Easy Integration and Easy Sales Tax Automation
May 18, 2019

Easy Integration and Easy Sales Tax Automation

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • AvaTax
  • Returns
  • CertCapture

Overall Satisfaction with Avalara

We currently use Avalara and are a certified partner for implementation. We recommend the product when advising clients on automated sales tax solutions. It is used by myself and another certified partner in our organization when implementing on a client's ERP.
  • Great at address level tax calculations.
  • Simple and easy to use interface.
  • Easy connection to ERPs.
  • The options of “sellers use or sales tax” and “sales tax only” when selecting nexus states on AvaTax. I believe the process of selecting what tax type a client has needs to be more fleshed out. The consequences of selecting incorrectly could be major. Examples or a more detailed description of what selecting one or the other means for each state would be really helpful. I selected the “sellers use or sales tax” option for Iowa on a client’s set up and it missed an additional 1% local tax on a transaction as a result, which ended up not collecting an additional $3K in sales tax on an invoice. Each state defines one or the other differently, and it is important to know which option does what. It’s not as easy as knowing what type of tax the client has in the state in situations when that may not be apparent (such as new registrations when the tax type is not defined yet, but as a consultant, you know how the tax will be collected).
  • Documentation for clients such as a users guide, implementation manual for a company’s ERP that details what has changed on a client’s interface system, process diagrams on how everything connects, etc. Some of this is found on the online help, but some clients want actual documentation.
  • Support and guidance on CertCapture.
  • Support and guidance on proxy installations. A client was given a proxy installed on their NetSuite that allowed customer information to be passed to CertCapture. It was installed and no guidance was given on how to use it, even after requesting.
  • Better support for clients with special requests. We requested phone time with NetSuite specialist from Avalara and AvaTax specialist in order to discuss some open questions the client had.
  • Manage multiple clients with minimal staff.
  • Able to take on more clients due to the tax automation services provided by Avalara.
  • Although the tax reports are not as simple as they can be, they are still great and useful when filing returns manually, especially for complicated states like California and Texas.
Recent implementation for a new client ran mostly smoothly, but there were a few times where support on certain issues was disappointing.
  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • Spree
All are current or upcoming implementations. I have no comments on difficulty.
The interface and simplicity of AvaTax are excellent.
Return filings and certificate management capabilities allow us to easily handle clients and their needs.
I am not a fan of Vertex. I prefer Avalara much more. TaxJar is great for small e-commerce businesses or e-commerce businesses with simple transactions that require little to no tax decision making. Avalara is great for medium or larger enterprises, and I would always recommend it before Vertex. I would recommend Avalara over TaxJar for the e-commerce client types above if it could be competitively priced for the same market TaxJar operates in, and if it could create state-specific reports for easy filings of returns.
For a simple e-commerce site that sells TPP that is taxable in all states and is using Shopify Basic, Avalara’s solution may not be the best. Also, a client that wants to file their own returns and also does not have a complicated list of items or services sold may also not want to use Avalara. Even though Avalara can create multiple types of sales tax reports, they are not as simple as they should be. This may be designed on purpose in order to have Avalara file returns, but we have come across other solutions (such as TaxJar) that create sales tax reports which are very simple, catering to each state, which allows for us to easily follow tax filings when manually filing. Clients with multiple types of services or transactions with nexus across multiple states are good candidates for Avalara. Clients with a system in place that comes with an agreement with AvaTax such as Shopify Plus or BigCommerce are great candidates too.

Avalara Feature Ratings

Sales and Use Taxes
Cross-border Taxes
Geolocation for Tax Assessment
3rd-Party Software Integrations
Tax Data Reporting
Compliance Administration Management
Tax Exemption Processing
Tax Document Management
Complex Tax Scenario Management