The Road to Avalara CRUSH 2016: Q&A with Michael Fleming of Peisner Johnson
- Sales and Use Tax
- March 23, 2016 | Brian Austin
Organizations focusing on growth rather than spending untold hours of time manually keeping up with back office tasks are the ones who will find, and keep, customers for life. Avalara’s CertCapture helps companies do just that by streamlining the collection and management of exemption certificates, reducing risk, and lessening the administrative overload.
During CRUSH 2016, Avalara’s national tax compliance conference, May 9-11 in New Orleans, Michael Fleming, director of Peisner Johnson & Company, LLP, and Lauren Stinson, CMI, president of Windward Tax, will discuss how they use CertCapture in their firms to help clients streamline efficiency.
We sat down with Michael to find out more about his session, and what he’s most looking forward to in New Orleans:
Avalara: What are three ways CertCapture helps mitigate risk, and sets up effective certificate management strategies and processes?
Michael Fleming: It’s all about being proactive, and there are three ways this is done. First, CertCapture integrates with hundreds of ERP, accounting, tax decision and point of sale solutions. When a valid certificate is added, the customer becomes non taxable; a missing or expired certificate will automatically code the customer as taxable. So CertCapture ensures you are always compliant.
Second, CertCapture manages expiration dates and flags upcoming renewals to ensure accurate tax billings. Third, CertCapture’s managed services help ensure that certificates with common issues are not accepted and are corrected up front, rather than becoming an issue in an audit.
Avalara: Accountants and businesses of all sizes are attending CRUSH 2016; why should an accountant know more about CertCapture?
MF: There has been a paradigm shift in the way states and their auditors look at certificates. Over the last 10 years or so, we have seen more of an interest from states to find what they perceive as easy errors to spot. Take certificates, for example. Many states see certificates as low hanging fruit, meaning they will often look at a company’s certificates as a potential source of errors during an audit. That’s why certificates are a major cause of assessments in sales tax audits, and why many companies that have not been audited in the past are now having to go through one. The bottom line is that accountants and businesses need to know the issues and solutions before an auditor shows up.
Avalara: How do you use CertCapture in your own work?
MF: We are a CPA firm that concentrates exclusively on state and local taxes, so many of our clients have a need for certificate management. We refer some clients directly to Avalara, but for smaller clients, we use the CertCapture tools ourselves. We have been a CertCapture customer since 2011.
Avalara: What are you looking forward to most at CRUSH?
MF: Meeting new people and interacting in a relaxed and fun environment where we can share knowledge and experiences. I am also looking forward to listening to the other speakers. I enjoy listening to different perspectives and gaining new knowledge.
Join Michael Fleming and Lauren Stinson for their session, “Professional Consulting with CertCapture” during CRUSH 2016. For more information, visit our website that includes all conference sessions, speaker bios and location information.