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TM_00105_AFC Manager User Manual

Introduction

The AvaTax for Communications (AFC) Manager provides the ability to systematically update configuration options for AFC from within a self-maintained graphical user interface (GUI). This streamlined GUI allows the upmost flexibility when it comes to making changes, whether they are simple or complex. When you combine the AFC Manager’s easy to use interface with our portfolio of products, such as the Sales & Use Viewer or the Rate and Logic Modifier (RLM), you begin to realize the benefit that the AFC Manager product delivers.

File Menu

AFC Manager initiates with the Opening Screen, partially shown in the image below.

Opening Screen

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Menu

Description

File Menu

The File menu contains the commands used to either open/print existing AFC configuration files or create new ones. It also contains the Exit command used to close the AFC Manager.

Tools Menu

The Tools menu is used to open any AFC component installed in the AFC Manager and to make adjustments to the viewer settings.

Help Menu

The Help menu displays the version of the software and all of the currently installed components.

AFC Manager New Configuration File

The “New” option opens a sub menu allowing for the opening of an AFC Configuration File Wizard, a Filelocs Configuration File Wizard or other Wizard installed in the AFC manager.

AFC Configuration File Path

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AFC File Configuration File Wizard

AFC Configuration File Wizard provides a walkthrough of a number of different configuration settings that will allow tailoring of your AFC environment to your business needs. Below is the first screen you will see when you begin using the Configuration wizard.

At any time you may click the back button to review or modify previous settings. Once you have completed the wizard, you will be asked to save your configuration file which will contain the new settings.

Refer to the AFC Configuration Guide for complete explanations of the EZtax.cfg options.

Configuration File Window

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Note: If you already have a configuration file and you want to save the new configuration file you just created, please rename the old file or move it to a new location, as it will be overwritten during this process.

AFC Log Options

Screen 1 of 3

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Note: Enabling Log No Tax Transactions will produce a new file with the extension .NTL containing transactions that produced no taxes. These transactions will always appear in the .tsr report (refer to the AFC User Manual).

Screen 2 of 3

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Notes: Enabling Log Transaction/Service Types will allow you to map the t/s pair to the taxes produced from the log file. Without it, this cannot be easily done. If you are concerned about performance, try a large set of transactions using both configuration settings and determine the impact to the performance on your server.

Status messages are useful for verifying the AFC version and configuration settings. Info is normally the best choice unless it is not desired to have this information output.

Screen 3 of 3

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Notes: This report will show all the charges from all transactions by t/s pair and jurisdiction. If this file is not created, that information is not preserved anywhere else by AFC and will be lost. By default, the filename is EZtax.tsr and will be located in the same directory the log is created in.

Tax Calculation Options

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Notes: Tax on Tax setting directly impact the tax amounts calculated for taxes that tax other taxes.

  • Iterate on Taxable Measure: Most Conservative – largest taxes produced
  • Iterate on Tax Amount: Moderate Choice
  • Once: Least Conservative – smallest taxes produced
Screen 2 of 2

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Note: To see non-billable taxes in the viewer, this MUST be set to true and applied to the viewer.

Nexus and Exclusion Options

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Bundle Options

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

See Also:

Note: Contact communicationsupport@avalara.com for more information on the bundler tool.

Group Mode Options

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Override Options

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

See Also:

Note: Contact communicationsupport@avalara.com for more information on the RLM tool.

Save Configuration File

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AFC Configuration Guide References:

Note: You can both save the configuration file and apply it to the AFC Viewer, or just save the file or just apply it to the viewer. The options are mutually exclusive.

Filelocs Configuration File

The Filelocs Configuration Wizard is used to create or edit an existing AFC Filelocs.txt file. In addition, click the correct radio button from the list of platforms.

Filelocs Configuration File Wizard Screen

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Filelocs – File Location Verification

The FileLocs configuration wizard gives you the ability to verify where your AFC files are located. By default, the Filelocs.sta file will be created by EZtaxInitEx when the file paths are not provided or incomplete, and if EZtaxInitEx cannot find Filelocs.txt in the current working directory.

File Location Window

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Note: The directory where Filelocs.sta is created is the working directory that AFC is using, and this is where Filelocs.txt should be placed. Also when you have checked the “Verify that file exist” option, the wizard will search for your files in the specific paths you have indicated. If the wizard cannot find the file, it will return a message indicating so.

Filelocs – Output File Verification

The AFC Manager Configuration Filelocs wizard also allows you to define specific output locations that may be different from the standard default locations.

Note: When the “Verify that file exist” option is checked, the wizard will search for your output files in the specific paths you have indicated. If it cannot find the files specified, it will return a message indicating the files do not exist. You will be required to re-enter the correct file paths in order to continue.

Filelocs – Saving Filelocs File

Once you have completed your updates, you will need to enter the location of your new filelocs file. It is suggested that you use the default location indicated by the wizard. This location will be the same as the working directory of your AFC application.

Nexus Configuration File

The Nexus Configuration Wizard is used to create or edit an existing AFC nexus file. To get started, select the appropriate platform where the file will be used.

