Sessions & Speakers

Vertex Exchange is where Corporate Tax leaders and innovators come together to connect with what matters: Opportunities to expand knowledge and perspectives. Engage with thought-provoking experts. Have lively interactions—and strengthen connections.

Connect with what matters in Corporate Tax: New ideas. Leading expertise. Innovative solutions. Explore the sessions at Vertex Exchange 2019.

Vertex Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: For more information about earning CPE credits at Exchange, see the CPE Information Sheet.

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View suggested sessions based on Vertex solution and/or user experience level.

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              October 27


              October 28


              October 29


              October 30

              11:40 AM - 12:30 PM

              Workshop: Writing a Compelling Case to Secure IT Project Funding

              Todd Cameron

              Michael Bernard

              Willow Lake 3

              Too often, tax departments aren't effective in explaining why they need additional funds and personnel for tax IT projects. When this happens, the entire organization suffers. Join this hands-on workshop to learn how to write a compelling case for your tax IT needs -- from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. We'll discuss quantitative aspects like ROI and reduced tax assessments, as well as qualitative aspects such as de-risking of reporting, harmonization with broader Finance IT projects, and tighter SOX controls. This session will be led by Michael Bernard, former General Manager and United States Tax Counsel at Microsoft Corporation who secured funding for years in his former company.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Identify quantitative and qualitative aspects to support your request for funding
              • Write a compelling case for increasing IT funding for specific projects

              Session Number: GR200

              11:40 AM - 12:30 PM

              Proven Strategies for Vertex O Series Regression Testing

              John Shaw

              Keith Wilson

              Colorado B

              Vertex works hard to stay on top of all the changes that may impact your business and provides customers with a continual stream of data and product updates to account for these changes. But ever wonder how Vertex Indirect Tax O Series data and product updates impact your organization's specific calculations? Attend this session to learn about the tools and techniques that Vertex testing experts use to regression test and how you can use them to refine or define your own strategy for this task. You'll be able to better understand what tax calculations will change (and why) after applying Vertex O Series data updates, patches, and major releases. And you'll learn how Vertex O Series enables you to manage suites of regression tests.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Understand how Vertex testing experts perform regression testing for patches, major releases and monthly data updates
              • Use tools Vertex makes available for regression testing

              Session Number: IT500

              11:40 AM - 12:30 PM

              Taxing the Digital Economy: An International Perspective

              Fiona Reyford

              Aleksandra Bal

              Colorado D

              Countries all over the world are actively trying to figure out how to address the tax challenges arising from digitalization of the economy. This session will give you an overview of the current thinking on both direct and indirect taxation, discuss the impact of the proposed measures on your business and if you can challenge these taxes once enacted. We'll also discuss the likelihood of a global, consensus-based solution to taxing the digital economy or unilateral approaches that will lead to a patchwork of inconsistent rules, which will increase the risk of double taxation.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Explain the concept of digital services taxes in the EU and their impact on businesses
              • Explain the differences between VAT and digital services taxes
              • Understand the progress of the OECD BEPS work
              • Evaluate the latest thinking on solutions for taxing the digital economy and the likelihood of various options
              • Explore new EU VAT obligations for online platforms and EU VAT e-commerce package that will take effect in 2021

              Session Number: GP200

              11:40 AM - 12:30 PM

              Roundtable: How Does New Content Get Added to Vertex O Series?

              Jennifer Medina

              Homestead 1

              Does your business sell products that do not have a Vertex-defined category assigned to them in Vertex Indirect Tax O Series? Ever wondered how Vertex determines a category definition -- and if you can request a new category? Join this roundtable discussion to get expert answers to these and other content-related topics. We'll discuss the process for requesting a new category for Vertex O Series, as well as how Vertex defines a category and determines if a new category will be added to the Category Tree.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Understand the process for requesting a new category
              • Learn how Vertex determines if a new category is needed and should be added to the Category Tree

              Session Number: TR504

              11:40 AM - 12:30 PM

              Introduction to the Exemption Certificate Wizard

              Mike Lott

              Amy Quay

              Colorado C

              Collecting and maintaining exemption certificates is often a manual, time consuming process - and errors are a major cause of audit risk and pain. Join this session to learn about the new Exemption Certificate Wizard that makes it easy for your customers to enter their exemption certificates via a web browser. See how the Wizard facilitates the creation of the certificate via guided questions and produces an audit ready certificate. And understand how it integrates with Vertex Indirect Tax O Series and sends the required data needed to create a Vertex O Series exemption record.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Streamline the exemption certificate collection process with the easy-to-use Exemption Certificate Wizard 
              • See how it integrates with Vertex O Series and sends the required data needed to create a Vertex O Series exemption record
              • Understand how the Wizard prevents errors and saves time

