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Avalara Help Center

Request Documents from Customers

This article applies to:Avalara CertCapture

Store all your customers and their compliance documents in CertCapture.  As part of initial setup, use CertCapture to ask your customers for missing documents. As you maintain CertCapture, run reports to find expiring documents, and use CertCapture to ask for new ones.

Send single certificate requests

When you only need a compliance document from one customer, send a single document requestHoverTT.png.

Send a single request

To send a single document request:

  1. Use the Search or Quick Search to find a customer.
  2. Click a Customer Number and, on their customer record, click Send Document Request.
  3. To configure your request, fill out the form, using the following guidelines:
    Field Description
    Client This field is grayed out. You can't change it. It displays the company from the Company Hierarchy where the customer's record is stored.
    Customer # / Name The customer's number is pre-filled because you started the request from a customer record.
    Cover Letter When you send your request, your customer receives a cover letter and a set of blank documents to complete and submit. The cover letter should explain what you need from your customer.

    If you've already created the cover letter you want to send with this request, choose it from this list.

    If you haven't already written the cover letter, click Requests on the CertCapture toolbar, and then click Email Templates/Cover Letters to start a new one. After you finish and save the new letter, choose it from this list.
    Delivery Method Choose how you want your customer to receive this request.
    • Download - When you complete the request, CertCapture creates a PDF of the cover letter and blank document templates. To download the PDF, from Profile, select Download Center. Find the request, and click Download. Print the PDF, and mail it to your customer.
    • Email - When you complete the request, CertCapture emails your cover letter and blank document templates to an email address you choose. If you pick Email as the delivery method from this list, an Email Address field appears for you to fill out.
    • Fax - When you complete the request, CertCapture faxes your cover letter and blank document templates to a fax number you choose. If you pick Fax as the delivery method from this list, a Fax Number field appears for you to fill out.
    Location If you're sending this request to a retail customer, pick the location from this list that makes the most sense. All the locations you've entered for the customer are on the list.
    Return Date Date the document is due back from your customer.
    Custom Message When you create a cover letter for your request, you can enter variables called template tags. A template tag pulls a piece of information from a customer record and puts it in your cover letter. If you included the Custom_Message template tag in your cover letter for this request, type a message here. 

    When CertCapture sends the request, the cover letter replaces the Custom_Message template tag with the message you type here.
    Exposure Zones Pick the jurisdiction(s) where you need a document from your customer to cover audit exposure. What you choose here helps CertCapture know which blank documents to recommend for your customer.
    Document Category Pick an exemption reason or another document category. What you choose here helps CertCapture know which blank documents to recommend for your customer.
    Document Templates Based on the exposure zones and document categories you picked, CertCapture recommends blank document templates to send your customer. Select each document template you want to send. 
  4. Click Generate Request.
    • If you chose Download as the delivery method, look in your Download Center for a PDF of the request.
    • If you chose Email or Fax, the request is sent to your customer.

Locate a single sent request

To locate a single request after you've sent it:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Search > Customer Search.
  2. Click Advanced, and then click to expand the Campaign Criteria section.
  3. From the Has Requests list, choose the type of date to search by.
  4. In Start and End, type the date range to search, and then click Get Search Results. Requests that match the date range you selected display.
  5. Click a customer number. The Customer Details page opens.
  6. On the Customer Details page, on the Requests tab, view details for recent requests submitted to this customer.

Send several document requests simultaneously

When you want to ask several customers for compliance documents, create a campaignHoverTT.png  and request documents by sending an e-mail, letter, or fax to many customers at once. After you send the campaign, Campaign Insights uses tracking data to let you easily view the status of your requests and discover how your campaign is performing.

