Look no further than Avalara for your sales tax needs!
Updated August 21, 2020
Look no further than Avalara for your sales tax needs!
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Avalara
We use the AvaTax module of Avalara and interface it with Intacct to create sales tax line items on our Intacct invoices and to create Sales Tax by Location reports in Intacct and Avalara. Our corporate parent's Indirect Tax department uses the Avalara sales tax calculations to file sales tax returns in all states that we have nexus in. Given the complicated calculations of some states such as Texas, we could not do any of this without Avalara software. Avalara is very easy to use, and we can easily add states or exempt customers who send us sales tax exemption certificates. Avalara has taken the risk out of sales tax calculation and return filing, which we are forever grateful for. In addition, I use Avalara's knowledge base on sales tax issues to make sure that I stay current on the latest thinking. I have found their articles and videos very easy to understand and informative for a non-tax expert. Thanks Avalara, for making my life easier!
- Calculating sales tax for invoices; always using the most current rates.
- Creating helpful knowledge base articles and videos.
- Assisting with any questions we have on our account or future issues.
- Exempting customers - some data entry fields are not intuitive.
- Differences in the monthly reports are not as well-explained as I would like; I had to experiment a bit with different reports.
- In avoiding sales tax audits by states, we have saved a huge amount of staff time. Just one state sales tax audit used probably 200 hours of staff time, plus cost us thousands in consulting and legal fees.
- If we had to manually calculate sales tax on invoices, we would probably have to add an additional staff person in accounting, since we generate over 600 invoices per month.
- Sage Intacct
The integration was almost seamless. There was a little set-up in Intacct, which they helped me through, after I received a set-up key from Avalara. Then I worked with Avalara to set up the states that we had Nexus in. From the first month, we had Intacct invoices with Sales Tax calculated on them..
There are a few parts of the user interface that are not intuitive, such as running reports. But for the most part, the software is very easy to use. The Integration with Sage Intacct was smooth, and we never had to do any tweaks to it. The only issues I had where I had to talk to someone from Avalara had to do with custom tax codes, which would not be easy in any system.
- Avalara Returns
In the beginning of our implementation, we used Avalara Returns and Cert Capture. We had some difficulty using Cert Capture because there was a delay of 1-2 days between when you uploaded the exemption cert to when the customer was marked as exempt. We only had about 30 customers who were exempt, so we decided to manage them manually and keep their certs in our network drive. We used Avalara Returns until our parent company took over our tax returns, and then they handled the filing of the returns, so we no longer used that part of Avalara.
We didn't consider any other software other than Avalara. They impressed us as the leading sales tax software, and as the price was reasonable, we didn't need to reach out to other vendors. As far as we were concerned, Avalara was the "gold standard" of sales tax programs and that was what we wanted.
Avalara Feature Ratings
Cross-Border Tax Compliance with Avalara
Yes, without Avalara, we would not be able to keep up with all the constantly changing tax rules from the various states. All we have to do is mark in the settings which states we have Nexus in, and which jurisdictions if there are county or city taxes, and then Avalara does the rest. It's like magic.
No, we did not expand into any new lines of business due to Avalara's products.
We already sell internationally - We have CPA firms in the other countries that handle the international taxes, such as VAT. We also have a Corporate Tax department that works with other country's tax rules and keeps up with that compliance. All notices about new international taxes are sent to the Corporate Tax department, who are very experienced in those changing rules.
2 - Both accounting users were admins for Avalara, and just had to have a basic understanding of its set up.
- Sales Tax Calculation for Invoices
- Reporting for Sales Tax that we send to the parent company
- Tracking tax exempt organizations within Avalara
Change management was minimal - Make sure you know who you need to talk to in the integration areas. There is an order to who you talk to first, so figure that out right away and it will go more smoothly. Also, if you know you will have exempt customers, gather their exemption certificates right away, and have them on hand to correctly mark them as exempt.
There were some bumps in the road in implementation, as there always are with new software. Some patience is required, especially if you need to set up custom tax rules as our corporate parent required. The other issues we had were around how to correct invoices if the sales tax was incorrect.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- Calculation of Sales Tax on invoices - Avalara does it automatically
- Monthly sales tax reports
We only needed an integration key from our Avalara rep and had to enter that into an Intacct control file. Once that was done, our Sales Tax automatically calculated based on Tax Code, which is set up in Intacct in the Item Master.
Talk to you Avalara rep and find out what you need to do; there are usually only one or two steps with Sage Intacct. Also talk to your Intacct rep and make sure they know that you want to use Avalara.