Thomson Reuters — Sabrix MTS

From the August 2010 Review of Sales & Use Tax Compliance Systems.

Sabrix MTS (Managed Tax Service), which was acquired by Thomson Reuters in late 2009, is an advanced managed outsourced sales and use tax solution for companies with medium- to high-volume sales tax compliance needs and is best suited for companies that prefer to completely outsource the sales and use tax process. Sabrix MTS combines an on-demand version of the same tax platform that powers over $1.7 trillion in transaction taxes for companies worldwide, service from a multidisciplinary team of tax experts, and SAS 70 certified processes. The latest version includes a new remittance and filing service, and additional reporting capabilities to provide an end-to-end solution for sales and use tax compliance, while increasing visibility and control. The web-based tax rate tables and calculation system ties into a business’ accounting and sales platforms to provide instant, automated lookups and application of appropriate sales tax rates to transactions.

BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
After initial integration mapping of product codes between the web-based Sabrix MTS tax system with the accounting and sales systems in use by the business, most user interaction with the system is for reporting and review purposes. The web-based management interface for these functions offers intuitive navigation and quick access to core functions, including managing internal tax processes, setting up account data, monitoring jurisdictional generating reports and viewing historical returns. Although an option is available for the automatic preparation and population of all returns, the core calculation components of Sabrix MTS can be used standalone, providing reporting. When used as an automated compliance system, users retain full review and edit capabilities, depending on user access rights. Reports give drilldown access to each sub-jurisdiction on a return, as well as to individual line items in transactions.

Because of its web-based platform, Sabrix MTS’ management tools can be accessed remotely and while using full-web mobile devices. Likewise, it can easily support business entities with multiple locations, as long as those locations are all tied into the same business ERP/accounting system. The program does not, however, offer the ability to manage separate entities under the same license agreement.

COMPLIANCE CAPABILITIES:
Sabrix MTS has comprehensive sales and use tax, SAS 70 certified processes and support, covering more than 13,000 taxing jurisdictions in the United States and Canada. The system uses advanced address validation and tax rules to determine accurate taxability. The integrated tax rate tables and calculation engine can be used as a standalone, providing the business with instant rate verification and rules compliance, and then with the entity using reporting output to manually prepare returns for all necessary jurisdictions.

Sabrix MTS also offers an automated tax return preparation and remittance service, through which forms are automatically populated with data from the accounting and sales tax systems and reviewed by tax professionals at Sabrix, which include an analyst, senior analyst and compliance manager, who then handle the filing and payment of liabilities. If not using the forms preparation service, users would need to manage filing manually, since the system does not offer a self-managed e-filing or e-payment system. Since the tax rate tables are web-based, all tax data, tax return forms and product taxability rules are maintained by Sabrix, with no need for updates by business users.

INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT:
After initial implementation and mapping, the program directly syncs with the business’ ERP/accounting platform to automatically calculate tax all along the quote-to-cash and procure-to-pay, including sales quotes, sales invoices, purchase orders, purchase invoices, etc., with appropriate GL entries. Integration is available for businesses using Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV, Oracle, and SAP R3 or BusinessOne, as well as a batch-file upload via FTP and custom integrations via pubic facing web-service or .NET or JAVA SDK.

Sabrix MTS also offers SAP Business Objects analysis tools to deliver drilldown managerial, reconciliation and compliance reporting, including summary and detail reports by jurisdiction, transaction extracts, exemption lists, calendars and transmittal letters, which can be generated to Microsoft Office formats, as well as XML and text.

HELP/SUPPORT:
The primary interface for users is the management center, which offers quick access to reporting, analysis and system utilities, with the web-based system offering guidance and instructions. The Sabrix Resource Center website has an impressive library of demos, case studies, a blog, webinars, updates on recent sales tax changes, and additional tools such as a quick tax rate finder and calculator. Live technical support is included with system pricing.

SUMMARY & PRICING
Sabrix MTS is a comprehensive and powerful system for automating and outsourcing sales tax compliance for businesses with high transaction volumes across dozens or more taxing jurisdictions. Pricing for the system is based on the transaction levels, with an integrated full-service version for 10,000 transactions per year costing less than $5,000. The system is best suited to mid-sized and larger entities looking to streamline the workflow and potential liabilities faced by their internal tax departments.

2010 OVERALL RATING:

 

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