Using Spreadsheets? Beware of Errors

Did you know that researchers have found that close to 90% of all spreadsheets have errors? While you might have a lot of faith in your Excel skills, being honest with yourself about the likelihood of errors creeping into your sheets is important when it comes to sales tax compliance. Are you in the 10% of error-free spreadsheet users in the world? It’s not likely considering just how much people use spreadsheets and how easy it is to make a mistake. Using spreadsheets can spell a deadly error if you’re relying solely on them for sales tax filing.

Researchers also showed that spreadsheets that had been checked and verified by humans still had a high number of errors in them so it’s likely that if you’re using spreadsheets, you’re missing out on sales tax money somewhere. Auditors, on the other hand, are using more advanced tools than spreadsheets to find out where sales tax isn’t adding up. Instead of relying on human hands and minds to sort through thousands of sales tax returns every month, state sales tax auditors are turning to automated solutions to find where businesses are missing sales tax payments—and catching errors that businesses are passing through. If you’re making mistakes on spreadsheets, auditors are more likely to find them now than years ago when automated sales tax tools weren’t as powerful.

At Sales Tax DataLINK, we can speak from experience. We’ve been helping states use our tools to approach sales tax audits with a more integrated and efficient process to find sales tax errors. You can use the same tools to file sales tax and beat auditors at their own game. You can even beat them to the punch with historical sales tax self audits to find errors you’ve missed in the past. Do you want to bet your business on a spreadsheet?

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