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Install and Configure Avalara AvaTax for QuickBooks

After you activate AvaTax Update and set up your company profile, install and configure AvaTax Update for your accounting software. During configuration, customize your setup to fit your unique business needs for things like:

  • Tax calculation settings for various tax types
  • Exemption settings if you have exempt customers
  • Product taxability settings

Alter these settings when your business needs change.

If you've previously installed the integration, learn how to upgrade to the latest version.

Download AvaTax Update for your accounting software

To connect your accounting software to AvaTax Update, download your integration software. 

  1. In Avalara Account, go to Connectors.
  2. Click the arrow next to the name of your software to download the connector you need.
  3. In your Downloads folder, right-click the .zip file and extract the installation folder or file (.exe or .pdf or .msi). 

Install AvaTax Update for your accounting software

  1. In QuickBooks Desktop, on the File menu, click Switch to Single-user Mode.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Preferences.
  3. Click General, clear the Keep QuickBooks Desktop running for quick startups check box on the My Preferences tab, click OK, and then close QuickBooks Desktop. 
  4. Right-click the installation file you downloaded from AvaTax Update, and select Run as administrator.
    • If you see the "Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher to make changes to this computer?" message, click Yes.
    • If you see the "This setup will perform an upgrade of 'Avalara AvaTax for QuickBooks'. Do you want to continue?" message, click Yes.
  5. In the Upgrading the Avalara AvaTax Update for QuickBooks and the Destination Folder dialog box, click Next, and then, in the Installation succeeded! dialog box, click Finish.

Connect QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax Update

You must be an Admin user in AvaTax Update to connect QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax Update.

To connect QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax Update:

  1. On the Windows Start menu, right-click QuickBooks Desktop, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Log into QuickBooks Desktop as an Admin user. The QuickBooks Desktop - Application Certificate dialog box opens.
  3. Select Yes, whenever this QuickBooks Desktop company file is open, click Continue, and then click Done. The setup wizard opens.
  4. In the Connect to AvaTax window:
    1. In the Username and Password fields, enter the AvaTax Update username and password sent to you from Avalara Support (support@avalara.com), with the subject line AvaTax Account Login.
    2. To set an extra level of security, click Advanced options, enter your AvaTax Update credentials (sent to you in an email with the subject line: "Important! Your AvaTax Production Account Number & License Key"), click Save, and then click Next.
  5. Select the AvaTax Update company you want to connect to QuickBooks Desktop, and then click Next
  6. Select the items that you want to assign to AvaTax, click Next, and then click Finish.

Configure

Configure AvaTax Update for your accounting software

To configure AvaTax Update for QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Go to File > AvaTax Update > Preferences, complete the fields on the following tabs, and then click OK:
    • The Connection tab:
      Section Field and description
      General
      • User Name and Password: Use the information provided in an email from Avalara (sent to the email account you used to activate your account). It's the same credentials you use to log in to AvaTax Update.
      • Advanced options:
        • Account and Key - Use the information provided in an email from Avalara (sent to the email account you used to activate your account). It must match what's saved in AvaTax Update.
        • Sandbox and Production - Select Development if you have an AvaTax Update development account or Production if you have an AvaTax Update production account.
      • AvaTax Company: The company code you entered when you activated your AvaTax Update account. Here's some help if you can't find your company code in QuickBooks Desktop.  
      • AvaTax company status: Displays the AvaTax Update for QuickBooks Desktop integration status.
      Setting Import
      • Company: AvaTax Update settings for the QuickBooks Desktop company selected in the General section.
      • Import Settings: Click to import the selected QuickBooks Desktop company settings. To access this utility directly, go to File > AvaTax > Preferences > Connection > Setting Import.

