Simplifying Retail Tax with Automation

Author: Pete Olanday

Expansion is the long-term strategy for most retailers, but they often are confronted by a multitude of hurdles while working toward it. Every time retail companies plan to explore new territories geographically or through new sales channels, they are required to abide by certain tax regulations and policies. When these companies plan to sell internationally, they need to understand and comply with the e-commerce rules and requirements of each country to design the most efficient fulfillment strategy, especially when they have a business model as complex as one of Vertex’s clients had. Serving 50 million customers worldwide each week, the client organization carries out global purchasing, transportation, manufacturing, and distribution, and thus, obtaining an accurate assessment, calculation, and capture of tax at every step becomes a complex task.

Previously the client managed tax calculation and assessment through spreadsheets to manually accrue the use tax on purchases, without making use of any tax system for their international business. They entrusted this task to Vertex, an expert in tax automation. Vertex integrated one of its key offerings, Vertex Indirect Tax O Series into the client’s system and now invoice sales, purchases, and inventory transfer transactions are processed through a centralized tax system. The advent of this visibility, coupled with automation of manual processes, has transformed the company’s tax function. No wonder Vertex’s solutions are employed by a large client base including some of the world’s largest companies.

Founded in 1978, Vertex is a leading provider of as a tax automation and services. “Our ideologies stem from the concept of simplifying the complex. Vertex solutions not only help companies solve today’s challenges, but also enable them to confidently ask ‘what’s next?’” elaborates Pete Olanday, practice leader-consulting, retail practice at Vertex. Vertex O Series automates and standardizes tax calculations and ensures every transaction applies the most accurate tax rules and exceptions automatically to help ensure compliance. Delivered as an end-to-end solution to administer tax at the enterprise level, it manages everything right from planning, research, taxability, and exemption management to calculation and audit support.

Knowing that retailers employ numerous information systems such as point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) that produce tax data, Vertex also has a cloud solution that integrates easily into these platforms, ensuring accurate taxation for every transaction. As global businesses need to deal with the intricacies of different tax jurisdictions and their related purchase groups, Vertex currently tracks tax rates and rules for over 17,000 tax jurisdictions across the globe, proving to be a great advantage for its clientele.

Vertex enables companies of all sizes to realize the full strategic potential of the tax function by automating and integrating tax processes, while leveraging advanced, predictive analytics of tax data. The company’s solutions combine industry leading tax research and technology with expert implementation support to offer retailers’ tax departments with the necessary tools for utmost accuracy and consistency in every transaction, every day. As a team that believes in delivering innovation to drive the future of automation, Vertex continues to discover new ways to bridge the gap between retail and tax.

Read the article in CIO Outlook’s online magazine here.

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