Thursday, December 29, 2016

ATLAS update deployed

Partners-

The ATLAS upgrade was deployed overnight. 

If you encounter any errors, send a screen-cap to dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov.

More information about the new service pack changes was sent last week.

Thank you,


~BLS Partnership Services 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Water damage closes Revenue's Bellingham office

Revenue’s Bellingham office is temporarily closed due to  water damage. We are not sure yet when we can reopen the public counter to serve customers. We are advising businesses that need licensing assistance to use one of the following options:

For help with business licensing:

  • Call 800-451-7985
  • Use Live Chat (available when icon is visible here)
  • For in-person assistance, visit another office

The Bellingham Labor & Industries office can assist with some licensing tasks, such as issuing a UBI, but cannot process renewals.

It may be several days before Bellingham staff can access voice messages left since Dec. 19. Businesses can contact Revenue’s Bellingham staff via secure message using My Account

ATLAS Partner Portal Upgrade Wednesday

ATLAS is getting some system updates Wednesday. The Partner Portal has a refreshed appearance. Functions will be largely unchanged. Enhancements to help city and agency users are described in the linked document

Changes to My DOR used by businesses will be implemented later this winter. Information will be shared in February. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

2017 Local Fee Distribution Schedule

2017 Schedule -Distribution to Local Governments

The Office of State Treasurer's local fund distribution 2017 schedule is now available.

It lists the roughly nine (9) days each month in 2017 when BLS revenues are distributed to your city's account.

Staff can track past deposits and upcoming distributions (for the following week) with the Account Financial Control Summary report.

~BLS Partnership Services


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 2016 BLS Update

Partners –

No need to update your SFT password
Secure File Transport (SFT) is being phased out for partners now that reports are created within ATLAS and stored by the user. Ignore notices to update your expired password for SFT at https://sft.wa.gov. The service remains available, however. Let us know if you have questions or want to keep the service.
No need to update SFT passwords if you no longer use this service

Notify BLS of changes to fees or rules
Last reminder of 2016: Let us know if your program or city plans to change fees, rules, or requirements. In many cases, we need about two months to change programming and ensure renewal notices reflect new fees or rules, if applicable. Advance notice to BLS Partnership Services is appreciated even if your proposed changes are not finalized by your leadership.

Discontinue ATLAS access for former employees
Only staff members who use ATLAS for regulatory work should have access to the system. If teammates have moved out of your work area, notify BLS Partnership Services so we can remove access.

Helping for-hire drivers at city hall
For Hire companies and drivers must be approved at city hall to operate locally. These applicants must get approvals based on the physical address of their office, regardless of where they operate.

Also, remember that King County (not city hall) approves all companies and drivers who operate in unincorporated King County, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, Covington, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, and Shoreline.

Season’s Greetings
As we approach the winter holidays, we want to thank you for your partnership. We extend good tidings from our team to yours as we look ahead to time with friends and family before the coming new year. May the blessings of the season be with you and yours. 




Good tidings to you wherever you are!
.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Business Licensing staff in training Tuesday

Partners -
All of the state Business Licensing Service staff will be in all-day training Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The Tumwater service counter will remain open for tax and licensing assistance. Email support and chat support will also be available.

Staff will return Wednesday, Nov. 16.

~BLS Partnership Services 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

ATLAS system down Saturday

The state business licensing system will be down all day Saturday for a scheduled upgrade maintenance. This impacts all internal and external ATLAS users, including users of My DOR and the Partner Portal.

How will this impact me?

Users accessing the system via My DOR or Secure Access Washington (SAW) will see the maintenance notice and will not see a link to My DOR  or the Partner Portal.

What time will this happen?

6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Notice of Fraud Attempt

 We want to make you aware that the Department of Revenue has discovered an attempt by cyber criminals to submit fraudulent tax returns and licensing information to our agency.

These filings were for very large amounts that would be out of the norm. In one case, up to $26.8 billion.

The cyber criminals used foreign addresses in Afghanistan and Brazil. 

We do not yet know the intent, but it is possible that the purpose of these filings was to make requests for refunds or compromise IT security.

Again, this notice is simply to make you aware that this has occurred and to heighten your awareness of this situation.

