OVERVIEW

This New England-based manufacturer of Data Acquisition Systems, required Vertex tax compliance software to meet the needs of its organization. After installation by a third-party consulting firm, the Customer found that the Vertex software was not customized to meet its needs, and it lacked the advanced functionality that its business required. Surety Systems consulted with the Customer to provide a systematic review and upgrade to their Vertex software. The Customer was using JD Edwards (JDE) Enterprise One (version 9.1) as their primary Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool. To include the personalized taxation and purchase functionality required for their manufacturing business, the Customer utilized Vertex tax compliance software (version STQ 5.0).

 

CHALLENGE

The primary problem faced by the Customer was an improper installation of Vertex software by a third-party consulting firm. This firm installed the Vertex software into the Customer’s JDE interface without including the necessary customization options that let clients utilize the full range of Vertex’s capabilities. Beyond the lack of functionality, the third-party consulting firm failed to realize that the default taxation functions of Vertex software needed to be modified to accommodate variances from state to state. Their out-of-the-box installation taxed all items equally at all times and assumed that taxable rates were the same across each state. The third-party consulting firm didn’t take these assumptions into consideration, creating tax liability and remittance issues for the client caused by improperly applied tax determinations.

Tax Liability

The challenges were compounded by a lack of in-house expertise concerning the Vertex software. Although the Customer’s team was informed of Vertex’s basic usage practices, the team members were unfamiliar with the deeper system architecture. This lack of knowledge created problems after Vertex was installed, as the employee team was unaware that the system had been incorrectly integrated.

When the Customer realized that the platform was improperly installed, they turned to the primary software team at Vertex for solutions. Unfortunately, Vertex’s Consulting Group was overextended with client requests and responded to our Customer that they wouldn’t be able to assist for several more months. The Customer’s problems with this software were growing, and they decided that they couldn’t afford to wait for the Vertex Consulting team.

 

SOLUTION

Leveraging an on-going JD Edwards Consulting relationship with Surety Systems, the Customer then turned to Surety for Vertex assistance as well. Surety’s senior Vertex Tax Technology Consultant performed a complete diagnostic review of their software system and tax compliance pain points. This assessment included a comprehensive review of the Customer’s needs, identification of potential software implementation problems, and determination of the best way to apply upgrades to the Vertex Tax Decision Maker software.

Vertex Solution

The consultant at Surety Systems took the insight gained from this diagnostic review and determined the best way to customize the Vertex software to meet the needs of the client. This primarily involved upgrading the Tax Decision Maker table for more efficient client use. These upgrades let the Vertex system more efficiently determine taxation rates for various items and customers, as well as ensuring that taxation compliance was met across every state required. The Surety consultant also guaranteed that the automated functions of Vertex’s software ran on their own. Surety’s consultant ensured that each automated process would efficiently run in the background without the need for manual user input. In addition to upgrading the system and further building out Vertex’s Tax Decision Maker tool, proper instruction for in-house employees was necessary to guarantee that the software would run smoothly in the future. Surety’s consultant provided this training along with educational resources to ensure that all staff members would be appropriately prepared to operate the Vertex software as the company grew.

 

RESULTS

After Surety’s consultant completed the upgrade, the Customer’s Vertex capabilities were expanded to include a wider range of functions. These functions included taxation rates and determinations across multiple regions, sales functionality, and individualized line items for taxation customization. Although these functions were available through Vertex’s software, the Customer was unable to utilize them without first upgrading and customizing its system architecture. These customizations were necessary for the Customer to receive the full value of its Vertex platform, but were previously unavailable as a result of the poor initial software installation by a third-party consulting firm.

Surety Systems provided help by upgrading the outdated system infrastructure and empowering the Customer’s team to better understand its software. After Surety’s consultant corrected the taxation errors and brought the Vertex platform to its most streamlined form, the Customer was able to unlock the full potential of its Vertex tax management software. This increased efficiency, paired with the improved training and preparedness of the Customer’s staff, ensured that staff members were ready to move forward and utilize the full benefits of the Vertex platform on their own.