Create a campaign

To create a campaign:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Search > Customer Search.
  2. Select the search criteria for customers to include in a campaign, and then click Get Search Results.
  3. From the Perform Action On Results list, select New Campaign. The Prepare Customer Exemption Certificate Campaign page opens
  4. Type a Campaign Title, and then specify which customers from your search receive a document request by selecting any of the following:
    Field Description
    Include Customers already in another campaign Include customers who are part of an existing campaign. CertCapture sends a document request to a customer even if that customer received a request in another campaign.
    Omit Customers already in another campaign Exclude any customers who are part of an existing campaign. CertCapture won't send an additional request to those customers.
    Missing Certificate Exposures Generate requests for exposure zones in which customer are missing certificates.
    Invalid Certificate Exposures Generate requests for exposure zones in which customers have invalid certificates.
    Expired Certificate Exposures Generate requests for exposure zones in which customers have expired certificates.
    Include Soon To Expire Exposures Generate requests for certificates that are currently valid but will expire within the specified number of days.
    Taxable Exposures Generate requests for customers who are classified as taxable or who have a taxable certificate.
    Good Certificates (Non-exposures) Generate requests for customers with a valid certificate on file.
    Billing Customers Include all billing customers in the campaign. This is the most common selection.
    Shipping Customers Include all shipping customers in the campaign.
    Exclude Same-As Relationships Exclude customers in a same-as relationship with other customers already included in the campaign so that you don’t generate duplicate requests.
    Expand Bill-to-Ship Addresses Show both the bill-to and ship-to address in the cover letter
  5. Select Exempt Reasons, and then click Prepare exemption certificate Campaign. The Edit Customer Certificate Campaign page opens.
  6. On the Round 1 tab, fill in the following fields:
    Field Action
    Send Date Specify the date when you expect to send the requests. This date merges into the cover letter if you use the correct tag in the cover letter template.
    Requested Return Date Specify the deadline for customers to send the certificate to you. This date merges into the cover letter if you use the correct tag in the cover letter template.
    Generate Date Specify the date you want CertCapture to generate the request files. This field defaults to the day prior to the send date.

    This specifies how you send the request for certificates to customers.

    If you choose Postal Mail, you print a PDF to send to customers by postal mail. Contact your Customer Account Manager (CAM) to add Managed Services to your account to have Avalara mail the requests for you via USPS.

    Cover Letter Select the cover letter you want to use for this request campaign. For help with cover letters, see create a cover letter template.
    Cover Letters Only Select to generate only cover letters, without exemption certificate templates.
    Include Most Recent Invalid Select to include a copy of the most recent invalid certificate that you have from each customer with the requests.
    Include CertExpress access Select to send an invitation to customers to use the online form submission tool to create certificates.
    Automatically Send Round

    Select to automatically send the request campaign on the send date you entered.

    If you don't select this option, you'll have to use the Send Emails section to send the campaign.

    Notes Add notes about the request campaign. Customers don't see these notes.
  7. Use the following sections to review your selections. Section availability changes based on your campaign selections and whether you've saved them.
    • View Cover Letter: See the cover letter selected for the campaign.
    • View Email: Edit the campaign email. Some content of the email is automatically generated and cannot be edited.
    • Select Customers: See which customers are included in the campaign.
      • Customers with checkmarks by their names are included in the campaign.
      • Click to remove checkmarks and exclude customers.
  8. To add another round to your campaign and customize it, click the + next to the Round 1 tab, and then repeat steps 6 and 7. For example, create an email campaign for the first round, and then follow that with a mailing campaign several weeks later.
  9. Click Save Campaign Changes.
  10. To initiate your request campaign, click one of the following:
    • Print: Click, and then click Create Printable File to create a printable file of the campaign documents.
    • Send Emails: Click, and then click Send Certificate Requests to send the campaign email to the email address on file for each customer.
    • Send Faxes: Click, and then click Send Certificate Requests to send the campaign letters using the fax number on file for each customer.

Request documents by retail location

To filter your campaign by retail location:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Search > Certificate Search.
  2. Click Advanced, click to expand the Retail Location section, and then type the criteria for your search.
  3. Click Get Search Results.  Retail locations that match the date range you selected display.
  4. Click Export Report, type a name for your results file, and then click Export Results.
  5. Click your name in the Dashboard and select Download Center.
  6. In the Actions column for the search results file you want to view, click Download.
  7. Open your results file and copy the numbers from the Customer Number column.
  8. In CertCapture, go to Search > Customer Search.
  9. In the Customer Criteria section, paste customer numbers you copied into the Customer Numbers field, and then click Get Search Results.
  10. Continue creating your campaign.

Clone a campaign

Cloning copies the details from a previous campaign. Use cloning to speed up the campaign process and expedite sending a new request, following-up on a previous request, or delivering a thank you note to your customers.

