Avalara -- The Perfect Solution for a 1 Person Tax Dept
May 09, 2019

Avalara -- The Perfect Solution for a 1 Person Tax Dept

Gary McGee | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • AvaTax
  • Returns

Overall Satisfaction with Avalara

Currently, we have been using the AvaTax module since Sept 2018 and the AvaTax Returns since JAN 2019 in our tax department and at the Point of Sale Level. Primarily it's a tax dept use, but the whole organization has been affected by the program. AvaTax rates are current and correct and more automated when rates change, so our branches are seeing the most current rates that are accurate for POS application. Our credit department is the first line of contact for our customers in setting up an account with our company, so they set the profile to exempt our taxables and capture the exemption certs at that time.
  • Makes using the software simple. It's very user-friendly.
  • Makes taxed fun -- these CRUSH events, for example, are educational but also a lot of fun.
  • Streamlines the process of filing returns.
  • Ease of transitioning or adding new taxing jurisdictions as needed.
  • Reconciliation. Their tax dollar allocation doesn't gel with corporate accounting, location-based systems.
  • Returns are filed but not very location-based, affecting the tax accounting and reconciliation efforts.
  • The help center can be complicated to navigate to find the information needed. After discussing with a help desk person, they pointed out a link specifically for the issue at hand.
  • The help desk wait time is ridiculously long, though I do like how we leave the number and they can call back.
  • 1 Person Tax Dept -- I needed something to make my life easier to manage sales tax, since it took 20 days of my month just to do compliance. That is now down to less than 5 days.
  • As I discuss Avalara with my peers at our sister companies, they are coming on board under our corporate umbrella, reducing transaction costs even further and making the ROI even better for us individually and as a group
Because our system was not a mainstay and hardly known, we spent a year waiting for our IT dept to either build the bridge or find a mutual customer who did, so we piggybacked on the bridge that was built to Avalara.
  • Mincron/Kerridge Systems
  • Magento
Due to the unpopular scale of our system, implementation took time to complete as a waiting game. We are in a similar waiting game as we wait for Cert Capture to come onboard....there's no bridge currently in place.
I have seen first-hand how my time (20 days) drastically was cut (3-5 days) allowing for more time to handle other tax responsibilities in my position. I manage the property tax, business licenses, as well as sales tax and audits, so time is critical for a one person tax department. Rates are changed without needing my manual programming to do so. Tax questions can also be answered quickly for my branches and employees who have tax questions by looking up tax transactions.
The economic nexus is also easy to evaluate, using the tools Avalara has given us.
We do use their returns filing and look to implement Cert Capture in the near future. We look forward to the additional technology and reduction of time spent on tax issues.
Haven't evaluated many others -- we were using Trustfile, which became an Avalara offering. Our E-comm was using Avalara before our branches were.
Saves time in compliance, so the smaller the department or greater the workload the better fit Avalara is. Multi-State operations, where tax is changing, needs Avalara. Smaller businesses not meeting nexus thresholds outside their own operating state may not need Avalara, but one never knows as tax laws are changing daily it seems.

Avalara Feature Ratings

Sales and Use Taxes
Cross-border Taxes
Not Rated
VAT / GST Taxes
Not Rated
Energy and Fuel Taxes
Not Rated
Geolocation for Tax Assessment
3rd-Party Software Integrations
Tax Data Reporting
Compliance Administration Management
Tax Exemption Processing
Not Rated
Tax Document Management
Not Rated
Complex Tax Scenario Management
Not Rated

Using Avalara

1 - Just tax compliance for now. Eventually, our credit department will use Cert Capture.
1 - Just me -- I'm the Tax Guy.
  • Rates update automatically vs. manual programming.
  • The nexus thresholds met is easy to evaluate. It's next step register, remit, file.
  • Time savings.
  • Cert capture.
  • Use tax.
  • Excise tax for our international division.
Onward and upward. It saves me time to work on other value-added projects for my company.