Revenue has a full investigation underway and is working with the state’s Office of Cyber Security.  If you discover that you have information that may be relevant to this case, please contact Peter Jekel, Chief Information Security Officer, at peter.jekel@dor.wa.gov or (360) 596-3630.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 2016 BLS Update

Partners –

We hope the autumn season finds you well. As you have seen, improvements to ATLAS are making the system better for all customers. We have added reports, made it easier to print licenses and simplified requests for address changes to name just a few things.

Tell us about planned changes in fees or requirements

Reminder: Let us know about any updates to your fees and requirements. Reply to dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov with your changes. Renewal notices are sent about 60 days before endorsements expire, so the earlier BLS is notified the better it is for your customers who need to comply.

Public versus non-pubic information

The signed confidentiality affidavit requires all of us to protect taxpayer information. Several ATLAS screens, reports, and forms contain nonpublic or confidential information. This includes not only social security numbers, but also email addresses and phone numbers. The Partner Public Disclosure report available in ATLAS contains only public information; export the report to see the information. It can be shared with anyone for non-commercial purposes. If you have questions about what is public information, please contact BLS Partnership Services.

Wait times and processing times decreasing

Phone call wait times for taxpayers and processing times for applications have decreased greatly since June. New applications are being processed in less than 10 days in most cases. Most customer phone calls are being answered within two minutes.

Suspended status prints on licenses; revocation report available

“Tax registration: Suspended” will now show on printed licenses for all businesses in suspended status with the Department of Revenue. Also, the new Revocation Report shows the Tax Registration status for businesses (Department of Revenue endorsement) that are Suspended. Reports can still be sorted various license type, but only those with suspended tax registration status will show in the revocation report.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My DOR brochure adds personal touch


The Business Licensing with My DOR brochure is available in Revenue offices statewide.
The brochure helps businesses quickly register with the online service to:

  • Get a business license
  • Add a new endorsement
  • Access the Business Licensing Wizard.
  • Update your account
  • and more.

 Got a customer service counter?


You can order copies by contacting dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov

SecureAccess Washington Upgrade on Nov. 1

My DOR and SAW Upgrade Coming

The service that hosts My DOR  and SecureAccess Washington is upgrading the platform with new infrastructure. This upgrade provide security enhancements and other technical improvements.
There should be no change in your work. This is for your information only.

When is this happening? 

6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

Contact us if you experience issues.

Contact BLS Partnership Services immediately if you have connectivity issues with My DOR after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Restored: SecureAccess Washington and MyDOR connection

UPDATE: 8 a.m. Thursday

Service restored. Damaged circuit repaired. Technicians are monitoring stability.

Issue

BLS city and agency partners are experiencing slow connectivity to online services including:

My DOR
SecureAccess.wa.gov
License Lookup
Business Licensing Wizard

Diagnosis

There is a server issue with the network and portal provided by WaTech, the agency that manages Secure Access Washington and associated applications.

Repairs are being made starting at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Business Licensing Service's ATLAS system is not impacted. Processing of applications, renewals and other work is continuing as usual.


What you do you need to do?

Nothing. We will notify all partners when the system is functioning normally again.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

BLS Partner Post - Update

Partners –

Happy autumn to all of you. We rolled out the new ATLAS system in June. Already, we’ve heard from many of you that you like the new system and are getting more comfortable. We still are refining some features and welcome your input on ways to improve our service to you.

Thank you all for the patience and support as we learned the new business processes together.

Computer Based Training (CBT) is available
Remember that ATLAS Partner Portal training is available anytime. Login via My DOR and click CBT at the bottom of the first screen to get primers on common operations, including running reports. Use Google Chrome and turn off pop-up blockers for best results.

Change of an address
Partners can update mailing addresses and request physical address changes in ATLAS. Physical address change requests are processed by BLS staff. Direct customers who need a physical address change to use the My DOR service or call 1-800-451-7985 for help.

User comments from old system are viewable in ATLAS
Partners can find sub-system comments and other information from the legacy system for accounts with the new Warehouse sub-tab.
  1. Go to Account level
  2. Click the [Other] Tab
  3. Click the [Warehouse] sub-tab
  4. Choose from options including BLS Partner Comments. 
    • If there are no comments, it means that none were made in the old system.

Use the Account Level [Other] tab to find comments from the legacy system

Partners can also use the Partner App Location Comments report found under Reports in the main Partner Portal screen. This report will list all application comments (if any) from the legacy system.