Nexus Configuration File Wizard Screen

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Nexus State Selection

The next screen allows you to select, add, or remove states that have nexus.

Save Nexus File

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Save Nexus File

Once all states have been entered, the last screen will allow you to select the location where the output file will be saved.

Save Nexus File

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Note: Checking the “Apply nexus to the tax engine used by the AFC Viewer” checkbox will cause the AFC Manager to load and apply the nexus file within the AFC Viewer and/or Sales and Use Viewer.

Exclusion Configuration File

The Exclusion Configuration Wizard is used to create or edit an existing AFC exclusion file. To get started, select the appropriate platform where the file will be used.

Exclusion Configuration File Wizard Screen

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Exclusion State Selection

The next screen allows you to select, add, or remove countries and/or states where no tax should be applied.

Exclusion State Selection Screen

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Save Exclusion File

Once all states have been entered, the last screen will allow you to select the location where the output file will be saved.

Save Exclusion File

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Note: Checking the “Apply nexus to the tax engine used by the AFC Viewer” checkbox will cause the AFC Manager to load and apply the exclusion file within the AFC Viewer and/or Sales and Use Viewer.

Open File Path

The Open option allows for the opening and manipulation of an existing EZtax.cfg, Filelocs.txt or other configuration file(s) supplied with the particular AFC options which have been installed.

Open File Path

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Clicking the Open option invokes the file selection window shown in the image below. Select the file from the list shown or navigate to the location where the desired file exists and click open. The Configuration File Wizard associated with the configuration file selected (i.e. EZtax.cfg, Filelocs.txt, etc.) will present a series of screens used to configure how AFC will perform.

File Selection Window

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Tools

Installed Components

Clicking on the AFC Manager Tools opens a menu listing all of the components that are currently installed. This list will vary depending upon which components are licensed. There are a number of different tools that Avalara offers to help you in your taxation process. Below are descriptions of those products.

Tool

Description

Viewer

The AFC Viewer is a component of the AFC Manager that resembles the functionality of the AFC system. By using this tool, you may enter transaction information and view the tax calculation results as if the transaction was being processed by AFC.

Sales and User Viewer

The Sales and Use Viewer functions in a similar way as the AFC Viewer. By using this tool, you may view tax calculation results for sales and use transactions, and specify additional properties associated with this type of transactions.

Rate and Logic Modifier (RLM)

The AFC RLM (Rate and Logic Modifier) is a powerful tool that will allow you to view the tax rate and logic information for any jurisdiction, and create override files that may be used within the AFC system. The override files produced by this tool may be used to modify tax rates for a specified jurisdiction, alter the tax logic for transaction/services, and add or remove taxes from transaction/services. When using the override file created by this tool.

AFC Bundler

The AFC Bundler allows you to create bundle definition files that may be used by the AFC system. Bundle definition files allow you to associate a group of transaction/service pairs with a bundle transaction, and specify the percentage of the transaction amount that corresponds to each one. When processing tax calculations for the bundle transaction within the AFC system, AFC will calculate the appropriate taxes for each transaction/service associated with the bundle.

Help

The Help Menu currently contains just one menu selection, the About AFC Manager. The path to this selection is illustrated in the image below.

About AFC Manager Path

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About AFC Manager

The About AFC Manager option screen (shown in the image below) displays the version of the software and all of the currently installed components. It also shows the output directory where the viewer(s) output and configuration files are stored.

About AFC Manager Screen

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Help Guide

The Help guide is provided to support users when encountering difficulties with AFC. Users are encouraged to contact Avalara with concerns of any nature.

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting information is provided to assist users in diagnosing and resolving issues when encountered.

Troubleshooting

Issue

Solution

Tools are greyed out

  • Verify you have the latest manager installed.
  • Verify your license file is installed.

Note: Only the tools you are licensed for will be available for usage.

Viewer indicates the AFC Session could not be initialized.

Verify you have the latest manager installed. The installation also updates the AFC engine and related data for the viewer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are provided to answer common user questions.

FAQs

Question

Answer

Does Avalara offer training on the usage of the tools?

Yes. Either onsite or remote training is available. Contact Avalara for more information.

Monthly Update Procedure

The AFC Manager monthly update is available at about 4:00 PM Central time on the day before the last business day of each month. It contains updated tax information and database files and is available at the AFC Support web site. The update contains changes resulting from ongoing research and development, providing the most current and efficient tax-rating engine available.

The process of updating your AFC Manager system is similar to the procedure used to install AFC Manager. Use the Installation Wizard to update your files monthly. There is no need to compile your system data because the Avalara database and AFC functions are independent from your billing system. Simply follow the steps provided for this each month.

Note: AFC Manager MUST be updated each month in order for the program to be current. If the download is not completed within the allotted month, AFC Manager is disabled to prevent incorrect tax calculations.

Download the Monthly Update

The Monthly updates are available from the support web site: https://communications.avalara.net.

See How can I access my software downloads from Support? for more information.

Exiting the AFC Manager

To Exit the AFC Manager, simply go to the File pull down menu and click on Exit.

Exit AFC Manager File Path

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