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Thomson Reuters — InSource Sales & Use Tax

From the August 2008 Review of
Sales & Use Tax

The InSource line of corporate tax solutions from the Tax & Accounting
business of Thomson Reuters (formerly Thomson Tax & Accounting) includes
the InSource Sales & Use Tax system, an exhaustively comprehensive transaction
tax program for entities with broad and multi-jurisdictional sales tax compliance
requirements. The system is designed as an in-house corporate solution, fully
integrated alongside the business’ financial management system where it
automatically provides tax rates to sales and estimates, posts appropriate account
entries and populates and manages returns across all jurisdictions when due
dates arrive. InSource supports all U.S., Canadian and Puerto Rico jurisdictions
with sales and use tax reporting requirements, and it can be used to support
multiple business entities, subsidiaries, geographic locations or divisions.

Pricing for the system is based on transaction volume and business specifics,
with full implementations starting around $10,000. The vendor also offers InSource
Express RS Sales & Use Tax, a web-based version of the program that is geared
towards smaller entities, which can significantly reduce the cost of the system.
Alternatively, businesses can subscribe solely to the InSource Sales & Use
Tax Rate service, which provides current rates for more than 6,500 jurisdictions
and is updated monthly. The rates can be imported into many accounting and sales

Navigation & Data Entry — 4.5 Stars
The system offers integration with nearly all enterprise-level accounting systems
and, once implemented, it works with these other financial programs to automatically
provide the most up-to-date tax rates and route information back to the compliance
side of the program, which automatically prepares forms and reports for review,
filing and remittance of collected sales taxes. So with all calculations and
data entry performed by the program, the tax department within the business
is left with primarily review-based functions. Data can be entered manually,
adjusted or overridden by appropriate users, however. Whether using an automatically
populated return or manually entering data, the system’s interface offers
exact replicas of the appropriate return or schedule. InSource can also be used
as a stand-alone system, with the ability to import data from spreadsheet and
ASCII format documents.

The program provides strong managerial reporting and analysis tools, including
period-to-period comparisons and jurisdictional analyses, while an audit trail
tracks all activities. Industry-specific preparation functions are also available
for the food and beverage industry. InSource supports more than 550 sales, consumer
use, seller use, rental, leasing, and food & beverage returns, which also
includes more than 270 returns for local and other government entities.

Filing, Electronic Compliance & Payment — 5 Stars
InSource tracks all filing deadlines for most jurisdictions and can prepare
returns either electronically for jurisdictions that support e-filing of sales
and use tax reports, or users can print signature-ready forms on pre-printed
or plain paper. The software also supports ACH debit in support of electronic
filing requirements.

Rate Updates — 4.5 Stars
Tax rate updates for the traditional, installed version of InSource Sales &
Use Tax are downloadable monthly from the vendor’s website. The web-based
Express version is automatically updated by Thomson Reuters staff as rates change.
The programs also maintain rate histories for back-dated transactions, reference
or other uses.

Help/Training — 5 Stars
InSource provides great Help and ease-of-use features, with line-by-line instructions
as well as professional guidance on return preparation, filing and taxation
issues. The InSource support website includes FAQs, links to resources, tutorials
and information on training options, along with rate and program updates.

Relative Value — 4 Stars
InSource is geared toward very large entities with significant sales tax responsibilities
that include dozens, hundreds or even more tax jurisdictions. For these enterprises,
managing sales tax compliance with a less comprehensive system is not an option,
and the automation features of InSource greatly streamline all aspects of the
compliance process, saving days of work and helping prevent oversights and missed
deadlines. These savings can easily pay for the program, especially in larger,
more complex enterprises.

2008 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars