How AmeriPride streamlined state tax compliance in its 36 offices for huge efficiency
Last time you had dinner at your favorite restaurant, you may have come in contact with AmeriPride, Inc. The Minnesota-based service company rents and launders uniforms, tablecloths and napkins to the hospitality industry, manufacturers and others who outsource textile supplies.
The company operates across the U.S. and Canada, says Jason Saathoff, who manages the company’s tax department, which has 36 facilities across the U.S. and nexus in 40 states.
“Each operating unit was responsible for sales and use tax compliance, but last year we centralized and automated the process,” Saathoff says.
Time savings has been dramatic — on average the effort freed up two days of staff time per month at each facility. “That included manually gathering the data, preparing the tax returns, and filing them. Now we handle it here for the whole company in two days,” Saathoff says.
CCH’s new IntelliConnect is Saathoff’s go-to resource for the tax research required to stay on top of sales and use tax issues and other tax decisions the company makes. “I don’t need to go anywhere else for state-related tax information,” Saathoff says.
“I use the Zipsales Lookup feature to find state tax rates, and use the multistate tax guide all the time. I just got a question on the taxability of electronically delivered logo artwork in California,” he says. “IntelliConnect makes it a lot easier to zero in on the correct answer.”
In another example, Saathoff used IntelliConnect to research the tax treatment of a 25 percent reimbursement for employees who buy steel-toed shoes. “We needed to decide whether or not it qualifies as a de minimis fringe benefit.”
You just enter search terms like you do in Google, Saathoff says. “It’s a lot faster and more efficient for new staff because you don’t have to learn Boolean search logic.”
“It knows what you are trying to find. And, using tabbed browsing, you can conduct different searches without having to back out and start over. That’s a great improvement. I was up and running in under 10 minutes.”