In calendar year 2013, ShipCompliant generated over 200,000 reports (sales and use tax, excise tax, direct shipping reports, wholesale gallonage reports, markup tax reports) for our clients. These reports generated over 700,000 pages of paper that were printed and mailed across the country (with paper checks as well) to the various state agencies. On top of that, suppliers generated over 100,000 pages of paper from product registration packets. In 2014 we’re likely to exceed 1 million pages of paper generated by the software.
We introduced Product Registration Online (PRO) three years ago to create public-private partnerships with state agencies for electronic submission and review of registrations for alcohol beverage products. PRO is in place in 10 states right now, with many more on the way, and it’s changing the way that suppliers bring products to market. It’s also eliminating incredible amounts of paper, postage, and headaches.
Not only are paper mailings extremely wasteful, but they’re also inefficient, slow, and not visible, both for the suppliers and the state agencies. One state agency told us that it costs them $35 on average to process each paper check that comes in! Further, a compliance consultant that I spoke with recently said that nine out of ten “notices” that they get from the state agencies are disputes about when and whether the report and check were actually mailed and received. Countless hours of back and forth are spent just trying to prove whether the mailings went out on time. The only way that suppliers know that the state received the report successfully is by monitoring that the checks actually got cashed, a process that can often take several months.
We’re on a mission to eliminate paper from this industry.
Just last month, we introduced AutoFile, a capability that allows suppliers to put their reports on cruise control. We keep track of whether you’re filing monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually with each agency, and make sure your reports get filed on time and accurately, every time. Everything is fully visible and accessible electronically any time you need it, and fully reconciled with your accounting system. We’re creating integrations with 25 different agencies right now to establish automated connections for report remittance. AutoFile will change the way we think about reporting. No longer a task, it just happens.
PS – If you’re a state agency that is looking to automate your paper processes and want to learn more about PRO or AutoFile, please contact us.