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Add Customer Records to CertCapture

This article applies to:Avalara CertCapture

Once you've configured your CertCapture account, add customer records. If it's the first time you're adding customers to CertCapture, plan to transfer all of the customers that have made exempt purchases from your accounting software into CertCapture. 

Your exempt customers in your accounting software and CertCapture should always match. Since you process transactions in your accounting software, use that customer list as the source of truth. Transfer customer records from your accounting software to CertCapture on a regular basis to keep it up to date. 

Customer information includes contact details and whether customers were billed for or shipped goods.

After you've added customers, add and process their compliance documents. If you're missing documents, use CertCapture to ask your customers for them.

PLAY-BLUE-30px.png Add Customers | Avalara CertCapture

Import multiple customers with a template

Transfer multiple customer records from your accounting software to CertCapture.

Files larger than 50 MB or containing more than 40,000 lines can't be imported.

  1. Export a customer list from your accounting software.
  2. Go to Customers > Import Customers and download the Customer Upload Template.
    • Download the basic template if your accounting software stores a customer's billing and shipping locations under a single customer number
    • Download the full template if your accounting software stores a customer's billing and shipping details under separate customer numbers
  3. Copy fields from the exported spreadsheet and paste them into CertCapture's customer upload template.
    • Basic template: Each row has billing customer details and a field for the state where goods were shipped. For billing customers that have had goods shipped to more than one state, clone the customer's row with billing customer number and details filled in, and then update the Shipping Customer State field for each shipping state.
    • Full template: In the full template, each row includes a billing customer number and details plus a related shipping customer number and details. For each shipping address, clone the customer's row with billing customer number and details filled in, and then add details for each shipping location (including a unique customer number for each shipping location).

      Whichever template you use, your business decides how much information to store about each customer in CertCapture. At minimum, store NameAddress Line 1CityStateCountry, and Zip for each customer number. If you don't, information won't flow from CertCapture to AvaTax. The more information you store, the better. Consider which details you can sustainably add for each customer record

      Remember these guidelines as you develop a routine for transferring customer records:
      • You don't have to use all the template columns. Delete columns you're not using
      • Leave column titles unaltered. If a column title is changed, the template won't upload
      • Don't add worksheets to the template. If you do, the template won't upload
      • If you add a customer number to a template and the number already exists in CertCapture, fields from the template override the information already in CertCapture. Blank template fields erase existing CertCapture content
      • If you add a customer number to a template that isn't already in CertCapture, a new CertCapture customer record is created
  4. Finish adding customer details to the template and save it. In CertCapture, pick the company from the Company Hierarchy where you want to store customer records. Then go to Customers > Import Customers, choose your import file, and click Upload > Import Customer Data.
  5. Search for any of the customer records you just created to confirm that the customer details in CertCapture are what you expect. 

Add a single customer record

It's best if the lists of exempt customers in your accounting software and CertCapture always match. Since you process transactions in your accounting software, use its list as the source of truth. It's usually best to avoid adding customer records to CertCapture one at a time, since it increases the chance your customer lists won't match. Instead, regularly transfer customer records from your accounting software to CertCapture using a template.

If you're processing documents in CertCapture and have an immediate need to add a single customer record, here's how. If you use this method, check your accounting software to be sure the customer you add to CertCapture has a matching customer record there.

  1. Pick a company from your CertCapture Company Hierarchy. The customer record you create is stored in the company you pick.
  2. On the toolbar, click Customers, and then select Add Customer.
  3. Provide requested customer details. Add details that your company considers important when creating customer records in CertCapture. It's best to at least add a NameCustomer Number, and an Email Address. If your business uses AvaTax to calculate tax, you must at least include Name, Address Line 1, City, State, Country (two digit code: e.g. US), and Zip.
  4. Click Add New Customer. You've created a customer record.
  5. Add shipping details to the new customer record. CertCapture uses this information to keep track of your audit exposure. 
    • If your accounting software stores a customer's shipping details under a single billing customer record, add shipping details to a single record in CertCapture too. To add shipping states to a customer record:
      1. Click the ShipTo tab.
      2. Click Add ShipTo Zone.
      3. On the State tab, select a state from the drop-down, and then click Add ShipTo Zone.
      4. Repeat B and C until you've added all the shipping states for the customer.
    • If your accounting software stores a customer's billing and shipping details under separate customer numbers, create separate customer records in CertCapture too. Follow steps 1-4 above to create a billing customer record, and then create customer records for each of the shipping locations. Then, on the billing customer record:
      1. Click the ShipTo tab.
      2. Click Add ShipTo Customer.
      3. Add a shipping customer number, and then click Link ShipTo Customer.
      4. Repeat B and C until you've added all the shipping locations for the customer.

Import customers with the ECMS Import Template

Only use the ECMS Import Template at the direction of Avalara Support or your Customer Account Manager (CAM).

