Avalara Complete in Gold?

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sweeperq
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Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by sweeperq » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:02 am

Is the Avalara AvaTax Provider in AbleCommerce Gold a complete implementation? We are getting started with it in our legacy AC7 stores and it works great when the order is first created. However, the "Recalculate Taxes" button in the Admin clears the taxes and does not recalculate. In the error log there is a warning "Tax recalculation is not supported by Avalara AvaTax."

This is a pretty big deal because we frequently receive requests to modify/cancel orders or upgrade shipping. Given that it stores the AvaTax Document ID in the notes, I'd expect the provider to be able to go back and update that transaction with AvaTax.

Two questions: 1) Does this all work correctly in AC Gold? 2) Is there source for a AvaTax "Recalculate(Order order)" function that exists in Gold that we could back-port into AC7?

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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by Katie » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:06 pm

In Gold, our Avatax integration is certified by Avalara. They worked closely with us regarding requirements. Unfortunately, I did find an issue from several years ago regarding recalculation of taxes. Within the issue report, it explained the reason:

Initially, Avalara told us we could not support this feature. Later they agreed it could be done, although it is their feeling it would be a bad business practice. (this was in 2012)

I will need to check with Avalara to see if they will allow it.

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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by AnySupport » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:37 am

Hello OP & Katie!

"...we frequently receive requests to modify/cancel orders or upgrade shipping. ..."
  • I have been evaluating the existing the standard Avalara/AbleC integration to understand how it's setup and what we will need to adapt or add to cover our business practices, which also involves frequent order changes from within Admin. I have no experience with Able v7 systems, but for Gold, I can let the OP know that (it seems) the integration submits SalesInvoice Transactions immediately in the status of Commited. This requires that any changes send a different transaction (from Types of Transactions article linked below):
    ...calling AdjustTransaction. This API call marks the old transaction as Adjusted and creates a new transaction with the same transaction code with the updated information. This works well if the salesperson made a mistake and needs to adjust a shipping address, or if a small change was made before anything shipped out of the warehouse. ...
I strongly recommend these two articles
  • Types of Transactions: https://developer.avalara.com/blog/2016 ... nsactions/
    Orders vs Invoices
    Our customers require both the ability to estimate tax for a transaction, and to record the actual tax for that transaction. Many customers use AvaTax as a way to predict taxes before taking action - for example, showing “Estimated Tax” on a web storefront. Other customers use AvaTax to calculate taxes only at the moment the transaction occurs - for example, when recording a sale in their accounting system.

    In AvaTax, an “Order” represents a temporary transaction that is not saved, whereas an “Invoice” represents a permanent transaction that will be maintained. Think about these documents like you are a salesperson:..

    This is followed by a good bullet point example that breaks it down further, I recommend reading but don't want to flood this too much
  • Lifecycle of a Transaction: https://developer.avalara.com/blog/2017 ... ansaction/
    Scenario 2: Reconciliation
    ...Perhaps you know that your customers tend to ask for adjustments to their orders frequently, or perhaps you just like assigning someone to verify all the orders placed by the sales team each night. In this case, you should submit your SalesInvoice transaction with the commit flag set to false, and your transaction will be recorded in the Saved status.

    How is this different than the alternative? If you don’t have a reconciliation process, you should set the commit flag to true on all transactions, and they will all be created directly into Committed status. A transaction in Committed is eligible for reporting - that means that, if you subscribe to Avalara Managed Returns, Avalara will take this transaction, bundle it up into a monthly, quarterly, or annual tax return, and file it for you. We won’t file any transactions that are in Saved status. ...
    From what I can figure out, this means any business that makes edits to orders after the cart is submitted should change the integration to submit the transaction as Saved instead of Committed. And only Commit the Sale (whether that's the shipment, payment captured, or another point in the sequence) ...whatever the real "final" action is for each business.
I hope this helps at little?
=======

However: If there is a "known" issue with or perhaps just no implementation of Recalculating Taxes for Avatax, I'd also like to know.
  • We have two custom Sales tax rules to cover Massachusetts only created originally (as that's all we needed). I noticed the Recalculate Taxes wasn't doing anything for the AvaTax sales tax lines, but I assumed that was due to the custom that is still in place in our Test system, likely bypassing anything the system would normally try.
Thank you!
Elizabeth

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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by Katie » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:49 am

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks so much for posting this. I really appreciate it, and I have already passed on the info to the dev team.

I just wanted to say that most AC merchants are taking orders with credit cards, so the taxes should be committed when the order is placed/paid/authorized. The AdjustTransaction API call seems to be the best solution for making adjustments to items that haven't yet shipped.

Do customers tend to ask for adjustments to their orders frequently? I'd like to say that it is more infrequent than frequent. So again, it would make sense to adjust an existing transaction versus trying to create a system that allowed for tax reconciliation.

This gives us a great starting point in our discussions with Avalara. I don't see any reason why we can't make the Recalculate tax feature work in the next version. As far as Gold is concerned, there won't be any further upgrades for features, but I can probably get my hands on the source changes once they are available. Unfortunately, these things take time and I can't disrupt the current schedule.

I will update when the developers have had a chance to look over this issue.

Thanks!
Katie
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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by AnySupport » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:29 am

Hi Katie,
"...So again, it would make sense to adjust an existing transaction versus trying to create a system that allowed for tax reconciliation. ..."
  • I might be missing some detail? I had been thinking that what AbleC called Tax Recalculation would just be making an Adjustment Transaction on Avalara's end (if the Avalara end is Committed, otherwise... whatever the equivalent action/call would be for a Saved Transaction...)
Either way, to make sure I understand this:
  • Are you confirming that the Recalculate Tax button in Admin will not do anything for a system that is integrated with Avalara under the out-of-the-box framework?
    Or is that what we'd be waiting to hear what the dev team comes back with?
Thank you!
Elizabeth


For Additional Context Only:
"...Do customers tend to ask for adjustments to their orders frequently? I'd like to say that it is more infrequent than frequent. So again, it would make sense to adjust an existing transaction versus trying to create a system that allowed for tax reconciliation. ..."
  • Broadly speaking, I would assume that either orders aren't adjusted OR they are not adjusted within AbleC but within an integrated larger scale order management system.

    However, for this company, there is heavy custom to adapt the AbleC platform to act as not just the website management but also as nearly the complete back-end system. And in terms of this company's practices, they provide additional review and advice, as well as accept backorders, so order edits occurring after checkout is a very frequent event in admin.

    Avalara documentation advises that for these situations where there could be what they call an approval process, the original transaction should be submitted as Saved, not Committed until the transaction is actually done. (This could be a whole order, or individual shipments, depending on how each company evaluates their own terminology and matches it up to Avalara's terms.)
    Otherwise, Committed transactions will be tallied and reported, when money may not have actually been collected and/or the product shipped yet.

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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by Katie » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:17 am

We worked closely with Avalara when they certified our Gold AvaTax integration. This was a number of years ago, and they did not want us to support the tax recalculation feature, and that is why you'll see this message: "Tax recalculation is not supported by Avalara AvaTax."

In our next version, we plan to support the feature but it needs to be done with some direction from Avalara. We will look at both options of course, and decide on the best implementation to support all cases.

Thanks again!
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sweeperq
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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by sweeperq » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:02 am

Do we know if Recalculating will work in AC9?

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Re: Avalara Complete in Gold?

Post by Katie » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:13 pm

Not at this time. We had to focus on getting the final version completed. Currently, we are working on a service pack to fix some bugs. Then we'll be looking to add new features. This one has already been logged and is waiting to be reviewed.
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