              Session Number: TP703

              1:30 PM - 3:10 PM

              Beyond Tax Assist Basics: Using Flexible Fields in Vertex O Series

              Tatyana Martinez

              Matthew Knab

              Alexander Uskuraitis

              Red Rock 1

              This session focuses on flexible fields, an optional functionality that's used only when taxability needs cannot be met with standard interface elements. Learn what flexible fields are, what's possible with the three types of flexible fields, and how they can be defined and mapped to taxability categories and tax rules to address complex tax transactions.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Learn what flexible fields are
              • See how flexible fields can be used with taxability setup
              • Understand the three types of flexible fields and what's possible with each type

              Session Number: TG500

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              Introduction to Vertex O Series 9.0

              Christopher Lawrence

              Colorado B

              The tax landscape is always shifting, just as your business is -- and the new Vertex Indirect Tax O Series 9.0 release includes features to help you stay ahead of those challenges. In this session, we explore the new release features, such as support for a new tax type with communications services, a fresh and modern user interface, and other new capabilities including lat/long jurisdiction identification and an expanded taxability matrix report option. Presenters will also discuss support and upgrade considerations for older Vertex O Series releases. Finally, we will explore how the new features impact your ability to support your company's business strategy and tax landscape.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Get an introduction to the new features and functions delivered in Vertex O Series 9.0
              • Understand how these features impact your tax department's ability to support your business strategy
              • Determine how and when to deploy these new capbilities into your tax technology landscape

              Session Number: TP518

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              Understanding the New myVertex Portal

              Ray Proska

              Homestead 4

              Join this session for an overview and tour of the new myVertex portal! Vertex presenters will showcase the key resources available in it such as knowledge base, service requests, downloads, and FIA news items. You'll also see an interactive demo of best practices using the new myVertex portal. And to further enhance your experience, presenters will show you how to find answers to questions, get help from Vertex, access the latest updates, and more.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Optimize your experience with myVertex
              • Better understand the resources available on the new myVertex portal
              • Efficiently search for answers to your questions
              • Request assistance from Vertex
              • Access the latest updates
              • Find information on jurisdictional and solution changes

              Session Number: SP901

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              Reconciling Vertex Sales & Use Tax Returns and Vertex O Series

              Rachael Lund

              Lori Shiel

              Colorado D

              Ever have difficulty reconciling tax data calculated by Vertex Indirect Tax O Series with tax totals imported into Vertex Indirect Tax Returns? Want to cut down on time spent reconciling and documenting these amounts? Join this session to learn how to instantly generate documentation to show that these tax amounts have been reconciled. Vertex presenters will also discuss the differences in how Vertex O Series calculates tax and summarizes data that gets imported into Vertex Returns.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Understand the circumstances in which totals of taxes filed in Vertex Returns do not match totals of taxes paid in Vertex O Series, and why this occurs
              • Efficiently reconcile the two sets of totals and document the results
              • Determine how often -- and when -- you need to perform a reconciliation to meet both internal and auditor accounting requirements

              Session Number: TP402

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              The Wayfair Decision: What It Means for Tax and Your Business

              Michael Bernard

              Susan Haffield

              Holly C. Hamby

              Steve Oldroyd

              Red Rock 8

              The Supreme Court’s South Dakota versus Wayfair decision has radically changed the collection and reporting standard for sales and use tax in the United States. The question on everyone’s mind is, what impact will this decision have on tax – both domestic and foreign? And how will it impact reporting obligations, even as states continue to propose different types of nexus legislation and reporting requirements? Join this session for a legal analysis of the Wayfair decision. Presenters will update you on economic thresholds, marketplace facilitators, the foreign inbound sellers and regulations that must be promulgated around newly enacted legislation, and more.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Have a broad understanding of the regulatory impact of the Wayfair case on remote sellers
              • Explore how the impacts extend not just to your business, but every customer who buys from it

              Session Number: TP215

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              Round Table: Upgrading to Vertex O Series 9.0

