GoKeyless: We thought we were ready for Wayfair, we were wrong 

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: Tell us about the situation at GoKeyless and what the impact of the Wayfair decision has been.

A: As an eCommerce company, GoKeyless is selling to a large number of states and even outside the US.  It’s fair to say that we’ve had growth across every department and channel in the past couple of years.

The impact of the Wayfair decision has been substantial. At first, we thought we could manage the changes ourselves through a series of manual procedures and protocols. We implemented several different procedures that quickly proved insufficient for the task at hand.

We got to the point where we were trying things just for goodwill, to show the states that we were trying to do something in order to comply. However, the deeper we got into the process, the more we realized exactly what we were getting ourselves into.

We came to the conclusion that we were becoming completely overwhelmed, and that Wayfair was a much larger problem than we had anticipated.

Q: Where did you feel the greatest stress in trying to remain compliant?

A: The endless list of tax obligations was becoming all-consuming. Post-Wayfair, we aren’t just dealing with states anymore. It was now a matter of dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of individual counties and cities, all with their own rules and rates.

Trying to put in place manual systems to keep track of what rate is charged on what products and in what state, county or city was a nightmare. We literally hired a person here at GoKeyless solely for the purpose of trying to keep track of these taxes. It’s been insane. There really isn’t another word for it. 

Q: How successful were you in properly charging taxes and what was the impact on customers?

A: We experienced varying degrees of success based largely on the complexity of the jurisdiction in which we were operating. I’d estimate in the year that we were tracking taxes manually that we only got it 100% right about 5 – 10% of the time. 

We pride ourselves on being completely transparent with our customers. When they are doing business with us, we want them to know that we are a company of the highest ethical standards. It’s been an adjustment for both us and the customers as we work to ensure the regular and accurate tracking of taxes. 

In the end, we came to the obvious conclusion that we couldn’t do this alone and needed help.

Take Action

Continue reading about the GoKeyless journey in

Part II: In search of the right sales tax partner

Part III: Life with sales tax automation


Sign up for Email Updates

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


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.
Share This Post

LATAM VAT & Fiscal Reporting
May 20, 2020
Sovos Acquires Taxweb, Extends Tax Determination Capabilities in World’s Most Challenging Compliance Landscape

Earlier this month Sovos announced its second acquisition of 2020, completing our solution for Brazil with an unparalleled offering that solves tax compliance in the place where it is most challenging to do so.  Too many companies doing business in Brazil have been burdened by managing multiple point solutions for continuous transaction controls (CTCs), tax […]

August 11, 2020
10 Steps to Expand Your Winery

Looking to enter a new market or bring new wines to the marketplace? Growing any business can be complicated, and the beverage alcohol industry is no exception. Not knowing how or where to begin can be the biggest hurdle. From market research and branding to strategic considerations and compliance, this 10-step guide will get you […]

August 10, 2020
Ask Alex: Your Bev Alc Compliance Questions Answered (August 2020)

Do you have questions about the rules, regulations, and compliance requirements of the beverage alcohol industry? This series, Ask Alex, is a perfect opportunity to get those pressing questions answered straight from one of the industry’s regulation and market experts, Alex Koral, Senior Regulation Counsel, Sovos ShipCompliant.  To take advantage of this opportunity and get […]

Tax Compliance
August 7, 2020
GAO Urges IRS to Overhaul 1099 Reporting for the Gig

A couple of weeks ago, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report to the Senate Finance Committee describing the issues the IRS faces in enforcing income tax compliance for gig economy workers. The report highlighted long-standing issues the government has been grappling with in receiving tax information necessary to enforce compliance along with specific […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
August 4, 2020
New VAT Rules for Online Marketplaces and Imports of Goods into the UK

The United Kingdom’s HMRC has issued new guidance on the VAT treatment of cross-border sales of goods and online marketplaces beginning 1 January 2021, following the end of the transition period. Cross-Border Sales under £135 New rules will apply when a business sells goods for £135 or less to a UK customer and the goods […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
August 3, 2020
New EU Tax Package: VAT Priorities

On 15 July 2020, the European Commission (EC) adopted a new Tax Package, intended to increase tax compliance while reducing administrative burden on businesses. The Tax Package contains a number of proposals related to VAT, of which three in particular stand out: A single EU VAT registration for taxpayers; Modernized VAT reporting obligations; and Facilitated […]