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AVATAX

  • 1.  AVATAX

    Posted Jun 11, 2019 03:56 PM
    We are trying to get AVATAX installed for GP, along with Certicapture.  I have been through some training on each, but find the program to be very difficult to understand and navigate through for all of us.  While I see the value in the program if we can ever get it to work properly, we are having a hard time getting it set up properly.  Our local partner gave us a bid for install and support that I considered to be way too high, so we pushed forward on our own.  After the sale, Avalara's support for their product has not been very good.  Since I didn't use our GP support partner for the install, they are not willing to help, and keep referring me back to Avalara.  I am trying to see if anyone knows of a good resource to answer basic questions, and to help get us over the finish line with this product.  We are using GP 2015.

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    Russ Fuchs
    Instore Design Display
    Kansas City MO
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  • 2.  RE: AVATAX

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jun 12, 2019 07:39 AM
    The way the partner program works, is the partner supports the customer. You have to pay for their time, either per hour or a contract for services. Even Avatax would charge for implementation and training. There are bad customers and bad partners, but you will either have to mend fences with your current partner or find another partner to assist you. The community is helpful but is no substitute for implementation and basic training. I am sure you have wasted a lot of time trying to use this product without guidance. Not trying to be harsh, but realistic. Consultants are professionals with experience, and it costs money for their services, and it costs money to try and do it without them.

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    Mark Wiley
    Dynamics Credentialed Professional
    Senior Consultant
    DXC Technology
    Akron, OH
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  • 3.  RE: AVATAX

    Posted Jun 12, 2019 07:47 AM
    Good morning, We use Avalara also, we installed ours back in 2014 and received absolutely no training or assistance with the implementation. They turned it on and basically said "there you go!" Since we have automotive sales and rentals in Alabama I had to create a lot of customer custom tax rules to calculate the correct rates because Avalara only supports the general rates. They also don't handle the single article tax calculation correctly for Tennessee. And if you are required to submit a prepayment monthly for Pennsylvania they can't manage that either, we had three months worth prepayments just continue to add up with the previous months prepayment never got deducted back out.

    In Tennessee they require you to report the type of exemptions and amounts each month (Government, Manufacturing, Farm, Resale etc) but Avalara just dumps the entire amount into resale. I called them out on that and they refuse to report it correctly, I guess it would require a little effort on their part. Their customer service is laughable, they have canned answers for everything which is in their "help" section and they will always refer you to that. Once I asked them to modify a report, add name of customer, the reports only list customer number, so they sent me a link to read how to run reports.

    I even had another scenario this week with customer service and tried to get our account rep to help me get it resolved but all I got was "sorry I can't help" so long story short I have to file my Colorado return myself as well, as well as the Alabama and Pennsylvania returns.

    Unfortunately we are have no other option for tax software (I've looked) due to the field service software we are using - Key2Act fka Wennsoft.
    Maybe you will have a better experience than us...

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    Carrie Henderson
    Kenco Material Handling Solutions, LLC
    Chattanooga TN
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  • 4.  RE: AVATAX

    Posted Jun 12, 2019 08:04 AM
    We also recently installed AVATAX.   The program is good.but AVATAX's customer service is awful.  We have many different 3rd party software we use with GP and have never run into problems with service like we've experienced with AVATAX.  Getting a simple question answered is almost impossible.

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    Myra Busic
    Gilson Company, Inc.
    Lewis Center OH
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  • 5.  RE: AVATAX

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jun 12, 2019 10:15 AM
    I'm sorry I don't have the expertise to help with the original question, hope you do find help.

    But I do want to speak up because I am surprised at the comments here about customer service from Avalara/Avatax.  They are the one vendor that our AR/Sales Tax employee just raves about!  She holds all other vendors up to their customer service standards​ and wishes more were like them. If you want some entertainment, you mention changing tax vendors and watch her head explode, haha!  Just kidding, kind of.  I'm not sure what the difference is between how we use them and how the other companies use them, but I did want to give them a positive review because we are nothing but happy with them.

    One last comment...getting a bid from a partner that seems outrageous and deciding to do the work ourselves...well, who hasn't been there?!  That is pretty much our modus operandi, haha.  But what may take us a while to learn the hard way, in the end, makes us much stronger!  We have struggled through every add on for GP except one, which we paid for.  If anything needs changed in all those different add on's we jump in and change it...except that one.  Then we get deer-in-the-headlight looks and we find work arounds-because we are afraid to touch it.  If I had to do it again I would have us do it ourselves so we would be empowered.  But we are a small company, with not many add ons, and we have the bandwidth to do it this way, so it works for us.