       

    • The Tax Calculation tab:
      Section Field and description
      General
      • Optional: Validate addresses before tax calculation: Enable to force an address validation of the sales or billing document prior to tax calculation. This setting is recommended only if you enter ship-to addresses on-the-fly during the QuickBooks Desktop sales transaction entry process. Enabling this setting could increase your usage of Avalara services. Check with your Customer Account Manager (CAM) if you have any questions or concerns.
      • Optional: Use lat / long coordinates for tax calculation if available : Enable to calculate tax based on latitude and longitude coordinates without including an address.
      • Optional: Open Sales document after tax calculation: Enable to open the document and view the tax amount calculated for the transaction.
      • Optional: Always display tax details: Enable to show the tax details for a transaction.
      • Optional: Include Job Name with Customer Name: Enable to send the combination of customer name and job name from QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax Update as the customer code. If this option is disabled, only the customer name is sent as the customer code.
      • Map Fields to Item Name and Description: Controls the mapping fields to items and their descriptions.
      Tax on Purchases
      • Assess Consumer Use Tax On Vendor Bill: If enabled, your accounting software uses AvaTax Update to calculate consumer use tax on vendor consumer use tax transactions.
      • Consumer Use Tax Liability: Select the account to which you want to credit your vendor use liabilities.
      • Debit Account Option: Select the account from which the consumer use tax accrual amount is to be debited.
      • Consumer Use Tax Debit GL : Select the account to which the consumer use tax accrual amount is to be debited.
      • Vendor Paid Tax Line Item: Select the line item for which vendor use tax is to be configured. If you don't enter an amount for this line item when you create a return invoice, the vendor charged tax is 0.
      • Select Vendor for Use Tax Assessment: Click to select the vendors, registered in QuickBooks Desktop, for whom you want to calculate consumer use tax. In the Select Vendor for Use Tax Assessment window:
        • Select the vendor(s) for whom you want to calculate the consumer use tax, and then click Save.
          • If you want to select all the vendors from the list, click Select All.
          • If you want to deselect your selection of vendors, click Clear All.
      Disable
      • Optional: Disable Tax Calculation: If you choose to disable tax calculation, your accounting software no longer uses AvaTax Update to calculate tax on transactions.
      • Optional: Transaction to exclude: If selected, tax isn't calculated for these transaction types.

       

    • The Address Validation tab:
      Field and description
      Optional: Validate all addresses: Click to validate all types of addresses to ensure that the address is formatted correctly for AvaTax Update to calculate tax accurately.
      Optional: Validate customer addresses only: Click to limit address validation to customer addresses.
      Optional: Validate vendor addresses only: Click to limit address validation to vendor addresses.
      Optional: Return Results in Uppercase: Select to save all address validation results in uppercase format.
      Validate company address: Click to ensure that the company address is formatted correctly for AvaTax Update to calculate tax accurately.

       

    • The Taxability tab:
      Section Field and description
      Shipping

      Assign Freight Tax Codes to Shipping Terms: The standard freight tax code for all items assigned the corresponding shipping term.

      Tax Codes
      • Manage Special Taxability: Controls the tax codes to which items are assigned.
      • Optional: Export: Click to export the current item tax code mapping list.
      • Optional: Import: Click to import an existing item tax code mapping list.
      UPCs

      Optional: UPC field: Select the item code you want to map.

      International Tax ID

      BIN field: Select the business identification number you want to use.

       

    • Optional: The Customer Exemptions tab:
      Section Field and description
      General

      Use Entity / Use Codes: Enable to map entity/use codes for your customer addresses to flag them as exempt from sales tax.

      Certificates

      Request certificates for customer exemptions.

       

    • The About Avalara tab contains technical information about your connector/integration and your AvaTax Update account.

Configure QuickBooks Desktop to send a UPC to AvaTax Update

Instead of using Avalara tax codes, you can choose to send the model number or the UPC from your accounting software to AvaTax Update. If the UPC isn't available, the model number is set as the default and sent to AvaTax Update. To customize taxability for specific products, items need to be mapped to UPCs and model numbers. 

To send an UPC to AvaTax Update, you need to configure UPC in QuickBooks Desktop. To configure UPC, follow these steps:

  1. Go to QuickBooks Desktop > Lists > Item Lists and select the item.
  2. In the Item Details window, click Custom Fields
  3. In the Custom Field for Item window, click Define Fields.
  4. In the Setup Custom Fields for Items window, for a new custom field, type the Label and select What kind of Data.
  5. In the Setup Custom Fields for Items window, click Ok.
  6. In the Custom Field for Item window, click Ok. Now that QuickBooks Desktop is configured to send a UPC, map items to UPC.
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