To clone a campaign:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Requests > Campaigns.
  2. On the In-Progress Campaigns or Closed Campaigns tab, find the campaign you want to clone, and then click Manage. The campaign opens.
  3. Select the tab for the campaign round you want to clone, and then, in the Actions column, click Clone. A new tab is created with the same name as the tab you cloned, plus "clone.." (e.g., Round 1 clone).
  4. Rename the tab for your new campaign round and click Save Campaign Changes.
  5.  Use the steps for creating a campaign to complete setting up this new campaign round.

Track a campaign

After creating a campaign, track its progress to see which customers have responded to your document requests. Campaign data updates every time a new certificate is received via the online form submission tool or uploaded in data entry.

To track a campaign:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Requests > Campaigns.
  2. On the Insights tab, review high-level charts that aren't specific to one campaign.
  3. For information about a specific campaign, on the In-Progress Campaigns tab, next to the campaign you want to track, click Manage.
  4. On the Campaign Insights tab, review details about your campaign.
  5. On the Overview tab, review high-level information about the campaign, such as:
    • Customer numbers and names, listed in the data table.
    • How many requests a customer has returned certificates for, displayed in the Completed Exposures column shows .
    • The exposure zone(s) each customer is responsible for, their exempt reason, and the status of your campaign request to them, including which round a request was sent in for each exposure zone. Revealed by clicking + next to the customer number.
  6. To manually add or remove customers from future campaign rounds, on the Overview tab, clear the checkbox next to their customer number before that round is sent, and then click Save Campaign Changes.
  7. To download a .csv file with campaign details:
    • Of a campaign - On the Overview tab, click Export Overview Data.
    • Of a round - On the round tab, click Export Round Data.

Create a cover letter template

Cover letters let you explain your request to your customers. Cover letters include your logo, customizable template tags that you let do something like a mail merge, and a message from you. Creating a cover letter template lets you use the letter each time you send out a similar request.

Your company logo is automatically imported into all your cover letters.  You can move, remove or replace this logo. Cover letters with template tags personalize details for each recipient when you send a request or campaign.

Template tags let you insert variables into your cover letter. For instance, a template tag for customer names is replaced by the name of the appropriate customer when you use the template.

To create a cover letter template:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Requests > Email Templates/Cover Letters.
  2. Click Add Cover Letter. The Add New Cover Letter Template page opens.
  3. Fill in the following:
    • Title: A title to quickly identify which template this is
    • Subject: A subject to provide a brief overview of the template
    • Description: A description that shows the difference between this template and another so you don't have to compare them directly
  4. Under Body, do one of the following to add text, and then use the formatting toolbar to add elements to your cover letter. The toolbar works like the toolbar of any web-based word processing program such as Microsoft Word web app.
    • Type your cover letter
    • Type your letter in Microsoft word, copy it, and then, in CertCapture, click Paste as Plain Text. This strips out any unusual characters that Microsoft Word might otherwise paste into the cover letter.
  5. To insert a template tag into your cover letter, click and drag the tag onto your cover letter. Template tag types you can use include:
    • Customer data tags import details about your customers and begin with CUST or CUSTOMER.
    • CertExpress data tags import data about CertExpress. These tags previously inserted web portal instructions. They were recently updated.
    • Date reference tags import data about when you sent a certificate request or expect to receive a certificate.
    • Certificate data tags import details about certificates.
    • Your CertCapture account tags import details from your CertCapture user account and begin with USER.
    • Your company data tags import details about your company begin with FROM.
  6. When you’re finished customizing your cover letter, click any of the following:
    • Update Cover Letter Template - Save changes to your cover letter template.
    • Preview - Download a copy of the cover letter as a PDF to see what it looks like before you print or email it.
    • Reset - Reject all changes you made to your cover letter template during this session.

Clone a cover letter

Start with one of your old templates, then clone and modify it to create a new version.

To clone a cover letter:

  1. In CertCapture, go to Requests > Email Templates/Cover Letters.
  2. Next to any cover letter, under Actions, click Preview.
  3. On the Preview Cover Letter Template page, click Clone Template.
  4. On the Add New Cover Letter Template page, in Title, type a title for the new template.
  5. Edit the cloned template so it's appropriate for your new cover letter.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Add New Cover Letter Template.