Avalara helps, but could use some help
May 14, 2019

Avalara helps, but could use some help

Sandy Labun | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • AvaTax
  • Returns
  • CertCapture

Overall Satisfaction with Avalara

We are using AvaTax to calculate tax and CertCapture to manage our exemption certificates. We have also contracted to file returns but have had a problem with our legal department signing the POA. The application is used across the company for all locations. This helps eliminate storage use on our server of the certificates and gives us the confidence that we are billing the correct tax rates.
  • Keeps tax rates up to date
  • Reports are very concise and easy to read
  • They keep up well on rate changes
  • More person to person support contact rather than "watch this webinar"
  • Eliminate the rounding problems
  • Reduced time spent on AL tax returns for sure!
  • Helped us figure out which jurisdiction in each state and what their tax rate is.
Make sure to do customer and vendor address cleanup before implementation. This will help avoid calculation errors. A lot of certificate clean up should also be done before uploading exemption certificates to CertCapture especially if using managed services to validate the certificates. We used managed services to validate our certificates and we experienced a 60% error rate and needed to go back and redo the work they had done. Most of the errors were noting a certificate as signature missing when there was a signature or expired date when there was a valid date on the certificate.
Our business system integrates with Avalara to determine and calculate tax rates on all orders across our company. The technical aspect of integration was not difficult, it was just getting ready for integration with customer and vendor cleanup that was time-consuming.
Using Avalara seems to be a good straight forward process but there are things we are learning about it through conferences that we didn't know it could do. We were unaware we could see the link between CertCapture and Avalara such as the customer number passed from our business system that was used to look for an exemption and to determine taxability. We also learned you can see the tax break down by drilling into the transaction further in Avalara.
We have benefited from CertCapture in that we no longer need to use storage on our server to manage and store exemption certificates. We will also save time having Avalara run our exemption certificate request campaigns for us.
Managed returns is a service we have contracted for but we have not been able to use yet. Our legal team will not sign the POA because it gives Avalara the ability to draw on our bank account for anything, not just funds to pay our returns.
We used Epicor Eclipse's National Sales Tax platform to calculate our tax rates on invoices previously. Epicor Eclipse will no longer support this system, therefore, we were faced with the process of selecting a new tax company. Other companies in the industry were using Avalara and this is what lead us to where we are today.
Great source for tax info across the nation, state by state. They can provide simply worded explanations of what each state considers taxable purchases. Avalara is a good tool to use if doing business in states with home state rules. Let them calculate the tax rather than you trying to keep track of what and where to charge tax.

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
Not Rated
3rd-Party Software Integrations
Not Rated
Tax Data Reporting
Compliance Administration Management
Tax Exemption Processing
Tax Document Management
Complex Tax Scenario Management