avalara for your entire sales and use tax compliance program, or just a piece, you can rest assured it’s going to be done right each and every time. Okay. Next slide.
All right. So the challenges here from a overall complexity standpoint is if you can see this slide, there’s a lot that falls on the business here. From determining nexus, knowing how your product is viewed in a given location, that can even go down to the local level, which is another differentiator for us at Avalara. Home rule states like Colorado, you know, for selling software, Colorado Springs can view your product differently than Denver and taxed differently, accordingly. We take all that guesswork out and we do it right, every time. We assign the correct jurisdiction, we manage the exemption certificates on your behalf. We’re also a certified vendor for the streamlined sales tax program, which could get your Avalara solution subsidized by those states and up to 24 states as well as providing everything that you’ll need at your fingertips for audit readiness. So we’re your one-stop shop.
And this is our total solution here. From calculation, returns, documents really refers to the exemption certificate management. It also now includes our business license solution. All of that capability kind of goes hand in hand with our end-to-end product, but we can also be flexible. We understand, especially with COVID, that, you know, priorities change. So we’ve, you know, Jammahl is well versed in this as well. A lot of the solutions we’ve launched since COVID started have been a multi-phase process. We can address your immediate priority first and then scale in the additional capabilities as we move forward or we can do the full end-to-end solution out of the gate, which would include registrations, remittance, as well as providing you that backend audit security. All right. I know I went a little bit long there, but let’s turn it over to Will for the star of the show here.
Will: Thank you, Larry. Jammahl. Thank you. All right. So, you know, our Business Central, you know, connector that we have in here is designed to make things a lot easier and, you know, really simply talk to our AvaTax system as well as, you know, our different [inaudible 00:26:33] piece to be able to handle that, you know, exemption certificate management. Initially, you know, you’re going to see there’s a new Avalara AvaTax menu up here. And there’s, you know, your initial setup in here as well as several different utilities, depending on what you’re looking to run through. The setup in the system is very easy to run through. It’s really just defining, you know, there’s an account number and the license key, and then pointing it to either our production and [inaudible 00:26:57] of AvaTax. You’ll have a company code that you would have set up on the AvaTax piece to help, you know, push that information over. And then we create a single tax area code here for AvaTax, and that’s gonna allow the core information from Business Central to stay here, but then we’re pushing all that transactional data to the AvaTax system for the tax calculations. So some really basic setup in there, just to get the system to talk to us.
Really with any tax calculation itself, there’s kind of three main areas we’re always gonna look at. We’re gonna look at your nexus, which typically is set up on the AvaTax component. We’re going to be looking at your customers next to find out are they taxable exempt and in a perfect world that would be set up in our CertCapture application so that we can validate out those particular customers within a given ship-to state. And then thirdly, we look at the good or the service to determine, is it taxable, is it exempt, is there a reduced rate? Maybe there’s a threshold to it and apply all that logic to the system.
So when we’re running through, we have the ability here as one of the utilities to come down here and map your different goods and services into the system so we can have your codes defined to one of the Avalara tax codes. So our default is to treat things as tangible personal property. So basically just a taxable thing based on whatever the jurisdiction rate is. But for those things that are gonna vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, we have a set of proprietary codes for all these different, you know, goods and services that you have, and you just have to initially map your thing to our thing effectively. And then the engine will take care of the taxation on that. And then we’re maintaining that logic underneath the hood. So you guys don’t have to worry about that. You know, so customers can very easily just map their new things and then that system is gonna take over from that point. So that’s one of the areas of setup that you would see us.
Traditionally, you would also see us on the customer card. You’ve got the ability to come in, as we’re looking at our different customers. We have address validation built into the system. So as we have information on the customer card, in the data, we have the ability to reach out and validate the addresses and get cleaned information as we’re gonna run through. So that when the transaction occurs, we’re able to take this information and kind of make sure behind the scenes for converting it to Lat Long to put a pin basically in somebody’s driveway and really, truly get that accurate tax rate. So for getting clean addresses here at the initial onset, it definitely makes those transactions much more accurate as time goes on.