Questions about ‘renewed’ status in ATLAS
ATLAS lets you see more endorsement status options, such as ‘renewed’ status. This is a system-generated status that goes away at expiration. Staff shouldn’t manually change that status or use that status. As always, call or email if you have questions.
                                                                                                                                                               
Creating reports in ATLAS
Reports have been repaired and enhanced since the June rollout of ATLAS Partner Portal. Most of these are functioning well, but we are continuing to review. We no longer send files to the https://sft.wa.gov service for most partners. Staff can create on-demand files for:
  • Address changes
  • Agency endorsements (state agencies only)
  • Application comments (warehouse)
  • City of Interest files
  • City endorsement information (replaces 1-page ARD file)
  • Delinquent ,incomplete, and terminated endorsements
  • Fund reversals
  • Licensee and public disclosure files
  • Pending approvals, and
  • Many other reports.
Email dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov if you have questions or need to brush up on this feature.
         
Vapor endorsements available; cigarette endorsement fee increase
This summer, endorsements for vapor products have been added to the Business Licensing Service and reporting in the ATLAS system. New endorsements include: Vapor Product Retailer, Vapor Product Distributor, and Vapor Product Delivery Sales.

At the same time, the fee for a Cigarette retailer endorsement and the Other Tobacco project endorsement has increased to $175.

That’s all for now.


~BLS Partnership Services 

Friday, September 23, 2016

SecureAccess Washington & My DOR upgrade

                
Monday's upgrade to SecureAccess Washington® (SAW) adds new test and production infrastructure. It provides security enhancements and other technical improvements

You may notice small changes to SecureAccess Washington and My DOR.

Service provider WaTech provided technical bulletin  11.1.253 to support users. Customers may experience intermittent connectivity during the upgrade, which is schedule for completion at 8 a.m. Monday. 


Monday, September 12, 2016

Use Letter IDs in renewal notices for faster processing

Partners –

Most business license renewals are handled quickly online with the use of a unique Letter ID. The Letter ID is listed on the renewal notice businesses receive six or seven weeks before their expiration date.

Encourage businesses to use the Letter ID in their notice to expedite their renewal. This saves the steps of contacting BLS to issue a new Letter ID, in addition to the waiting time. Also, once a new Letter ID is issued, the ID in the mailed notice becomes obsolete, which could lead to confusion about which ID to use.

Renewal notices are printed on the first Saturday of each month. Businesses with endorsements expiring in October were sent notices last week.

If the renewal notice is not available, go online:
Businesses that do not have their printed renewal notice can get a new Letter ID online. Information is on our website, or you can send them this link:

New solution coming this fall

Our team is currently working on a solution to allow renewals without the unique Letter ID. It is slated for an early fall release.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Secure File Transport down briefly Monday

The Secure File Transport (https://sft.wa.gov) service will be down for scheduled maintenance from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m Monday, September 12.

PROBLEM REPORTING: If you experience any problems after maintenance, please report to the WaTech Service Desk by email servicedesk@watech.wa.gov or by phone at (360)753-2454.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Alicia Ramirez joins Partnership Services

Welcome to BLS Partnership Services, Alicia Ramirez!

Alicia joins the team after working since early 2016 with the Registration and Renewal team. Raised in San Antonio, Texas, she moved to the Northwest three years ago. She loves country music. 

She is a Customer Service Specialist working weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to support all of the BLS city and agency partners. 

She’ll be your primary point of contact. Reach her and all of our team by calling 360.705.6777 or by emailing dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov.


~BLS Partnership Services 

Customer Service Specialist Alicia Ramirez

Monday, August 8, 2016

Secure File Transfer (Axway) requires updated password security

https://sft.wa.gov


The Secure File Transport requires updated password security. The new policy is effective August 9, 2016.

How will this impact you?

Users on their the next password change, it must contain at least:
  • 10 characters total.
  • 2 alpha characters.
  • 2 numeric characters.
  • 2 special characters.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Service Requests Must be Sent to Partnership Services

Thank you for your ongoing patience with the transition to the ATLAS system and the increased level of phone calls, emails and service requests.

Our phone call volume is now dropping and most of the processing backlog has been cleared. We have also added staff and increased training for both operators and partners in the last month. Service levels are improving every day.

