Likelihood to Recommend
It's hard to pick certain experiences because each month we have used Avalara it has provided a great experience and has been well suited for us. We have only one individual that reviews the sales and use tax on a monthly basis to ensure everything is ready to be filed and nothing seems out of the normal. If we did not have this software, this step alone would be extermely time consuming and even may require two people if not one. One experience that sticks out is we had a filing with a state where the state had come back to us and said our filing was incorrect and that we owed a large sum to them for that month being reported. Avalara was aware of the situation and took care of it quickly. I never had to worry once I knew that one of Avalara tax professionals was assisting in the matter. It was nice to know we could focus on other things within our company while knowing Avalara had this handled. I do not have a scenario where it is less appropriate because we purchased everything that is well suited for our company.
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I am new to customer-supplier portals in my career. I use several different ones in my current role, including Ariba and
. To be honest, I don't really enjoy the user experience of any of them. I can see how larger companies may benefit from their services but for my current role submitting invoices on them and filling out vendor information requests seems somewhat clunky to me. When I'm in Coupa, the easiest, most non-clunky process for me is when I'm successfully connected with a customer who has successfully created their purchase order and I can easily upload my invoice to said PO. To me, emailing customer invoices directly to the customer from our invoicing system seems like the easier route of delivering an invoice. I suppose it is helpful and reassuring to know that an invoice has been successfully uploaded into a company's system rather than waiting to find out if your emailed invoice made it to the correct department for payment processing.
Read full review Pros Calculates the correct tax regardless of state, county, or local jurisdiction. CertCapture provides a site for managing all resale certificates, updating, renewing, and providing reports/backup in the event of an audit. One stop shop for all things tax makes my life easier! Read full review Coupa is easy to use, however, we had to teach our end users about procurement. They are not used to conducting an RFP, onboarding a supplier, or preparing a PO. This is the change management that our employees had to be prepared to understand. The Shelby Group helped us with the implementation. The hardest part was the integration between NetSuite and Coupa. We wanted to have a dynamic tight integration between the two solutions. If we adjusted the chart of accounts or added a new supplier we wanted it to be able to done in both systems and be available immediately in both systems. We used a partner called SuiteSkies to accomplish this dynamic integration. We’ve been able to manage the implementation and maintenance with a very lean IT group. Read full review Cons I find it virtually impossible to access people when you have issues with anything In my experience, everything runs through account managers and they are non-responsive and unavailable most of the time. In my experience, 99% of all communication with anybody at Avalara has to be done via some ridiculous form or via email. Human contact is extremely difficult to resolve an issue that sometimes requires human to human contact. Read full review Support Team - A little slow in responding. I think the tool is so configurable that they struggle with figuring out what is causing certain issues that are being submitted on the portal. I'd love for the Sourcing Module to be able to support larger events. There seems to be a limit on the number of lines each event can support and as a growing retailer, our store count dictates we have room to grow and that each store is represented in the bid process. Would like to see the ability to issue multiple POs for a single item to multiple locations. The tool may do this but I know I can't and it may be due to how we interface with our ERP. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
We need their help with filing and keeping track of things. It is very likely we are in the process of renewing right now. Autumn is our case manager and she has been a great help in keeping us updated on our usage and renewal. I feel we will be using this for a very long time.
Read full review Usability
My usability rating 5 years ago would have been much lower. I jumped in to the sales tax world with little experience outside the state where my employer is located. I think a structured training program from the outset would have helped. I know tutorials were available, but where to find them, which ones to begin with, etc. made usability very frustrating. I was learning the system but also using the system at the same time to bring my employer into compliance with the new nexus requirements
Read full review Reliability and Availability
I have been using Avalara for years and do not remember ever having an outage during working hours. The service is accurate and dependable.
Read full review Performance
We do have trouble tying Avalara's reporting back to our POS, but we just got a new POS system and there are bugs we are still trying to work out within the POS system. I do not believe this is an Avalara issue
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Avalara is not consistent in giving us information timely. For instance, right now, we have a help desk ticket with them that's been open since October. They are still trying to figure it out and we haven't gotten any feedback on where they are at or what is going on. That seems to me a very excessive amount of time to be working on a problem. Was it forgotten? Is there something bigger going on? Do they need something from us? An update would be helpful.
Also, many times when we call with an issue or concern (wrong tax rate for instance) we generally feel like the help desk assumes it's of our doing instead of theirs and doesn't truely listen when we explain the problem because we end up repeating it over and over as well as sending examples. We expect more respect on our end.
Read full review In-Person Training
I wasn't here when they first started with Avalara.
Read full review Online Training
The videos go too fast; I kept having to pause them and go back. They don't allow for any practice transactions or provide training materials.
Read full review Implementation Rating
The implementation team from Avalara was very knowledgable and did a good job of passing along information so that we could maintain the system and be able to make future changes ourselves. We had asked for some custom tax setup and they worked with us to get additional taxes set up that they didn't previously have. They worked with us to pull our documentation on tax rules and make sure those were included. I had hoped more scenarios would be there out of the box to cut down on the configuration time.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
When I started with the company, they were using a version of CCH. This was my first experience with that program and I found it very cumbersome. It was unable to calculate multiple tax rates (this may have changed in the last 10 years) and while it filled out some of the tax returns for us, we still had to manipulate many and file them ourselves. Now we just verify that what we show in our system matches Avalara and hit approve and we are done for another month.
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Concur was a lot easier and more user friendly for employees doing expense reports on their phone. That is not the case with Coupa. You must use your laptop to do expenses and our managers don't always have enough time to do that while out in the field working. This has caused some issues.
Read full review Scalability
There is no change that has to happen as your company grows, Avalara continues to do it's job for any size company
Read full review Return on Investment We are positively impacted by Avalara in having a central library to store our certificate files. We spend very little time and resources to calculate and compile tax data for filing. The electronic filing has helped insure we are on time with our filings and avoiding penalties. Read full review It has allowed for proper processing of expenses tied directly to the proper LOB and GL Codes Has taken the guesswork away and allowed for the proper budgets to be hit and reconciled Ease of use has led to mass adoption and more prompt processing of expenses Read full review ScreenShots