We also have hooks built into the system here to link these customers directly into our CertCapture application. So if you’re utilizing that functionality, you have the ability to push this customer data directly into CertCapture, and then you can also request certificates directly. So the customers can get emails and have that information, you know, sent back to you. And we can also pull back those details directly from the CertCapture application, so that we can see truly how that exemption status is. So these are just nice time-saving hooks into the other applications to make, again, that whole process easier for you overall.
From that point, really, you know, the behind the scenes components of the setup, those are pretty much the core areas you’re going to see us in here. As we’re building out the documents, we are typically making calls at the order and the invoice level. So you can call out at the order things are going to be changing. We’ll get the tax, come back with a result. When we do that final sales invoice, it’s going to make a call out again so that we can finalize and post that transaction over to the AvaTax piece so that it can be there for reports and remittance, you know, should you be utilizing those services. But really, you know, as we’re coming through and we’re building out these different orders, we’re very much behind the scenes at this stage. So really customer just is coming in, they’re building up their information. Right? For, as their different data comes in here, you’ll notice that AvaTax tax code that we’ve got on the item.
And then just to kind of give you an example here, so you can see here, the system just made a real-time call out to verify that basically my, again, my nexus has turned on. So I need to calculate tax in this jurisdiction, in this scenario, my customer’s taxable and my product was taxable. So I got in this case $36 and 75 cents of tax. And if I wanna get into further detail on that. I can come down to look at the actual tax details. And based on my customer that I sold to in this particular case, I can actually see the breakout in the different jurisdictions. So I can see the amounts and the different tax and the different rates that were relevant to this particular transaction.
Again, you know, this whole area here is designed just to make things easier as far as the tax calculation goes. Again, we’re behind the scenes, we’re updating these rates, you know, as things are rolling through. So you guys don’t have to worry about updating and maintaining those things. We’ll take care of that. You’re just sending in customer data and products and all that information gets tax, you know, calculated as it runs through. When that information comes over to the AvaTax piece, we have the ability in the system to, again, based on your nexus settings, we have the ability to track, as Larry mentioned earlier, all those jurisdictions where you may not yet be registered. So we hear from our main front page, they have an economic threshold map, and you have the ability to see in here, those places where, you know, you may necessarily have hit within 80% of a particular threshold.
You know, it’ll be yellow. If you’re exceeded the state’s threshold, it’ll be orange. Right? So we can actually see those different thresholds that were mentioned. Whether they’re sales amount or a transaction. And then where you stand with certain things. So this tool is really designed to assist and may help you make informed decisions on, you know, where we actually need to be for different things. And then you can kind of set those up as time goes on. There’s also registration services through here, if you need to as one of those options to, you know, help with that process. So all that information is initially based on that where we collect tax. So where we’re defining your actual nexus per company, as we set these in. So this information is really, you know, simple to run through anywhere if you’re in U.S is just under sales and use. If you’re under Canada or anywhere else international it’s under VAT or GST, but you can see here in my case, you know, we’ve got all these different jurisdictions turned on.
And again, you know, as Larry had kinda mentioned earlier. There’s a couple of states that are a little bit more fun to set up. You’ve got Alabama and Colorado and Louisiana where we can come in and look at the different jurisdictions as we’ve set up and really, truly tailor these to how my particular company is registered. So, you know, I can see in this particular case, I’ve got, you know, my Alabama state turned on, I’m only registered in the city of Fulton, city Geiger and city of Mobile, anywhere else if I have a transaction, I’m only gonna get my state level tax. Right? Compared to those other jurisdictions where I make it city or county or special. So I can really kind of tailor those again, specific to my company’s registration, and then make sure that we’re getting that accurate tax calculation as it runs through. And these are pretty much a one-time setup, you know, they’re real time. So as soon as we check the box and turn them on, these jurisdictions are automatically kind of calculate the next time a transactional data comes through for that point.
