SALES TAX DataLINK
This custom software, which was delivered on-time and on-budget was a game changer for the tax software industry by validating, reconciling and simplifying the entire filing process.
Traditional software solutions are complex, do not cover all the tax filing process aspects, and lack interstate capabilities. Configuration and integration with the invoicing software is usually a long process requiring help from IT specialists, and several days of trying to get it to work properly. FileLink changed the game by allowing customers to test invoice transactions quickly and file returns in minutes, all without any help from IT.
The validation procedure is fast. Unlike other solutions, FileLINK generates onscreen notifications to pinpoint jurisdictional errors, net credit amounts and rate variances down to the local level. You can correct client’s front-end data issues without dumping the data or engaging the override feature to make pre- and post-dated adjustments. You can use the adjustment library to handle those unique items necessary for complete tax return filing. The software validates, reconciles and simplifies the filing process.
FileLINK gives complete control over the backend. Simply upload client’s data file and start the review process by reconciling sales tax collected to sales tax calculated to the client G/L. All variances are color coded down to the local level for easy identification. Click to start the filing process with e-file or e-return with the option to save supporting documentation on a spreadsheet. It's designed to offer better control, efficiency to review and quicker to file. The product includes a Rate Lookup tool as well, showing historic rates and tax codes specific to a collection period and an integrated Tax Calendar tracking all clients’ filing obligations in a single view, which is a must-have tool for customers filing process.
The product was designed by Sales Tax DataLink founder and CEO, Noel Hamm, a veteran in the tax filing industry. He observed the common problems (in particular configuration and integration issues) for a business that requires fast response. Each month there are due dates for performing the tax filing. A miscalculation or late filing can generate extra costs and interest for a company.
With this in mind, several design sessions were performed to define the architecture of the product.
The results of these sessions were:
1) A Gantt with the projects main milestones description and deadlines.
2) A complete set of wireframes for the different screens.
3) A work methodology based on Agile was defined.
"This is the sort of work that you don't see every day, and to be a part of the process was absolutely humbling."
The team was created with the following resources:
1) Project Director
2) Architect / PM / Team Leader / DB Expert
3) Senior Business Analyst
4) Senior Net / ASPX Developer
5) SemiSenior Net / ASPX Developer
6) Senior Web designer / UX expert
7) QA BlackBox Tester
The project was divided into modules, following the logic flow of the application, and milestones were associated with those modules or their sections. The first version was released six months after the project started, and certified in the State of North Carolina, with the purpose of performing QA on real data and interacting with a real State. After a year, a fully functional version was released, prompting customers to immediately start using it. Based on customer day to day work and their requirements a third version of the product was released two years after the project started. After that period and until today we are improving FileLink product with new functionalities, better performance, scaling it for more processing and data storage with a server DB cluster version and refacing it completely to improve the UX.
Product was developed as a web application supporting all the commercial HTML5 / CSS3 most popular browsers of the market (Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer). The whole application is based on ASPX with jQuery AJAX extensions. Database engine is SQL Server 2008 R2, and extensive usage of store procedures was done to keep performance as good as possible. Application has logic to maintain automatic table partitioning on demand, and it is prepared to work with one or more DBs to scale and manage millions of transactions. The Net Framework version is 4 and product runs on both 32 and 64 bit OS.
As this project was a success and the deliveries were done on time and within budget, the customer contracted us to continue the development of a new complete line of products for the tax filing industry.
"The entire process was executed flawlessly, and we were very impressed with the level of commitment shown by both the team and the client."