              Sandy Steinmetz

              Greg LaReau

              Homestead 1

              Is your company considering -- or in the process of upgrading to -- Vertex Indirect Tax O Series 9.0? Join this round table discussion to engage directly with other session attendees and session presenters about upgrading. You'll be able to explore the challenges and business concerns surrounding this upgrade, as well as learn best practices to overcome them. NOTE: This session is geared to intermediate-level users who have a basic knowledge of Vertex O Series technology.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Explain the common business challenges and concerns when upgrading to Vertex O Series 9.0
              • Engage in an interactive dialogue with attendees to learn and share new best practices
              • Discuss how to overcome adoption challenges with the co-presenters and other session attendees

              Session Number: TR500R

              1:30 PM - 3:10 PM

              Hands-On: Getting e-Filing Right with Vertex Returns

              Natalie Gaspari

              Diana Kenneson, CPA

              Kristin Lessick

              Red Rock 2

              Departments of Revenue are continuing to expand their taxpayers' electronic filing requirements. Are you ready? Join Vertex experts to learn how to generate an electronic file according to Department of Revenue standards and file required electronic data designed for easier online entry. You'll learn about the options available to electronically transmit data, walk through each step needed to file electronically using Vertex Indirect Tax Returns, troubleshoot error and warning messages, view e-files, confirm content, and more.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Identify the different formats in which jurisdictions expect data to be remitted
              • Learn how to identify data on the paper return with data on the e-file to confirm file content
              • Understand the applicability of uploading, entering data online with Schedules, and jurisdictions' various requirements
              • Learn how to correct errors and warnings
              • Learn about plans for new e-file additions

              Session Number: TH404

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              Strategies for Minimizing Self-Assessed Consumer Use Tax Liability

              Joseph F. Geiger

              Sean Doherty

              Red Rock 7

              Are you experiencing overpayments and audit assessments related to manual consumers use tax accrual procedures? Have you considered the impact of the Wayfair decision on your consumer use tax process? These are common issues facing companies with regular and significant expenditures on fixed assets and expense items and working in industries where sales and use tax exemptions are available. Join this session to learn how to reduce overpayments of consumers use tax, reduce audit assessments, and optimize use tax accrual processes and procedures.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Define the types of transactions associated with consumer use tax
              • Know the data elements required to determine tax
              • Know the problem areas associated with purchases, verification and asset movement
              • Recognize business issues affecting consumer use tax
              • Understand the benefits of automating the consumer use tax process

              Session Number: TP211

              1:30 PM - 3:10 PM

              Hands-On: Generating Reports with Vertex O Series

              Nicole Jupin

              Larry Catti

              Tom Carter

              Red Rock 3

              Do you know which Vertex Indirect Tax O Series reports offer the most flexibility? Or which database(s) should be used for report generation? And which reports can be used in other applications? In this session, we will demystify report generation using Vertex O Series. You'll learn how to create filters and run standard reports and data extracts, schedule both types, and explain why to use the Returns Export file to generate a standard report.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Explain the basic differences between standard reports and data extracts
              • Be able to distinguish between data extract templates and create extracts to meet your specific requirements
              • Leverage relative data elements, such as relative date, in data extracts to increase reuse
              • Discuss, schedule, and run Vertex O Series standard reports and data extracts
              • View and copy Vertex-defined data extract templates

              Session Number: TH509

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              SAP Customer Case Study: First Solar

              Brian Wilchusky

              Mike Spivey

              Suzy Soo

              Jaydeep Dakhawe

              Anita Espino

              Willow Lake 3

              First Solar implemented Vertex Indirect Tax O Series for North America several years ago. Since that time, the business has worked towards tax process automation deploying Vertex O Series globally. This session will provide information on the challenges the business faced during the implementation, how they were overcome, project management lessons, and the benefits they are already realizing through this investment. For example, you’ll hear how Tax can now support newer business models and integration with new business services, support accurate international taxation using a global tax engine and up-to-date Tax Area IDs, automate tax processes, and enforce controls to minimize tax exposure, user risks, and more.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Learn how deploying Vertex O Series globally in VAT countries can meet business and tax department needs
              • Understand the innovative solution developed
              • Gain insights into lessons learned, best practices, and challenges overcome during the project
              • See the kinds of hard and soft benefits companies are realizing by implementing Vertex O Series

