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Install and Configure Avalara AvaTax for QuickBooks

Now that you've activated your AvaTax account and set up your tax profile, it's time to install your integration and connect to AvaTax. When you're finished configuring your integration, send a test transaction to confirm that AvaTax is calculating tax the way you expect. After running a successful test, you'll be able to start using AvaTax!

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

Download your integration

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

  1. In the Admin Console, on the Home tab, click Get Started.
  2. In the Download and Install Your Integration Software section, click Download Software
  3. In the Download Your AvaTax Connector Software window, click the arrow next to the name of your software, and then download the latest version of your integration. If the file isn't available for download, clear your browser's cache, and log back into the Admin Console.
  4. Save the .zip file somewhere on your computer that's easy to find.
  5. Right-click the .zip file and extract the installation folder or file (.exe or .pdf or .msi). 

Install AvaTax for QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Log in to QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. On the File menu, click Switch to Single-user Mode.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Preferences.
  4. On the Preferences window, click General. Then remove the check next to Keep QuickBooks Desktop running for quick startups.
  5. Close QuickBooks Desktop.
  6. Right-click the installation file you downloaded from the Admin Console, and select Run as administrator.
    • If you see a message that says, "Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher to make changes to this computer?" click Yes.
    • If you see a message that says, "This setup will perform an upgrade of 'Avalara AvaTax for QuickBooks'. Do you want to continue?" click Yes.
  7. In the Upgrading the Avalara AvaTax for QuickBooks dialog box, click Next.
  8. In the Destination Folder dialog box, click Next.
  9. In the Installation succeeded! dialog box, click Finish.

Connect QuickBooks Desktop to your AvaTax account

  1. In the Windows Start menu, right-click the QuickBooks Desktop startup icon, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Log into QuickBooks Desktop as an Admin user.
  3. In the QuickBooks Desktop - Application Certificate dialog box, click Yes, whenever this QuickBooks Desktop company file is open, and then click Continue.
  4. In the Access Confirmation dialog box, click Done.
  5. The setup assistant wizard displays. In the Connect to AvaTax window:
    1. Type your Username and Password. Your Admin Console username and password were sent to you from Avalara Support (support@avalara.com) with a subject line AvaTax Account Login. You must be an admin level user in AvaTax to connect QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax.
    2. To set an extra level of security, click Advanced options. Type the AvaTax credentials you received in an email with the subject line: "Important! Your AvaTax Production Account Number & License Key." Click Save and then, click Next to continue.
  6. If you didn't create a company when you activated AvaTax, continue with this step. If you created a company when you activated AvaTax, skip to the next step. The setup assistant retrieves your company and contact details from QuickBooks Desktop and displays them in the Create Your AvaTax Company window. To revise these details, click Edit to add your company and contact details. Click Next to continue.
  7. If you created a company when you activated AvaTax, continue with this step. Select the AvaTax company you would like to connect to QuickBooks Desktop. Click Next.
  8. In the Assign the AvaTax Tax Item window, select the items that you want to assign to AvaTax, and then click Next. Click Finish.

Once you're finished with the setup assistant, make changes or access other settings (such as address validation, product taxability, and entity/use codes) in the AvaTax Configuration window.

Configure AvaTax for QuickBooks Desktop

After installing AvaTax for QuickBooks Desktop, access additional configuration options and information about AvaTax for QuickBooks Desktop.

Go to File > AvaTax > Configuration.

  1. The Connection tab:
    1. To edit your account credentials, click Edit to add or modify the following details:
      Account: You received your AvaTax account number from Avalara in an email when you signed up for your AvaTax account. The subject of that email is, Important! Your AvaTax Production Account Number & License Key.
      Key: You received your AvaTax license key in the same email as your account number when you signed up for your AvaTax account.
      User Name: Your AvaTax user name. You received your username from Avalara in an email (subject line AvaTax Account Login) when you signed up for your AvaTax account.
      Password: The password you use when you log in to the AvaTax Admin Console.
      URL: If you have an AvaTax development account, use https://development.avalara.net. If you have an AvaTax production account, use https://avatax.avalara.net.
      Company Code: This is the code you entered when you activated your AvaTax account. Every accounting software that works with AvaTax uses a company code to identify itself to AvaTax. Here's some help if you can't find your company code in QuickBooks Desktop.
    2. Click Test Connection to verify the added or updated account credentials. You must supply the AvaTax license key to test your connection.
  2. The General tab:
    Default Shipping Options
    • Shipping Terms: QuickBooks Desktop shipping terms and their corresponding freight tax codes.
    • Freight Tax Code: The standard freight tax code for all items assigned the corresponding shipping term.
    • Update Freight Tax Code: Click to make changes to a freight tax code.
    • Add/Remove: Click to add or remove shipping terms and associated freight tax codes.
    • Item Tax Code Mapping: Controls the tax codes to which items are assigned. Select to enable the tax code mapping utility.