Going forward, you must contact BLS Partnership Services with your requests for service and information.

***Do not contact other BLS staff or work units unless you have been contacted directly by that staff member.***

Partnership Services:  dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov or 360.705.6777.

Business Licensing Service operator: 1.800.451.7985 or bls@dor.wa.gov

Taxpayer Services operator: 1.800.647.7706

Never share an individual staff member's contact information with the public unless directed to do so. This slows down the process for all customers and poses specific safety risks to some staff.

Thank you for your understanding.

~BLS Partnership Services


Thursday, July 14, 2016

File upload delayed till 9 am today

Partners-

Those agencies that get overnight ARD files experienced a delay.

State servers were offline briefly and the files were re-sent by 9 a.m.

~BLS Partnership Services

Friday, July 1, 2016

On Hold Status Increasing Work Items

Many of you noticed an increase in “On Hold” work items with different status reasons showing. Here is some information a few instructions to help you sort and process these items.

Status Reason Codes
  • Address Change –Used for physical location changes only. Review and approve as normal.
  • [Blank] – This is due to NSF payments. A red balance is shown on account activity screens. A new  “On Hold – NSF” status reason will be added to the system to help clarify this.


Another issue is approved accounts showing an error in the Cease Date field. (example below)

Please send the UBI of these businesses to dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov so we can fix.



Friday, June 17, 2016

ATLAS Computer Based Training Updates

Partners -

We will add to the Computer Based Training (CBT) modules as they are developed.

A new Reports module will be added by Friday, June 24.

Find these in ATLAS Partner Portal . Access it via My DOR (not via SAW)

  1. Login into My DOR at https://secure.dor.wa.gov/home 
  2. Click Partner Portal button
  3. Login
  4. Click CBT
  5. Choose the tabs and modules for training.

At the top of the New Manager screen at login

Monday, June 13, 2016

New report replaces ARD

City Partners—

We heard you! You told us the printable and shareable Agency Requirements Document (ARD) helps you do your work more easily. The ARD is not used in ATLAS, which was a problem for some.

So, our team worked with developers this month to come up with a solution.

Please use the City Endorsement Information report to replace the ARD in your internal processes.
Here are instructions and a sample.
  1. In ATLAS Partner Portal, open reports Launchpad
  2. Choose City Endorsement Information report
  3. Enter the 16-digit UBI number in "Account ID" field
    • "Endorsement" field must show one of your city’s endorsement types
  4. Click [Generate] button to bring up Details screen
  5. Click [View Report] on Details screen
  6. Print or email or save the PDF and route for review
Page 1

Page 2



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Systems Replacement Update #6


This is your final ATLAS update before the system launches Monday.

Legacy system access ends at 5 p.m. June 3
At 5 p.m. Friday staff access to the current BLS system is discontinued. After that time, no processing or searches will take place in the legacy system. ATLAS access starts at 8 a.m., Monday, June 6.

Also, BLS staff will not process applications, maintenance, or renewals after June 1. No reports (ARDs) will be generated in the legacy system after Thursday, June 2.

Reporting ATLAS issues through June 17
BLS staff will be ready to help with the systems launch. To expedite solutions and our prioritization, we will need complete information sent by email to dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov. Provide us with:
·         Type of Incident (such as glitch, access request, or training need)
·         Problem description
·         Affected system (such as MyDOR, SAW, Partner Portal)
·         City or agency program
·         Contact info. (Name, phone, and email of users/persons affected)
·         Attachments – (screenshots, reports, messages, etc.)

From June 6 to June 17, please call our BLS Partnership Services phone line only if you have issues that are a work-stoppage.

June ATLAS training options
We are in the process of setting up more ATLAS training. We will provide information in the Partner Post and by email soon. Updated computer-based online training is available at bls.dor.wa.gov/ATLAS.

Access MyDOR with a modern browser
Using mobile devices for access to MyDOR and the ATLAS Partner Portal is not recommended. My DOR is supported by the latest versions of:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari

Update your website with the new links
The application pages on the BLS website won't change, but others will be removed after June 3. Ask your web content manager(s) to check your websites for these URLs and make updates. Replace:


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Add Partner Portal Service to access new ATLAS system

Partners—

We are ready to set up your access to the ATLAS system in advance of the Monday launch of the new business licensing system.
  
