Customer case study

Commenco removes costly guesswork from quotes

“It’s easy. It’s not something I really have to think about anymore. And that’s certainly not the case with every software provider I’ve worked with.”

– Mike Markham, Director of Business Technology Solutions, Commenco

Tax challenges

  • Questionable tax calculations
  • Multi-jurisdiction tax exposure
  • Relying on sellers to calculate sales tax

Business systems

  • Connectwise Sell™ (formerly Quosal)



  • Tax calculated automatically by AvaTax
  • Correct tax applied to each transaction
  • Confidence in the accuracy of quotes, proposals, and calculations

A company outgrows old processes

Commenco is Kansas City’s largest authorized Motorola Solutions dealer, specializing in digital two-way radio sales, service, and rentals; voice and data capture networks; 9-1-1 service equipment and maintenance; mobile scanners and printers; wireless infrastructure; broadband wireless applications; and closed-circuit video surveillance. 

After nearly 60 years in business, Commenco was still relying on its sellers to calculate sales tax for quotes and proposals. When those calculations proved incorrect, the company ended up eating the difference — losing revenue and irritating customers.

New division, new systems

Mike Markham joined Commenco in late 2015, tasked with starting a new division to manage technology products and services for industrial businesses. He quickly realized that the Business Technology Solutions division — and the company overall — would benefit from a more powerful set of systems. “That’s my background,” Mike explains. “I come from the software world.” 

Mike soon implemented Salesforce but needed something better for quotes and proposals. He chose ConnectWise Sell because it integrated well with Salesforce, but that didn’t solve the problem entirely. “We sell all over the country, and in certain areas we have tax obligations, while in other areas we don’t.” says Mike. “We had a couple of situations where customers were upset because the sales tax ended up being significantly different from what was in the proposal.” 

After consulting with the folks at ConnectWise Sell, Mike decided to bring Avalara AvaTax into the mix. Leveraging thousands of product taxability rules for more than 12,000 jurisdictions in the United States, AvaTax calculates the correct rate, automatically applying the correct sales tax to any transaction.

Commenco revved up its implementation of AvaTax in late 2016 and was up and running in early 2017. “The implementation was simple,” Mike recalls. “I had to make a few configuration decisions, but most of the work happened in the background, between ConnectWise Sell and Avalara. Other than a short amount of training, I really didn’t have to do a whole lot. It took a couple of weeks, and we were off and running.”

No more guesswork

Commenco uses Avalara in a very focused way: to create an accurately calculated tax expectation on quotes and proposals. An additional benefit is liberating the sales force from potentially costly guesswork. “I want it to be accurate, and that’s not something that I want our salespeople spending time on,” says Mike. 

AvaTax has eliminated material surprises for Commenco, whose quotes are now accurate, consistent, and all-inclusive.“It’s easy,” says Mike. “It’s not something I really have to think about anymore. “And that’s certainly not the case with every software provider I’ve worked with.”

Avalara Sales Tax Compliance Suite

Avalara supports quick deployment by providing over 700 pre-built integrations to business applications.

Avalara AvaTax

Delivers sales tax calculations to your shopping cart or invoicing system, and aggregates your transaction data so you can calculate what you owe in Returns.

Avalara Returns

A filing service so seamless you’ll barely lift a finger -- Returns pulls your data from AvaTax to prepare and file your returns. If you choose, we can even remit payments for you.

Avalara CertCapture

A seriously upgraded way to manage tax documents in the cloud for tidy, audit-ready records. Syncs with AvaTax to automatically apply exemptions at checkout.

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