Consulting Services / Systems Integration / User Experience
Central registration system navigates complex requirements
About Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board (SSTGB)
The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board (SSTGB) oversees compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, which has the goal of simplifying sales tax collection for both state tax administrators and remitting businesses. SSTGB provides a central online registration system for all participants so that compliance with various state requirements is simpler and that all data is privacy protected.
SSTGB had four main goals for developing a new registration system for its users:
- Make it easier for business-owner taxpayers to register and submit data in multiple states.
- Provide administrative functionality to streamline reporting and member communication.
- Eliminate data corruption and inefficient data updates.
- Allow authorized third parties to submit and retrieve taxpayer registrations.
The most difficult challenge we faced was developing a registration and data transmission system that adhered to the prevailing schema of: (1) how data was expected to be passed between each user and SSTGB; and (2) required business rules for each of four user types. These rigid limitations were set by legacy agreements between SSTGB and its participants, and could not be altered. At the same time, we had to ensure data security and privacy to today’s standards.
Our solution greatly improved the SSTGB user experience, in an eloquent way that masked the complex systems integration and business rules governance going on in the background.
- Simple and intuitive registration interface for taxpayers to register, submit and update information.
- Secure communication and transmission method via web services for participating states and Certified Service Providers to pull and push transaction data.
- Portal for SSTGB administrators to manage users, generate reports, run diagnostics and send notifications to users.
- Testing tools and environment for member states and Certified Service Providers.
- Ticketing system to report and resolve questions or issues.
SSTG Executive Director Craig Johnson says the organization got exactly what it was looking for—an intuitive system that is quick and easy to use and provides a great first impression to users. The new app also has significantly reduced the number of support calls, despite a 25 percent increase in user registrations. Most importantly, the data corruption issues that plagued the previous system have all but disappeared.
- Payload encrypted web services (WS-Security)
- High-availability, load-balanced environment built on Amazon Web Services (AWS)