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.