GoKeyless: Life with sales tax automation

Tim Roden
April 8, 2020

GoKeyless Journey

3-part Q&A blog series

This three-part blog series will cover the journey of GoKeyless as they struggle to deal with the initial impact of the South Dakota vs. Wayfair ruling. Told from the vantage point of Skip Graham, network administrator at GoKeyless, this series is an inside look at how manual compliance processes were no match for the onslaught of changing tax regulations, and what ultimately led them to pursue outside options. This series covers the criteria, consideration and implementation phases of the technology that enabled GoKeyless to solve their Wayfair problems for good.

 

Q: How has having Sovos changed your ability to get tax right?

A: Life with tax automation, and more specifically Sovos, has been a game changer for us. Not only have we experienced a significant easing of our tax reporting burden that we’d all been feeling, but we have now implemented a series of best practices that we simply weren’t doing well or at all before Sovos.

For example, the way we were handling tax exemptions was honestly embarrassing. Our approach was to save them to a drive and that was the extent of it. There was no structure and no organization. Technically we had it on file, but good luck finding it.  We now have a better organization system and structure to manage that process. 

One of the things that we appreciate most about the Sovos is that the tools aren’t just accurate, they are efficient. The tools and resources available are so much better than what we were working with before. They update instantly. 

Automation has made all the difference in the world. I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner honestly. Having it integrated with NetSuite has been wonderful and having it automated is the way to go.

Q: Has the experience met your expectations?

A: The thing that stands out to me is the customer service and how flexible and supportive Sovos has been through this entire process. 

We didn’t get off to the best of starts as Sovos was one of multiple integrations that were just dropped when we experienced some staff turnover and other internal challenges.  As the person who was assigned to pick up the pieces, I can attest to the fact that we were successful because of Sovos’ ongoing support and communication. 

When I got thrown into the mix, I was told by Sovos early on, okay, this is what’s going to happen. This is what you should expect. And I can say that everything I was told has turned out to be accurate.

Now that we have a system that runs through everything from collecting to recording, I can say that it has performed exactly as promised. Which, as many of you can probably attest to, is not usually the case with most implementations.  

Q: What advice would you offer other companies that are looking to solve a similar problem?

A: First, if you aren’t doing anything to deal with Wayfair and solve your tax and compliance issues, start now. Do what you can in the short-term while you look for a longer-term solution. 

We attempted the manual approach and it was an epic failure for us. While I know everyone’s situations are different, the sheer volume of changing regulations makes it nearly impossible to manage on your own. I strongly encourage you to explore automated solutions that meet both the current needs of your business and are capable of scaling to handle your growth and expansion.

So start doing what you can now and definitely look at Sovos.

Take Action

Continue reading about the GoKeyless journey in

Part I: We thought we were ready for Wayfair, we were wrong

Part II: In search of the right sales tax partner

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Author

Tim Roden

Tim Roden is Sales Engineer, SME (Subject Matter Expert) for Indirect Tax. He and his group specialize in solving complex business and systems challenges around Indirect Tax for Global and Enterprise businesses. Tim has been providing expertise in these areas for Sovos since 2014. Prior to his time at Sovos, Tim worked as a Senior Solutions Engineer for ACI Worldwide, supporting SaaS-based electronic payment solutions for Global and Regional Financial Institutions. Tim has a B.A. in History from Wake Forest University.
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