    Good luck with your learning opportunity!

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    Nancy Edwards
    Director of Operations
    H&W Computer Systems, Inc
    Boise ID
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  • 6.  RE: AVATAX

    Posted Jun 13, 2019 09:40 AM
    This is a very helpful discussion as I'm looking into sales tax partner solutions right now.  I used Avalara Avatax and Certcapture at my last job, not with GP, and it worked swell.  Had some miscommunications at the start on what we were sold vs what they promised to provide but we worked that out and couldn't have been happier.

    Now I'm starting the research all over again and Avalara still seems like a leading contender for all inclusive service offerings.  Any other suggestions (pro or con) on what people have gone with?  We have GP 2015 if that makes a difference.  Thanks!

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    Kristy James
    Financial Controller
    Dairyland Electrical Industries, Inc
    Stoughton WI
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  • 7.  RE: AVATAX

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jun 14, 2019 10:05 AM
    @Kristy James - We use Thomson Reuters for our sales tax.  We have been with them since 2008 and really like them.  Their customer service is awesome.  They are really good if you sell items that other tax software might not have tax codes for.  We chose them because they were able to do the research for the items we sell that they didn't have tax codes for and created them.  Their price might be a bit higher than other tax solutions but for us it is worth it.   ​

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    Jennifer Wheeler
    Applications Solutions Administrator
    Dairy Farmers of America
    East Syracuse NY
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  • 8.  RE: AVATAX

    Posted Jun 21, 2019 02:53 PM
    Hi Russ,

    If you are having issues with Avalara Support, the best thing to do is contact your Avalara Account Manager.  They are there to help assist you in getting things accomplished.

    As far as assistance with setup, going to a knowledgeable vendor for assistance is probably the way to go.




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    Tami Windschitl
    Sr Consultant
    Implementation Specialists (IS)
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  • 9.  RE: AVATAX

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jun 24, 2019 09:34 AM
    We use Avatax and CertCapture as well.  Their customer service can be quite difficult but their product is great once you get the hang of it.   In Avatax there is a 'Show me How' tab at the bottom of the page, in CertCapture its called 'Guided Help'.  Both of these will pop up messages to walk you through the steps.  There is also a chat feature that can prove helpful as well.  You're account manager and contact information is listed on the Dashboard/Home Page, they should be able help you as well.  Your partner should also be able to help you, regardless of whether they did the install or not.  You could also reach out to other partners for quotes to help you with this project.  But the guided help in their sites will help walk you through the main parts of how to use their product.  For specific tax setup questions, we often sought out help from our sales tax expert as well.   Good luck to you, I think you'll like the product once its up and running.

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    Sara Flaws
    Staff Accountant
    ADO Products LLC
    Plymouth MN
    sflaws@adoproducts.com
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  • 10.  RE: AVATAX

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 05, 2019 05:09 PM
    We use AvaTax and CertCapture as well and have since 2014. We did all of our own planning and implementation. It was quite time intensive but we certainly learned a lot. We did work with Avalara on the install, etc. but not with our partner. We tend to be very independent that way so I understand your choice to implement on your own. However, spinning your wheels wastes a lot of resources, time and money so you have to weigh that out. I've been in that position as well. Fortunately, we have IT resources internally that I am able to collaborate with. I can help you with general questions on what we did if needed. Your planning and setup is key. Testing and thinking through your scenarios is vital. We have a development / testing company and a live company connected to the product. We collect Sales Tax in 5 states. In addition, we have 4 other countries we are registered in. We are in the middle of a multicurrency question/issue with Avalara that we are not getting a lot of assistance with. I was a big proponent of using Avatax and the system is not that difficult once you understand your internal needs for the product. It covers a lot but has been disappointing in the international aspect of the product. We are on GP2016. I certainly am not an expert with the product but can navigate it quite well. However, every company and scenario are different. If I can be of any additional assistance please let me know.

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    Heather Upton
    Accounting Supervisor / GP SME
    Elanders Americas
    Davenport IA
    hupton@elandersamericas.com
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