  1. Go to Customers > Import Customers and download the ECMS Import Template, then use the table below to format your spreadsheet:
    Column Column heading Type (size) Use Description
    A ECMS Cert ID Integer Required

    A unique number used to differentiate exemptions in your import file. This value is used to identify records that fail to import. 

    This number is not imported as the final certificate ID.

    B AvaCertid Integer Not Required Leave this column blank.
    C Issuing Country Text (2) Required The country that issued the exemption certificate.
    D Issuing Region Text (2) Required

    The two-character abbreviation of the region (state, province, or territory) that issued the exemption certificate.

    You can't add more than one region to this field. Add a new row to your spreadsheet for each issuing region, even if multiple regions use the same exemption number.

    Use CA for Canada (GST) to create country-level exemptions when Canada is the issuing country.

    E ExemptionNo Text (50) Required The exemption certificate number associated with the issuing region. 
    F ExemptionNo Type Text (50) Optional The type of exemption number, typically a taxpayer ID (TIN).

    TIN - Exemption number or taxpayer ID

    FEIN - federal employee identification number

    DLN - Driver's license number

    FDN - Foreign diplomat number

    G EffDate Date (10) Required Effective date of the exemption certificate in mm/dd/yyyy format.
    H EndDate Date (10) Required

    Expiration date for the exemption certificate in mm/dd/yyyy format.

    If left blank, CertCapture assumes the certificate doesn't expire.

    I CompanyCode Text Not Required Leave this blank.
    J CustomerCode Text (50) Required Unique customer code. This is matched with the customer vendor code during tax calculations to locate an exemption certificate entry. Usually, the customer number in your accounting or ERP system.
    K CertType Text (50) Required Type of certificate. Use the following text values:

    BLANKET = Blanket certificate
    SINGLE = Single use certificate, for a single purchase order or invoice (requires Invoice/PO No)

    L Invoice/PO No Text (50)


    Purchase order or invoice number. 

    Only required if CertType = SINGLE.

    M Business Type Integer Required Type of business:

    1 = Accommodations and food services

    2 = Agricultural, forestry, fishing, and hunting

    3 = Construction

    4 = Finance and insurance

    5 = Information, publishing, and communication

    6 = Manufacturing

    7 = Mining

    8 = Real estate

    9 = Rental and leasing

    10 = Retail trade

    11 = Transportation and warehousing

    12 = Utilities

    13 = Wholesale trade

    14 = Business services

    15 = Professional services

    16 = Educations and healthcare services

    17=  Nonprofit organization

    18 = Government

    19 = Not a business

    20 = Other (requires Business Type Desc)

    N Business Type Desc Text (255)


    Only required if Business Type = 20.

    O Exemption Reason Text (1) Required Reason for exemption. If an exemption reason is only applicable in one country, that country's name is displayed beside the exemption reason.

    A = Federal government (United States)

    B = State government (United States)

    C = Tribe / Status Indian / Indian Band (both)

    D = Foreign diplomat (both)

    E = Charitable or benevolent org (both)

    F = Religious org (both)

    G = Resale (both)

    H = Commercial agricultural production (both)

    I = Industrial production / manufacturer (both)

    J = Direct pay permit (United States)

    K = Direct mail (United States)

    L = Other (requires Exempt Reason Desc in next column) (both)

    M = Educational org (both)

    N = Local government (United States)

    P = Commercial aquaculture (Canada)

    Q = Commercial fishery (Canada)

    R = Non-resident (Canada)

    P Exempt Reason Desc Text (255)


    Only required if Exemption Reasons = L.
    Q Customer Name Text (100) Required Name of the customer on the exemption certificate.
    R Address 1 Text (50) Required Line 1 of the customer's address, as listed on the exemption document.

    All address information should identify the customer’s primary business address. This can't be blank.

    S Address 2 Text (50) Optional

    Address line 2 for the customer. 

    Anything added to Address 3 is merged with Address 2.

    T Address 3 Text (50) Optional

    Address line 3 for the customer.

    Combined with Address 2 upon successful import.

    U City Text (50) Required Customer's city.
    V Region Text (3) Required The two- or three-character region (state, province, or territory) ISO code.
    W Postal Code Text (10) Required Customer's Zip or Postal code.
    X Country Text (2) Required The two-character country abbreviation for the customer. If this field is blank, CertCapture assumes US.
    • US = United States
    • CA = Canada

    A list of supported abbreviations for other countries are found on the ISO website.

    Y CertStatus Text Required

    Whether or not your certificate should be active in CertCapture. 

    • ACTIVE = active
    • REVOKED = invalid 

    Use REVOKED when importing a historical certificate that's already been applied to a transaction, but should no longer be valid.

    Z ReviewStatus Text Required Set this as ACCEPTED
    Columns AA-AD may be left blank
  2. Save your spreadsheet, and then click Choose File to add the spreadsheet from its location on your computer.
  3. Click the Upload button, and then click Import Customer Data to begin the upload. We'll email you when it's done.
  4. After you receive the confirmation email, search for any of the customer records you just created to confirm that the customer details in CertCapture are what you expect.
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