Share this message with any  user who will have access to the ATLAS system.

Follow these steps before 4 p.m. Friday, June 3, to expedite your system access on Monday morning.
Illustrated instructions in this PDF.
  1. Use your SAW account ID, and password go to https://secureaccess.wa.gov         
  2. After registering and/or logging in, click “Add Service.” 
  3. Enter “partnerportal” (one word) in the related box.
  4. Complete the process and BLS Partnership Services will be notified to set up your access for Monday.
Questions? Email dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov.

~BLS Partnership Services
SAW "Add Service" window
___________________________________________________
My DOR "Add Service" window
___________________________________________________





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BLS Partner Training Environment – Now available


We are pleased to offer you a chance to get more hands-on experience in the new ATLAS system for business licensing.  This training environment is available for our partners through Friday, June 3.

This email is going to just to those who joined us for systems testing (April) or trainings (May). Please share with your teammates who will also use ATLAS.

Questions or issues? Send those to BLS Partnership Services by email.

Some things to remember in this training environment.
  • All the data is fictitious and is shared by all users
  • Access levels, screens, and reporting available in this environment may be different than what you see next month (Security permissions and reports will vary in the actual ATLAS system)
  • All users will have the same login. If there is a password lockout, simply wait 15 minutes for the system to reset. 

Login instructions are here.

 If you have questions about ATLAS, please refer to the appropriate guide below.





Also, the Computer Based Training for ATLAS that we shared last month will continue to be available without login. You can review this anytime at bls.dor.wa.gov/atlas

Thank you,

~BLS Partnership Services


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SFT not working reliably Wednesday

UPDATE: The SFT service has been restored as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.
-----
The Secure File Transfer (Axway) service is experiencing service interruptions.  

Technicians are aware and working the issue. We will update this post when a fix is in place.

~BLS Partnership Services 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Incomplete Application ARD's

Partners,

On Thursday May 19th, BLS ran a process to  incomplete applications that had outstanding RFI’s or RFP’s over 120 days old. This was done to clean up data prior to implementing our new system. Unfortunately, it seems that ARDs were sent out to our partners. You did not receive any funds for these applications and the endorsement has been withdrawn. The process made the application incomplete and the customer now needs to re-file the application if it is still needed.

Please disregard any ARD that is over 120 days old, you can find this date on the ARD in the Application Received Date field.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Partnership Services 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Systems Replacement Update #5

Partners –

It’s just a matter of days before we all start working in the world of ATLAS. It will be an exciting change with great benefits. By now, almost all of you – or your coworkers – have taken in-person training to do your daily work in ATLAS. We asked for comments about the training, and it’s getting rave reviews, like:

Thank you. Really appreciate the time taken to train ... us. The partnership between the agencies is great!!!
(Trainers) were very informative and did a great job. They answered all of our questions and were flexible with the agenda.

We look forward to helping everyone else access the powerful new features in ATLAS very soon.

Transition times: Mark your calendar

Please add these important items to your calendar. They directly impact you and your customers.
  • No online applications processed as Monday, May 23 (paper will be accepted).
  • No online renewals as of Wednesday, May 25.
  • The BLS system is down as of 5 p.m. Friday, June 3 through 8 a.m. Monday, June 6.


Also, to expedite issuing your licenses, please complete your approval/withdrawal updates by Wednesday, June 1. You will be able to complete this after June 6 in ATLAS, but printing and mailing may take longer.

Partner Portal access is coming soon

BLS Partnership Services will be helping you get access to the ATLAS Partner Portal next month. Most of you will be adding a new service through your existing login at https://secureaccess.wa.gov (SAW) on or after June 6. We will be posting instructions here and emailing links to you. Stay tuned!

Update your city and program web pages

Our online business licensing application link will be changing on June 6. If your city or program web pages link to the state’s online business application, we recommend you change your current links to the Business Licensing Service landing page (http://business.wa.gov/BLS) by June 3 to avoid any broken links.

Also, if you need to update information for your city or program, email your updates to BLS Partnership Services.

Join us in June

We are completing the agenda for Revenue’s annual Local Government Workshops. Once again, we are offering events for municipal staffs on both sides of the state. Get complete information and registration information at http://dor.wa.gov/localgovernment.

