Sabrix - Sabrix MTS

From the August 2009 Review of Sales & Use Tax Programs

Sabrix has long been a provider of enterprise and global corporate VAT, sales and use taxes, but recently the company introduced a solution geared toward sales and use tax for small and mid-market businesses in the United States and Canada. The Sabrix Managed Tax Service (MTS) system is an outsourced service that integrates in real-time with a business’ financial applications to automatically determine jurisdictions and taxability or products and services, with the information instantly calculated and fed through into the sales system and appropriate GL accounts; deliver professionally prepared, signature-ready returns with supporting audit trail reports; and filing and remittance. The service includes an on-demand version of the same tax platform that powers over $1.7 trillion in transaction taxes for global companies worldwide, service from a multidisciplinary team of tax experts and SAS 70 Type II certified processes.

Sabrix supports more than 13,000 taxing jurisdictions in the United States, Canada and 170 other countries, including VAT 2010 and recent EU VAT reductions. MTS can be used in a variety of ways, from providing just sales and use tax rate lookups/integration, to return preparation, and even a fully outsourced return compliance and remittance option. Pricing is based on transaction volumes, with a system handling about 10,000 transactions costing under $5,000.

Navigation & Data Entry:
Sabrix MTS runs invisibly in the background, working in conjunction with a business’ financial and e-commerce applications. Standard integration packages are available for QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP’s BusinessOne, All-in-One and R3. This integration provides users with additional rate information features within these accounting programs so that when salespeople or other staff are entering customer information, MTS automatically looks up and verifies appropriate tax rates from Sabrix’s online database and applies them in real-time. Both custom and batch integration options are available for ecommerce integration or integration with other ERP and back-end systems.

With the returns management functions enabled, MTS also automatically populates returns for each jurisdiction which undergo a three-step review process by tax professionals and are delivered to customers signature ready. Reporting capabilities allow managers to drilldown to states, local entities, special jurisdictions, individual transactions and line items, as well as to perform account reconciliation functions.

With most of the program’s functions occurring automatically and transparently, and with little need for users to manually enter information, MTS’s web-based management interface is generally geared around reporting, returns management and reconciliation functions. This screen provides links to various functions for management of tax policy, company information, reports, invoices and returns, and also provides exemption certificate management options. Authorized users can override tax policy data, with a full audit trail tracking user access and edits.

Filing, Electronic Compliance & Payment:
With the full front-end (rate lookup and integration) and backend (return processing and compliance service) options implemented, the Sabrix MTS system basically runs on auto-pilot, allowing businesses to focus on sales, not sales taxes. The program provides signature-ready returns that undergo a three-step review process by tax professionals for all taxing jurisdictions in the United States and Canada, allowing users to outsource tedious compliance tasks. Sabrix’s e-filing and remittance service extends these capabilities by having the vendor handle both filing and payment of liabilities, ensuring accurate and on-time compliance, but still allowing management to oversee, review and adjust returns during the process.

Rate Updates:
The key to Sabrix MTS is that the program itself runs within the business’ accounting systems and automatically reaches out to Sabrix’s SAS70 Type II secure online database of sales and use tax rates, product taxability rules and other information. This information is managed by a staff of sales tax experts, researchers and legal advisors, and is constantly maintained, requiring no tax table updates by users. Rate changes are automatically made available at least three days prior to going into effect.

The web-based management interface provides quick 24/7 access to Help and online support, which includes the Sabrix Resource Center. This site offers an extensive collection of tools, including interactive demos, case studies, whitepapers, webinars and updates on tax rate changes. Support lines are staffed by both tax experts and technical resources.

Relative Value:
The Sabrix MTS system is ideally suited to businesses with growing compliance issues that find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time and resources managing sales and use taxation. The system automates virtually every aspect of the process, from verifying address and current rate information, checking special taxability rules, calculating and applying taxes to transactions, and populating returns for all jurisdictions. For mid-sized and some smaller entities that have rapidly expanding or unpredictable jurisdictional reach, or have high transaction levels across the country, Sabrix MTS can deliver a significant ROI.