    Send Item Account to AvaTax: When enabled, the revenue account associated with transactions displays on transactions and reports in the Admin Console.

    Adapter Options
    • Request Timeout: The length of time allowed to pass before an attempt to contact AvaTax is abandoned. The default value is also the recommended value. This value is in milliseconds, not seconds.
    • Enable logging: Select to enable transaction logging for AvaTax, which can be helpful when troubleshooting transactions. We don't recommend changing the settings unless advised by Avalara Support.
  3. The Tax calculation tab:
    Sales Tax Control
    • Open Sales document after tax calculation: Select to open the document and view the tax amount calculated for the transaction
    • Always display tax details: Select to show the tax details for a transaction.

    Enable Entity Use Code: Select to enable the entity/use code field for customer records to exempt customers from sales tax.
    Credit Memos/Refunds
    • Tax calculation date: Select to override the tax calculation date on a credit memo or return order. This doesn't override the posting date, filing date, or reporting date.
    • Tax Amount Adjustment: Select to adjust the calculated tax amount on a credit memo or return order.

    Disable Automatic Calculation: If disabled, saved transactions aren't automatically sent to AvaTax. Use this feature if you would like to calculate tax in batches.

    Enable address validation before tax calculation: This setting is recommended only if you enter ship-to addresses on-the-fly during the QuickBooks Desktop sales transaction entry process; this option forces an address validation of the sales or billing document prior to tax calculation. Enabling this setting could increase your usage of Avalara services. Check with your customer account manager (CAM) if you have any questions or concerns.

    Latitude and Longitude: Select to calculate tax based on latitude and longitude coordinates without including an address.

    Disable Tax Automatic Calculation on Sales Doc: Similar to the Disable Automatic Calculation feature. Select specific document types rather that disabling on all transactions.
    Include Job Name with Customer Name: Enable to send the combination of customer name and job name as the customer code from QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax. If this option is disabled, then only the customer name is sent as the customer code from QuickBooks Desktop to AvaTax.
    UPC
    • Enable UPC: Map AvaTax system tax codes to universal product codes instead of item codes to maintain product taxability.
    • Select UPC field: Select the item code you want to map.

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

    Customer Tax Item Update Utility: Assign customers to the AvaTax tax item (or any tax item) in bulk.
    Consumer Use Tax Assessment Settings
    • Enable Use Tax Assessment On Vendor Bill: Click to enable use tax assessment for vendor bills.
    • Use Tax Payable Liability Account: Select the account to which the consumer use tax accrual amount is to be credited.
    • Use Tax Debit GL Account: Select the account from 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. Create a return invoice, select this line item, and enter the amount. This amount is considered the Vendor Charged Tax. On the return invoice, if this line item isn't displayed, the vendor charged tax is considered 0.
    • Vendor Tax Accrue Update Utility: Click to select the vendors, registered in QuickBooks Desktop, for whom you want to calculate consumer use tax. In the Vendor Tax Accrue Update Utility window:
      • Select the vendor(s) for whom you want to calculate the consumer use tax.
        • 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.
      • Click Save.
  4. The Address Validation tab:
    View Prompts for: Enable prompts and alerts during address validation for whichever options you select.

    During Batch address Validation, continue processing regardless of errors: When enabled address validation continues and you are notified of validation errors after the utility completes. When disabled, the batch address validation utility stops when an address validation returns an error.

    Return Results in Uppercase: Address validation results are returned in all capital letters (USPS format).
    Company Address Validation: Click to validate your company's address.
  5. The QB Config tab:
    Check AvaTax Configuration: Click to show the AvaTax configuration.
    Fix AvaTax Configuration: Click to fix any missing configuration in QuickBooks Desktop.
  6. When you finish making changes to your QuickBooks Desktop configuration, click OK to save the changes.