Tax Connect experiences

Hello,
We are considering to use the tax connect (Avalara) option.
I wonder what your experiences are.

  • Was it hard to use during start up. Were there issues? I was told it all requires a day of implementations but wonder what the next day looks like…
  • Does it require new/updates GL controls? We now have different ones for each State connected to different GL Accounts.
  • How do you register tax exempts? Within customer entry Epicor?
  • Tax connect will arrange the tax settings on the invoice Can that be adjusted at invoicelevel?

Thanks
Mark

We are looking into this too. I am just starting the process. I can keep you posted as we go.

@markv Tax Connect is not a beast to setup, but there is a learning curve and change for your users. they need to know what happens when records fails and how to trouble - it’s usually a bad address.

Avalara will setup all the tax types for you and handle the rates. You will need to set a tax region code called Avalara. One GL Control code this tax region. (avalara handles your tax reporting)
Your customers will sync to avalara when you process transactions. You can manually add tax exemptions for each customer in the avalara website or buy cert capture. Epicor doesn’t show you which states the customers have an active exemption for in Avalara.
We added a UD screen to customer to show the states where exemptions are setup. This was manual, but now it’s automated via the avalara api.

You need to setup tax category for parts. You might need to spend some time understanding this. Product Tax categories tell Avalara what you are selling and what taxes apply to the that product. don’t skip the education here.
Tax connect will break out the taxes on the sales order and invoice for each tax location (City, state, county, etc.). Most of the time I have summarized tax amounts the invoice. Customers like to argue taxes and displaying all that info makes them become tax experts.

The tax engine is very accurate if you have good product tax categories and shipping addresses. When you calculate taxes on an order or invoice, you can the entire breakdown from the actions- tax connect -messages.

I’ve bought more than a few third party modules from Epicor over the years, this one is as good as advertised.

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You will have to train on this and sometimes get involved- we do 42,000 transactions a year and I help maybe once a month so it’s not too bad.

Could you please elaborate on this customization and automation?

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^-- Yes Please Mr. @bderuvo. We too are just getting started down this path.

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One of those smart guys I work with wrote that :wink:

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So you register exception certificates in Avalara to allow customers to not get charged tax. We wanted a way in Epicor to know if a customer had an exception and for which state.

So we used the Avalara API and the Epicor REST API to feed the exception certificates into Epicor from Avalara every day that way Finance can easily see if a customer is setup for an exception in a certain state without having to login to avalara web interface.

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So it sounds like you have already implemented a solution for Kinetic Idea #364, Modify Tax Connect to provide automatic synchronization of new customer/ship-to records with Avalara CertCapture. Would you say that is true? Would you mind sharing your solution?

All we do is display the cert capture information in customer tracker

It isn’t a two way sync

As far as sharing @Banderson actually wrote this one we’d have to look and see how specific to us it is we’ll look tomorrow and if he’s okay with it and it is something useable we can probably share it

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Never had a need to use Avalara, but what I can say if you go to Insights go to the Avalara party if they have one… It was awesome in 2017! (Geez that was sooo long ago)…:slight_smile:

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Simon! Hahahaha

that would be great if it was shareable at some degree. Good Job @Banderson !!

Question - could the same be done with Jitterbit? I’ve not gotten far enough into Cert Capture and all, but I’m thinking it would just be a flag on the Customer record, or a UD table of Certs indexed by Customer & state - so an API connector would work for this, no?

What did I do?

LOL - Jose through you to the wolves, indicating that you authored an Avalara API interface for Cert Capture data…

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oh, yeah. That thing. It’s just a rest call to their API. It returns some info and I use that to update our fields on the customer. It really wasn’t that advanced.

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When is the rest call invoked?

@josecgomez or @Banderson do you guys have any books or training on doing authentication in a web app via rest? I am looking for a very basic tutorial on it- preferably a visual or a guided lab, not stack exchange or another forum.

Depends on the technology stack for the API @utaylor there isn’t a silver bullet formula.

Epicor REST uses Basic Auth and Token Auth
Basic Auth: You pass an Authorization Header with the username:password encoded in it
Token Auth: You call a token endpoint with the username and password and it returns a JWT (Jason Web Token) which uniquely identifies you
SOAP is a whole other can of worms
There is OAuth and OAuth2 which are “standards” (notice the quotes) and much more

There are a few decent udemy courses but again they are specific to the tech stack
https://www.udemy.com/course/oauth-2-web-security-application-authentication/

https://www.udemy.com/course/learn-nodejs-authentication/

https://www.udemy.com/course/aspnet-core-identity-the-complete-guide/

Avalara uses an API Key and Basic Authentication.

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Thanks Jose, I will look into those. I just subscribed to coursera plus so maybe I can find like courses there. Thanks for taking the time to look those up.

We use Avalara and find it to be extremely easy to work with. I couldn’t imagine trying to track sales tax all the way to county and city of each state. We deal in all fifty states and find different states have different tax requirements.

The only caution I have is on Avalara billing. Billing can be based on what Avalara calls “API calls”. What we found is that Epicor makes a lot of API calls to Avalara. Even though Avalara divides those calls by 10 to determine the charge, in our case, it’s still a large qty and caused us to have to increase our annual contract.

I would be curious to hear from others as to their experience’s with the Epicor API calls. Epicor could not tell us exactly where they were coming from and there was no way to log them.

Anyone else have experience with this?

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