Monday, May 16, 2016

City Partners: June Local Gov't Partnership meetings

BLS City Partners:

The Department of Revenue has scheduled two Local Government Partnership meetings, one in Western and another in Eastern Washington. This is a great opportunity for all local governments to hear from the Department.   
Topics include:

  • Changes to taxation of Amusement & Recreation activities
  • Taxation of Spec builders & subcontractors and impact on local tax reporting
  • Sales suppression presentation
  • Legislative update
  • Changes to Business Licensing Service (BLS)

Registration Deadline: May 25, 2016

Western Washington: Online Registration 

Wednesday, June 8
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
La Quinta Inn & Suites 4600 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater
Note: This meeting will also be offered via WebEx.

Eastern Washington: Online Registration
Wednesday, June 15 
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Check-in begins at 8:30)
Best Western Lake Front Hotel, 3000 West Marina Dr, Moses Lake 

**CPE credits will be offered at both meetings.**

Contact us

For more information contact Local Government Liaison Patti Wilson or call (360) 534-1543.  


Monday, May 9, 2016

Change to SFT passwords

The Secure File Transfer service (SFT) is changing its security requirements on May 16.

New passwords will be required to:
  • Be at least 8 characters long
  • Have at least 2 alpha characters
  • Have at least 2 numeric characters
  • Have at least 2 special characters (e.g. # @ $ *)


Order does not matter. Some examples are:
  •  MONKEY01##
  • 22@@CATS
  • B!ZL!C3N5E


The changes bring the password security in line with requirements of the Office of the Chief Information OfficerMost BLS partners will stop using SFT in June with the change to the new ATLAS system for reports and files.


~BLS Partnership Services

Friday, April 29, 2016

Encourage early renewal: Systems will be down

My DOR will replace current online business licensing systems in early June. 

In preparation for the launch, existing business licensing systems will be taken offline:


Any business that has a location renewal or Secretary of State annual report due by May 31 should renew online by May 24, 2016

Between May 25 and June 5, the Department of Revenue will only accept paper applications and renewals.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Systems Replacement Update #4

Partners—

The launch of the new Automated Tax and Licensing Administration System (ATLAS) is just over a month away. Our team is setting up system access so that our partners can hit the ground running in June. As you will soon see, the update is not window dressing or a fresh-looking interface. It’s a comprehensive systems replacement for managing your licensing work, sharing information, and creating reports.

Training Modules

Training modules sent early this month gave many of you the first look at ATLAS. It replaces the text-only interface of the IBM-based system. The modules help all new ATLAS users learn to navigate the system, use work queues, and collect data for reports.

NOTE: ATLAS requires an updated web browser. Internet Explorer 10 or above, Google Chrome, or Firefox are all good options.

In-Person Training info

The systems configuration is complete and user testing is underway. Usability tests have also been conducted. Calendar reminders have been sent to those identified for in-person trainings. More training information and materials will be available in June. We have scheduled training in Spokane Valley, Marysville, Issaquah, and Tumwater for the first two weeks in May. If you have questions, contact BLSPartnership Services.

2 AGENCY TRAININGS
Dept. of Revenue - Tumwater
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 5

New look for License Lookup

A popular service used thousands of times daily will get a new look in June. The http://licenselookup.wa.gov feature will be updated. The easy-to-use interface will now return more results for searches.
Click for a larger image

New Business Licensing ‘Wizard’

Another popular feature getting a makeover is the former Business Licensing Guide, which now becomes the Business Licensing “Wizard.” The magic happens for those who begin the online application process and get step-by-step assistance as they answer questions about their business activities and locations. The Wizard can be a huge time-saver because, using a code provided at the end of the Wizard, users can pre-populate the online business application with the inputted information to expedite the process for new and growing businesses.


Click for a larger image

We look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks. We will be in touch.

MAY Partner Post Content

~BLS Partnership Services

Monday, March 21, 2016

Systems Replacement Update #3

 Happy Springtime Partners!

Today, we’re springing some great news. The new BLS system will launch before summer.

ATLAS implementation set for June 6

On June 6, you will begin to do your daily work in ATLAS, the Automated Tax and Licensing Administration System. The next two months are dedicated to testing the system and training you to manage endorsements, access reports and help your customers. Next month, a second usability study with business owners is taking place in Olympia. Also in April, a dozen staff from city and agency partners will take part in on-site user testing.