As the transactional data runs in, we’re gonna be, through that final invoice. All of our transactional data ends up here on our transactions tab. So we have the ability to kind of look through here and see all those posted invoices. So I can see all of my header level details. I can see, you know, the “ship from,” “ship to” at the header. I can see the summary of the actual tax transaction. And then we have a line by line breakout in here of all those different kind of components that ran through. So I could see my item, that Avalara tax code that it was mapped to. And I’ve got my line level ship from a ship to, those three points that I mentioned earlier. Right. Are we collecting tax here? Is my customer taxable? Is my product or service taxable? Right? To be able to get the end result, I can see all those different levels of tax, all the different rates that we maintain so that you guys don’t have to look them up and then whatever the relevant tax works for those particular levels. So there’s a lot of detail in here that we can pull out of the system, depending on what we’re looking for.
Additionally beyond that is kind of one of our additional element options here is the CertCapture application. So we can handle any of the actual exemption certificate manage different components of this. So I can see you have new certificates and customers that might be missing. I can track invalid certificates. So maybe they were the wrong document, or maybe they didn’t sign it. I can be proactive and see those things they’re expiring. I can see those customers that have those certificates that have expired. Right? And then we’ve also got pending. Those are the new certificates that have come in that we haven’t yet validated. So you have the ability to go through here and really track all the different components of your exemption management. And again, these relate back to those buttons that we were seeing earlier on the Business Central side, to be able to push that data into the system, you know, for those ongoing customers.
You have the ability through here to either send, you know, specific details or requests out for these customers as needed. We can also, you know, just push that data, but I can see the actual certificate information through the system and track these, and these are defensible documents. We’re not just storing data here. So you’re able to, you know, print these out and hand them off to auditors. And we’re good to go from that point. But I can track all the different exposure zones and the actual certificates that have been provided. And, you know, individually send a request which works very similar to that button that we saw back in the Central, or I have the ability to build out larger campaigns and manage these across so that we can really see who’s responded to the campaigns and who has not. And build out different rounds in here so that we can address, you know, when I wanna send things or which cover letters I wanna use, and then build out secondary rounds to send out further emails to those people who haven’t yet responded. So there’s many different ways to manage your exemption certificates, read through the system and they work kind of in tandem again, with everything that’s coming across from Business Central into the AvaTax component.
And then really getting into, you know, what the returns piece, you know, we can file any of the returns as they’re run through to be able to hand that information. We’ll start everything with a power of attorney form. We would have customers come in and initially set up their returns so they can, you know, set these up and say, I filed this particular return in the state, what’s the login and the passwords, you know, the different forms and how often they file, and ultimately really just getting all that information set up. So then we have a team of people that will go in and review all that information to make sure that it’s accurate before the end customer ultimately comes in and, you know, effectively is going to run through, verify out the information and kind of run through this calendar to make sure, you know, all the different values are correct as they run through. And then, you know, we would go in by the 11th to the14th. Pull out the funds so that we can file these different returns. And then between the 15th and the end of the month, copies of those returns started showing back up in here. So customers can file or archive those off. As part of the service, we’ll also handle any notices that should customers need them so we can track and follow all those different components through here as well.
And then lastly, in the system, we have different reports in here broken out by transactional and liability and exemption reports. There’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 40, 55, 54, somewhere in there, different options, many different flavors, many different categories, depending on what you’re looking for. You know, lots of different filters to run through. A lot of these can be previewed on screens and there’s hyperlinks to basically drop through different components, but there’s also can be saved at as PDF or Excel. So there’s a lot of different ways to be able to get to your data depending on what the actual need is out of the system, based on all those transactions that were sent across from, you know, the Business Central side of things. So beyond that, thank you very much for your time today. I guess, Jammahl, I will turn this back over to you.
Jammahl: All right. Thank you. Will. Fantastic job. Always great to see, you know, how easy it is to navigate the integration. So thank you very much. So, thank you, everyone, for your time today. We really appreciate you taking the time to listen to us talk to you about Business Central and the integration with Avalara. We appreciate Encore Business for their partnership. Wanna leave you with many ways that you can stay informed about tax changes and tax automation. We’ve got the Avalara COVID-19 resource hub if you’re interested in looking for some information about laws by state, you can do that right there on our website, avalara.com. You can also check out the Avalara Commerce Monitor for quarterly economic updates across the retail manufacturing and service industries. And lastly, if you’re ready to dive into the world of tax automation you can reach out to one of our tax experts or Larry, that would be able to walk you through that enablement process. And of course we have tons of resources available if the need arises for additional questions. And with that are there any questions that have come across the chat?
