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Imaging Science & Services, Inc

This sidebar article accompanied the August 2009 Review of Sales
& Use Tax Programs

ISSI Offers Options for Automated Exemption Certificate Management

Keeping up with ever-changing sales and use taxes is hard work enough, but
for many mid-sized and growing businesses, the process of tracking and managing
exemption certificates is an added burden that can zap staff time and result
in costly penalties when errors occur. And with manual management of these certificates,
mistakes are inevitable.

Fortunately, these businesses have options from Imaging Science & Services
(ISSI) that can help automate these tasks, providing support for all processes,
including acquisition, validation, management, and production of certificates
and all related documents.

TEAMS Express
The technology vendor’s flagship system, TEAMS Express (Tax Exemption
Administrative Management Systems), is a web-based program that helps streamline
the entire process of exemption certificate management, enabling e-mail and
fax acquisition, mass and individual customer requests, and customer portals
that let users log into the on-demand system to verify their own exemption certificate
information. This allows a business to let their customers review forms pre-populated
with their basic information, print the live document, sign it, and fax or email
back to the business. They can also electronically sign the document and avoid
the hassle of paper. Financial managers at the business can also complete exemption
certificates through the system, or can scan, index and review documents that
arrive in paper form.

TEAMS Express provides document management tools that index certificates and
store them in a SAS70/Level II central database with tracking numbers and bar
coding that is completely isolated from any other customer, thereby preventing
commingling of certificates or breaches of confidential information. The program’s
functions help prevent audit difficulties by monitoring the status of certificates,
along with report options that can be used to track expirations, updates and
exceptions. With online management, certificates are always accessible and won’t
be lost, renewals are automatically requested and no certificates go out of
date. The system also offers a forms library that can be linked to the customer
portal, allowing businesses running TEAMS Express to offer their small business
clients a selection of sales and use tax forms relevant to where and how they
do business. That is, each forms library is tailored for each customer.

For other document management functions, ISSI offers LineLinkXL, an add-in to
Microsoft Excel that can turn a spreadsheet into a desktop document organizer.
It can be used to access, organize and link documents in SQL databases, pull
files from web-based applications, and lets users quickly scan-and-attach any
type of source documents or files. Files linked to a spreadsheet using LineLinkXL
can be easily shared with other users within the business, or even external
users such as accountants and auditors, while maintaining document integrity.
The program also has built-in utilities for burning data to disc or zipping
files into compressed format for email use. LineLinkXL also links directly with
TEAMS Express to provide a completely automated tool for responding to state
sales tax audits by using the auditor’s block sample request spreadsheet
and tagging it up against the TEAMS Express database of certificates