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Add Customer Records to CertCapture

This article applies to:Avalara CertCapture

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

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 best to regularly transfer customer records from your accounting software to CertCapture using a template. Only add customer records to CertCapture one at a time if you have a special reason to. As you add customers to CertCapture you're creating a record for each customer that holds information that's relevant to the customer's exempt status.

For each customer, include information like name, contact information, location, and whether you billed the customer or only shipped goods to the customer. If your accounting software, stores detailed information about your customers and your relationships, transferring customers should be easy. If your accounting software stores limited information about your customers and their transactions, you may need to store less detailed customer records in CertCapture.

When you develop a strategy for what customer details to store in CertCapture, keep in mind that the more detailed your records are, the easier it is to search for customers later and interpret their exemption histories. As a general rule, store as much information as you can sustainably maintain.  

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

Add more than one customer record with a template

To transfer multiple customer records from your accounting software to CertCapture:

  1. Export a customer list from your accounting software.
  2. To get CertCapture's upload template, go to Customers > Bulk Import. Choose between two templates: basic and full. Use the basic template if your accounting software stores a customer's billing and shipping locations under a single customer number. Use 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 and their headers you're not using.
      • Leave column titles unaltered. If you change the name of a column title, 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 > Bulk Import, locate the file, and click Upload.
  5. Review customer records you created. 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. 
    CertCapture6_CustomerDetail1.png
    • 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.