Partner training labs in May

In May, BLS staff will train one person from each program or city to use ATLAS. Invitations have been sent and staff members have registered. Training agendas, directions, and details will be sent to those who have registered about two weeks before training.

We must limit attendance to one (1) representative per city or program in order to complete our work for all partners before June. The May training labs are the only scheduled in-person, hands-on training opportunities. More information and training resources will be posted online prior to the ATLAS implementation. Please contact BLS Partnership Services if you have questions.

Key Dates:

  • April 4 – 7: Customer usability study
  • April 22: BLS partner user testing
  • May 5 & 6: Agency program training
  • May 9 – 13: City partner training (four locations)
  • June 6: ATLAS Goes Live (more details will follow closer to that date
ATLAS Benefits and Enhancements

The new system will provide great features for you and your coworkers. Also, your customers will have easier access to their own information. Here are just a few new benefits that come with the ATLAS system.

For you and your coworkers:
  • Web interface with a single login
  • Enhanced search for name, address, SSN, and phone – including wildcard searches by using an asterisk (*) in place of unknown information
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) integration (including city limits)
  • Spell-check and word wrap
  • Work in two screens simultaneously
  • Ability to view images inside ATLAS
For your customers:
  • Shorter, streamlined application process
  • Online updating of their personal accounts
  • Improved Business Licensing Wizard (formerly the Guide), which presents required endorsements, fees for those endorsements, and approximate approval times
  • Online application or renewal for almost every endorsement
  • Automated address validation
  • Account view for trade names, corporate registrations and business locations
  • City limits locator (GIS) to ensure licensing with the appropriate city or town

Computer training modules in April

BLS will send online training “modules” in April to prepare for the look and feel of the new ATLAS system. We’re looking forward to helping you familiarize yourself with the new system as we prepare for the changeover in June.

Have a wonderful spring. We will be in touch.

~BLS Partnership Services


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Systems Replacement Update #2

BLS Partners – 

After years of planning, 2016 is the year that a BLS systems replacement will launch. By now you’ve heard that ATLAS stands for Automated Tax and Licensing Administration System. ATLAS will reduce the number of steps required for you to issue licenses, gather reporting, and do regulatory work. We’re completing the systems configuration in the next couple months and preparing for rollout in June. Our team is working on staff training plans for our Partners, and plan on delivering the training this spring.


Access and reports 

The shift to ATLAS comes with some changes. One of the biggest changes is how you will access the BLS system. You will access it through a partner portal. There will be fewer steps and no new software to install, but we encourage you to work with an updated browser (Internet Explorer 10 or greater, Chrome, etc). Instead, all partners will use a secure portal hosted on the Revenue website. BLS Partner staff will be creating their own User ID and password and will no longer be issued by Revenue staff. We’ll include more information about the new secure portal in future updates on the BLS Partner Post.

 
Secure login will be managed by users, not BLS staff
(click to enlarge).


Depending on your program or city, you will continue to get standard reports such as:
  • Licensees
  • Delinquent renewals
  • Incomplete applications
  • AFCD and AFCS (financials)
  • All other reports that you currently get



Application summaries (ARDs) will become work items that are queued for your review and approval. We will train your workgroup to create, access, download, and reformat reports so they work best for your city, agency, or vendor software. ATLAS has more scalable, on-demand reporting options.

Customer-friendly features

Some of ATLAS benefits are:

  • Web-based interface
  • Single login feature
  • Spell check feature
  • Word wrap (to keep entire words on the same line of text)
  • Robust search functionality
  • “Help” icon on every screen
  • Address validation (US) – to include +4 digits of zip code


Instead of daily documents to review, you will have a work queue
(click to enlarge)


Spring Training

This spring we’re inviting you to step up to the plate. Our staff is developing training materials and setting dates for partners. We will be sending timing and location information soon. We plan to host trainings in several cities around Washington. 

SPACE WILL BE LIMITED. Please understand we’re making efforts to offer in-person support, but some training will take place with computer-based training modules, videos, and webinars as we approach the June launch of ATLAS. Thank you in advance for your understanding.


Keep in touch


We’ll post training dates and news updates at BLS Partner Post soon. Also, if you send a message to dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov we’ll do our best to answer quickly.

~BLS Partnership Services