Automated Exemption Certificate Management at Bridgestone HosePower

Alex Forbes
November 29, 2018

Bridgestone HosePower Selects Sovos for Customer Exemption Certificate Management

Bridgestone HosePower, LLC is a hose sales and service company that offers hydraulic and industrial hoses, hose assemblies and mobile hose services to internationally-recognized manufacturers of cranes, street sweepers, road paving equipment, sanitation trucks, and drilling rigs and other machinery through 40 branch locations in the United States and one location in Mexico. Bridgestone HosePower is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation. Company growth, and with the number of customer exemption certificates approaching 10,000, required the company to move from a manual to an automated exemption certificate management process.

Exemption Certificate Management Challenges

Bridgestone HosePower lacked real-time access in a single online solution to all of its customer exemption certificates and had trouble maintaining the data to make sure they were valid as the company expanded operations. According to Andrew Snowden, Controller, auditors are more stringent on what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable and the tax department felt blind. On top of that, pulling the necessary files from various servers, drawers and warehouses could take up to six weeks to satisfy an auditor’s request, and even then they would have to occasionally go back to a customer to track down one that went missing.

As Andrew explained, the company did a good initial job of collecting the original certificate, but after that, there was never any follow up. The certificate would end up in a drawer somewhere and eventually fall out of compliance. With various states having different expiration dates, the team began to run into trouble manually managing the increasing number of certificates they had.

“I wouldn’t know if there was an issue until the auditor knew there was an issue. It wasn’t a good situation or feeling. I don’t like being blind when I’m in an audit, and I felt like I was blind going through the audit on the resale certificates,” said Andrew.

Selecting Sovos CertManager for Exemption Certificate Management

Sovos CertManager has given Bridgestone HosePower a more user-friendly and automated process to collect, validate, filter, maintain and download certificates and proactively alert customers to certificates that need updating directly from the solution. Reports also now alert the team where problems may arise to avoid future compliance issues and help the team get a head start on upcoming audits.

Bridgestone HosePower selected Sovos for automated exemption certificate management based on a solid existing relationship and Sovos’ ability to integrate with legacy accounting, ERP and cloud-based systems. The company also had confidence that Sovos would help it grow into the future. Furthermore, Sovos CertManager was simple to use, and the team liked its cloud-based user interface.

Using a template from Sovos, Bridgestone HosePower’s tax team was able to do a simple data extraction from the ERP system and quickly and easily load their customer exemption data and certificates directly into CertManager, giving them immediate visibility into the gaps they had. Andrew and his team are now able to run reports anytime and get a sense of where they stand, where they have missing or invalid certificates, where potential issues may be and where to focus their efforts. And any new customers that are onboarded are easily validated and go directly into Sovos CertManager.

“Having a single online location and real-time access to our thousands of certificates, with new customers onboarded daily, is saving the team time and effort, enabling us to focus our efforts on growing the business, while safeguarding the company from future audit penalties,” said Andrew.

Sovos CertManager is estimated to reduce the time spent tracking down valid customer exemption certificates at auditor request from six weeks to one day. Additionally, Bridgestone HosePower has increased both visibility into expiring exemption certificates and operational efficiency while reducing the risk of costly future audits.

Take Action

Learn how Sovos CertManager, backed by the Intelligent Compliance Cloud, reduces burdens and safeguards businesses from risk and penalty exposure by automating customer exemption certificate management. Get a preview, below.

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.

Author

Alex Forbes

Alex Forbes is Senior Manager, Content Marketing, at Sovos. When not helping readers navigate their tax-related digital business transformation journeys, he enjoys day tripping around New England with his wife.
Share This Post

Sales & Use Tax United States
June 17, 2019
South Dakota v. Wayfair One Year Later – Retrospective and Look Ahead Webinar

Since the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair last June, tax compliance requirements of sellers have undergone a seismic shift. In recent months, we have also witnessed a series of after-shocks directed at setting the foundation for U.S. sales tax compliance in the modern age. In a live webinar and Q&A, “South […]

United States
June 14, 2019
Sovos Again Named a Top Workplace Based on Employee Satisfaction

Earlier this week, the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) released its annual list of Top Workplaces. The newspaper compiles this list based on employee satisfaction scores for companies across Minnesota. Sovos has once again been named to this list as a national standard setter of leading workplaces because of the actions we take to put employees […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA
June 13, 2019
French VAT Fraud Prevention Package to Include a New Attempt to Mandate B2B E-invoicing

The French Minister of Public Accounts and Action, which has authority over all tax matters, has taken advantage of the process that is required to transpose the EU E-Commerce Directive to launch a number of initiatives to curb VAT fraud, including a renewed attempt to create a system of mandatory e-invoicing. Going from B2G to […]

EMEA IPT
June 13, 2019
Knowing When and How to Reclaim IPT

An insurer may need to reclaim insurance premium tax (IPT) from a tax authority for many reasons. These include a policy cancellation or mid-term adjustment, an administrative error or issuing a no claims bonus. In each case, it’s important to be aware of the issues involved ahead of any reclaim to ensure taxes are recovered […]

Sales & Use Tax United States
June 7, 2019
Marketplace Sales Tax Collection Rules and Current State of Affairs

Marketplace sales tax laws are being used by states as an additional means to collect more sales tax revenue from remote sellers on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and WalMart. These online marketplaces and the rules being introduced to compel marketplace tax compliance have introduced new sales tax collection and remittance questions and complexity. According […]