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Lessons from Naviant: Confidence is Key to Winning the Sales Tax Audit Lottery

The mail arrives with a special letter from the Department of Revenue. Your organization is the lucky winner of a random sales tax audit. What do you do next?

  1. Take a moment of mindful meditation
  2. Immediately seek out the most uncomfortable location in the building for the auditor to work
  3. Mutter a few chosen words under your breath
  4. Make the call, schedule the appointment, and wrap up the audit as quickly as possible

If you prepare and assess your audit and task compliance risks long before the audit notice arrives, you chose 4. You envisioned answers to potential issues an auditor may identify under audit.

But how do you avoid the time and hassle factor of the audit itself? How do you avoid employees spending time on unproductive work related to the audit?

If your company has an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) strategy, you know the answer to these questions.

Your ECM strategy deploys tools like OnBase software. You easily store, retrieve, or report on documents and processes critical to business operations and compliance needs. Your employees are well-equipped to deliver accurate and quick responses to audit questions with familiar methods and tools.

Consider the following OnBase solutions to get the auditor in the door and right back out:

  • Well-defined keywords and document types allow you to rapidly retrieve desired documents. Use a standard “Document Retrieval” or a more selective “Custom Query” function in OnBase. When the Auditor requests random samples by date range or letters of the alphabet, you complete the request with a few clicks.
  • Export document retrieval lists or queries to CSV files to supply your staff or the auditor with an electronic summary of the records for the selected audit period. You expedite the audit review time by providing electronic copies in the exact order of your retrieval lists.
  • Group documents together in Your team can easily share, manage, and review the electronic documents before and during the audit without duplicating efforts. Place electronic notes on documents to internally identify follow-ups needed before the auditor arrives or documenting other relevant audit issues.
  • Use cross-reference tools to link stored invoices to stored sales tax exemption certificates. Imagine a simple click of the mouse to retrieve the appropriate certificates as soon as the auditor requests a copy.
  • Remember to store supporting documents for your tax filings. You will be able to provide answers regardless of who prepared the return.

Simple organization, prompt responses to requests, and accurate answers are certain to assure the auditor you are on the top of your game. In an audit, confidence is key. ECM strategies supply you with the confidence needed to be a sales tax audit winner!

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