Melissa: Yeah. I’ve got a few questions here. If you’ve got some time I can read them out.
Jammahl: Sure do.
Melissa: Okay. Great. Okay. So first one is, do I need to change anything in my Microsoft ERP to use Avalara?
Jammahl: Larry, you wanna take that?
Larry: Yeah. It really depends on the amount of customizations in your current Microsoft environment. But we’ll work with Encore. We also have, depending on the system we’d be integrating into, we also have our professional services staff who will help you with code merge, anything of that nature. So if it’s using a system like Great Plains it’s likely just to a plug and play and you can be live on that solution, including the amount of time to test within a couple of weeks, if it’s a more robust system like AX or D365 F&O or Business Central, there could be a little bit more work, but again, we built these connectors in-house, we maintain them in-house and follow Microsoft’s schedule. It’s designed to plug directly into your ERP with minimal intervention. So all the heavy lifting is on the front end. And even then it’s really just determining where you have an obligation to where we need to turn the engine on for calculation. And then making sure that your products are mapped to our proprietary information. So we can do all that jurisdiction assignment behind the scenes for you. Will, do you have anything to add on that?
Will: No. I think that’s pretty much spot on.
Larry: All right.
Melissa: Great. Thanks. I’ve got a second question here. How can I confirm that I’m compliant with various states as my business continues to grow?
Larry: Great question. I’ll take that and Jammahl, I’m sure you have some additional points here as well. Any initial conversation that we have with a customer is spent directly on where your obligations and then going one layer deeper, have you maybe uncovered some liability, meaning you realized you needed to register in a given state a while ago and are just catching it now. One unique feature that of working with Avalara is we have an in-house tax advisory staff. It’s about a dozen former state auditors who can work with you to not only identify areas of what we’ll call historic liability, but also down to the dollar level what any penalties and fines and fees would look like, and then a path to mitigate or otherwise reduce those fines and penalties. So we can help you calibrate specifically where your obligations are, address any, historic issues as so when you go live on Avalara solution, it’s a clean slate moving forward, and you’re fully compliant. Jammahl anything to add there?
Jammahl: Yeah, Larry and I’ll, you know, one of the key parts to join the Avalara is automation. So once you’re an actual Avalara customer it’s tracking and taking care of that, you know, automatically for you beyond that. So not just where you are now, but your business continues to grow. You continue to uncover new clients and additional states. So as you meet that threshold and new states, our software is able to notify you that you should register to collect a remit and new states as well. So that is just another way that we help you stay compliant and, you know, take that worry off your hands.
Melissa: Great. I’ve got one more question here. So how difficult is automation to implement and set up? We are a small business. My firm does not have a lot of staff time to dedicate to tech support.
Jammahl: You know, really it varies. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Will.
Will: Yeah. I can run with this. Yeah, I mean. It definitely, it kind of really is gonna vary, like you said, based on, you know, number of resources you can put in. But the connectors are designed to be, you know, pretty straightforward, you know, they’re pre-built, there’s, you know, a few configurable options, but, you know, much like everything else, it’s really gonna be the content behind the scenes. Right? It’s making sure that we get all those items and things mapped out, you know, as needed, making sure, you know, we’ve got valid customers and certificates on file as needed through, but largely, you know, the integration itself is pretty straightforward barring any customizations that may have been done outside.
Melissa: Okay. Anyone have anything else to add or?
Jammahl: No, that’s the pro speaking there.
Melissa: Awesome. That’s great.
Jammahl: Yeah, one last thing I did wanna say. I wanna make sure that Larry Sheetz, his email address is accessible as well. firstname.lastname@example.org. Larry and I work together on everything with Encore Business. So, if there’s a need, you can definitely reach out to either one of us.
Melissa: Wonderful. Thank you. Okay. Well, it looks like, we can give everyone a little bit of time back here and thank you so much, Jammahl, and Larry, and Will for joining us today. That’s been great and I hope everyone has a great afternoon.
Jammahl: Thank you. We appreciate your time.
Melissa: Thank you.
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