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How to Streamline Your Sales Tax Certificate Management Processes

Get out of the red and improve your financial health

For US wholesalers and distributers, the sales tax certification process is far from swift or simple with rules and regulations varying from state to state. Navigating the process can prove time-consuming, zapping energy and resources from other critical areas of the business.

Here, we explore the inherent challenges of keeping up to date with sales tax certificates and look at a sustainable, tech-driven solution that tackles the issues.

US sales tax certificate challenges

One of the most pressing issues is the need to maintain compliance and information and the challenges that brings along with it. For example, a global manufacturer found that as the business continued to scale, the transparency and efficiency surrounding its tax processes became a heavy administrative burden.

What’s more, keeping on top of expiry dates was draining a large chunk of business resources. This is particularly onerous as Florida requires sales tax certificates are renewed annually (and they all expire on the same date); the company’s sales tax certificates for Florida alone took up around four months. The company previously managed this process manually using spreadsheets, including manually sending out sales tax certificate reminders to masses of dealers — a laborious and unnecessary process that required ongoing attention.

When it comes to sales tax certificate maintenance, there is a raft of red tape to consider to remain compliant and failing to do so can result in an enormous cost — potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

With this in mind, sourcing a sustainable, centralized solution that not only eliminates a large proportion of monotonous admin but also minimizes the risk of error is the only way forward.

Sourcing the right solution

Folding under the weight of its sales tax certificate management duties, the business turned to Workbooks for an accessible, sustainable solution.

The company quickly began to get on top of its sales tax certificates by gaining access to every important strand of information from one central dashboard. Gaining a panoramic view of its entire state-to-state data, the business was able to easily locate any expiring information or administrative discrepancies, getting straight to the root of the problem.

They also managed to eliminate significant sales tax-based admin from its processes by sending automated dealer reminders via email rather than producing them manually. The business found Workbooks’ automated duplicate email prevention functionality helpful, as it prevented bombarding dealers with messaging for every one of their ship-to locations.

Another compliance issue Workbooks CRM managed to solve was client or customer form management; tax-based forms that aren’t filled out in full or correctly create compliance issues and ongoing administration follow-up.

By using Workbooks, the business now has the power to send out form requests at the right time, using Docusign to ensure every field is filled out correctly before completion. Not only does this streamline the process, but it serves to improve the customer experience (CX), building stronger professional relationships in the process.

Another key component of using Workbooks’ CRM is that internal sales reps enjoy access to dashboards that empower them to view any dealer with outdated or missing sales tax information.

This level of visibility gives sales reps — especially those in Florida — the tools to understand which dealers are in the red and take immediate action to get everything up-to-date.

“With Workbooks, I can put in the date I got the certificate, and it works out the expiry date for me so there’s no error in the math. I can view all of my certificate expiry dates across the board without pulling up reports or running anything — it’s all right there on my dashboard.” Accounting Associate

Using Workbooks has given this business (and many of our other US clients) greater transparency, improved efficiency and enhanced productivity.

The customizable and collaborative nature of Workbooks’ CRM means that it’s possible to make additional developments and updates to suit the business’ ongoing sales tax-based needs, scaling with the business and making continual improvements to their strategy.

To find out more about our sales tax-based CRM solutions, please get in touch.