Anne Birkmann

Recent posts by Anne Birkmann

1 min read

Data Consistency with Sales Tax Compliance

By Anne Birkmann on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

The monthly sales tax compliance process is highly dependent on the available data. 

This data should be consistent from month to month.  The data consistency I’m referring to is the format of the report each time it is generated.  Of course there will be new source systems (new billing systems or new ecommerce applications) occasionally, but the data format each month should be the same. 

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax
1 min read

Communicating Your Sales Tax Needs to IT

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, May 10, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Sometimes in the sales tax world, tax and finance departments need to rely on their IT department to get sales tax added to an invoice correctly or to get reports for various reasons. 

Topics: sales tax telecom tax
1 min read

Managing Your Outsource Transition

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Ensure solid execution of your outsourcing transition by managing common challenges.


Topics: sales tax compliance
1 min read

Sales Tax Data Mapping

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 @ 10:00 AM


Data mapping can be a requirement as part of managing your sales tax process.

 Data mapping involves creating a specification that shows how data from one system maps to data from another system. 

  • This can be due to a system data migration where data is moved from one database to another. 
  • It can also be due to an integration where data from one database is regularly moved to another database.
Topics: sales tax
1 min read

Sales Tax Compliance and Data File Naming Conventions

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 10:06 AM


At TaxConnex, we believe that sales tax compliance is more art than science.

When we say this, we are referring to the fact that sales tax cannot be fully automated due to the abundance of “gray” areas that require real-time decision making by a human. This sets TaxConnex apart from other technology-centric sales tax compliance vendors.

Topics: sales tax compliance
1 min read

Sales Tax Outsourcing and Secure Data Transfer

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 @ 10:32 AM

If you’ve outsourced your sales tax compliance work, or are considering outsourcing it, you should determine the best way to transfer your tax data to your service provider each month.

The two main criteria to consider are the size of the file(s) and the sensitivity of the data in the file(s). Many companies that have smaller file sizes (< a couple of MB’s) and aren’t concerned with the sensitivity of the data can utilize traditional email to transfer their file(s) each month. However, certain file sizes will be rejected by an email server and the data security can be lacking via a traditional email transfer.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax filing
1 min read

One Size Does Not Fit All - Why You Need Sales Tax Systems Support

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @ 01:19 PM

For many businesses, when it comes to sales tax compliance, they must deal with data that is sourced from multiple systems.  Businesses often have e-commerce sites and legacy invoicing systems that are configured differently. Any type of acquisition may introduce additional systems – all with different methods of tracking sales tax. The differing systems can result in data that is inconsistent in format and content.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax
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Top 6 File Formatting Tips for Processing Your Sales Tax Returns

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 11:17 AM

Sales and use tax compliance can be a tricky business and your data is a critical part of the process. Last month I wrote about the importance of establishing an effective data management plan as part of your overall sales tax compliance process.   Today I want to discuss the importance of formatting your files so that your data is mapped correctly.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax filing
1 min read

Why You Need A Data Management Plan For Sales Tax Compliance

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

data_managementAs part of an overall sales tax compliance process, effective data management along with a current tax calendar  are two of the more critical aspects. What exactly is data management? As I define it here, it should be a written plan that includes the following components:

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax filing
1 min read

Using Zip Plus 4 To Increase Tax Reporting Accuracy

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Many of us use zip codes to determine the sales and use tax rates to apply to an invoice for tax calculation purposes.  However because some local jurisdictions can cross zip code boundaries, using just the 5 digit zip code may not be the most accurate method for sales tax rate determination purposes.

Topics: sales tax sales tax calculation sales tax filing
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How to Avoid Putting Yourself at Risk of Sales Tax Compliance Disruptions

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 01:25 PM

Document, document, document!  The best way to manage risk associated with potential disruptions (turnover, personnel changing roles, or acquisitions) within your sales tax department is to maintain thorough documentation of your department’s compliance processes.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax sales tax audits
2 min read

Developing Sales Tax Data Files

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Jun 03, 2014 @ 02:44 PM

While TaxConnex subscribes to the belief that sales tax cannot be fully automated, there is a time and place for leveraging technology.  One of those areas is in the development of sales tax files that help drive the monthly compliance process.  These files can also be an effective tool to help streamline the tax return preparation process.   Whether you are implementing a new billing system, adding a tax calculation engine, or redesigning your current Sales Tax Compliance processes, it is worthwhile to take the time to ask some basic questions to help identify report requirements prior to submitting your report design for development.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax filing
1 min read

Documenting Your Sales Tax Compliance Process

By Anne Birkmann on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 04:38 PM

Sales tax compliance is riddled with risk for the tax payer.  A lot of the risk is external to your business.  There are thousands of taxing jurisdictions – each seemingly with unique sales tax rates and interpretation of what’s taxable and not taxable.  A solid compliance process helps minimize this external risk.  However, what happens when the risk originates internally in the form of turnover or some other internal disruption?

Topics: sales tax compliance