              Session Number: TP219

              1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

              Reverse Audits for Audit Defense, Tax Savings and Process Improvement

              Larry Mellon

              Colorado C

              State and local jurisdictions are conducting transaction tax audits more frequently, and their auditors are finding creative ways to apply vague laws to increase their tax collection. How can you fight back? This session will help you prepare for and complete a reverse audit, so your company pays the right amount of tax -- no more, and no less. You'll also learn how to use reverse audits to achieve sales and use tax savings and gain tax process improvements.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Get a better understanding of what -- and where -- to look for potential exposure areas before a jurisdiction contacts you about an audit
              • Know how to prepare for a reverse audit
              • Learn ways to reduce tax exposure to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax

              Session Number: TP204

              1:30 PM - 3:10 PM

              Hands-On: An Introduction to Vertex Cloud

              Lindsy Kelly

              Mark Sieczkowski

              Jeff Horner

              Red Rock 6

              Experience Vertex Cloud Indirect Tax for yourself! Attend this session to get hands-on experience with Vertex Cloud, the next generation of Vertex Indirect Tax O Series. You will configure jurisdictions, add products and manage exemptions. You will have a new user experience which enables users to configure and manage tax in a new, workflow-oriented way. Come and see how simple it is to configure Vertex Cloud.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Understand the Customer Experience (CX) of Vertex Cloud
              • Recognize the simplicity of its interface
              • Learn how to configure and manage a tax solution, with a workflow designed for the tax professional
              • Understand how to configure jurisdictions, add products and manage exemptions in Vertex Cloud


              Session Number: XH100

              2:40 PM - 3:30 PM

              Simplifying VAT Compliance with Vertex Solutions

              Aleksandra Bal

              Matthew Crow

              Red Rock 8

              Manual processing of VAT returns is a labor-intensive effort that can strain the resources of even the most efficient tax department. And it’s risky, too, because of the many forms involved and ever-changing VAT rules. Join this session to learn how Vertex compliance software can alleviate the time-consuming burden of preparing VAT tax returns, allowing your tax team to focus on more strategic activities. Vertex presenters will showcase how Vertex Indirect Tax Returns automates the preparation of signature-ready VAT returns and related submissions for nearly 50 countries, increases the visibility of your returns filing processes, and helps you manage audits more effectively while minimizing tax risks. You’ll also have early insight into the roadmap for the VAT compliance solution.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Learn how Vertex Indirect Tax Returns can help you automate the production and transmission of signature-ready VAT returns and other filing reports
              • Learn about the planned enhancements to the VAT compliance solution
              • Understand how Vertex compliance products would be beneficial to your company's VAT-related filing efforts 

              Session Number: TP406

              2:40 PM - 3:30 PM

              Reconciliation of SAP to Vertex Cloud using Vertex Accelerator

              Dawn Regan

              Homestead 4

              Tax professionals face the daunting task of comparing volumes of data across SAP systems and Vertex Cloud Indirect Tax reports. Join this session to learn how the Vertex Indirect Tax Accelerator for SAP ERP reconciliation process eliminates the manual task of comparing data across systems so you can ensure you’re reporting the right amount of tax to the right jurisdictions in the right reporting period. Vertex presenters will show you how this automated analysis lets tax professionals focus on root causes of variances, minimize audit exposure, and reduce return preparation time so they can spend more time on tax strategy and analysis.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Learn basic techniques and advanced knowledge for using Vertex Cloud with Vertex Accelerator for data reconciliation and reporting
              • Reduce return preparation time so tax professionals can spend more time on tax strategy and analysis
              • Increase reporting accuracy

              Session Number: TP502

              2:40 PM - 3:30 PM

              Mastering Valuable, Underused Functionality in O Series

              Kaveeta Patel

              Tim Kirkpatrick

              Drew Achenbach

              Isabel Lopez

              Colorado B

              Even if you're an experienced user of Vertex Indirect Tax O Series, you're probably not taking full advantage of all its features and functions. Join this panel-based session with PwC to learn about the less frequently used functions in Vertex O Series, such as complex transaction tester scenarios, pre- and post-Tax Assist Rules, technical overrides, and more. Often overlooked during implementations, these areas of functionality can add great value to your organization.

              The panelists will cover infrequently used areas of Vertex O Series given by experienced Vertex O Series implementers as well as provide a customer perspective. Your ideas for topics to discuss are welcomed and can be shared at the session.

              By the end of the session you will be able to:

              • Learn about infrequently used features of Vertex O Series that save time and money and boost ROI on your Vertex O Series investment
              • Identify the basic requirements for using them
              • Share your own ideas for topics to discuss at the session

              Session Number: TP500AL