Overall Satisfaction with Avalara
Avalara is our tax software that determines all applicable sales tax on our sales transactions. The Accounting department and IT are the only departments involved with the tax software. We sell to all 50 US states as well as ship globally. Avalara is convenient because it accurately applies the correct tax rate to each sales transaction based on the ship-to address. Our company does not have to load any rates which are convenient as rates change frequently across many states and their local jurisdictions. We have not found any issues where the incorrect sales tax rate was applied to a transaction.
- Avalara automatically applies the correct sales tax rate based on ship-to address. When rates change in local jurisdictions, Avalara's software is automatically updated so transactions to those jurisdictions are properly taxed.
- Avalara's Returns module does file sales tax returns timely. They actually always have them filed before their due date. This allows their customers to receive a vendor discount on returns where states honor those discounts.
- Avalara's Cert Capture seems to hold an infinite amount of exempt certificates. This allows us to archive expired certificates should we ever be subject to a sales tax audit. We have access to all of those documents which is convenient.
- Avalara's support team's turnaround time is slow...even if you pay for a larger support package. The support package you pay for determines how quickly they will respond to your inquiries whether by phone or submitting a support case. It is not worth investing in a larger support package especially after the software has been implemented and your company is not experiencing any more issues after go-live.
- Avalara's Account Representatives are nothing short of a salesperson [in my opinion]. [From my experience] they are only focused on making commission and do not analyze your account to see what options make financial sense to your company. We have been with Avalara for 3 years now and are on our 5th Account Rep which tells me they have a high turnover for their employees. Discounts are available to lower-tier customers but the more transactions you incur and pay more for you would think a retention discount would be applied. Those do not exist for a long time, large volume customers.
- [In my opinion] Avalara's support team technicians are not trained well and do not have knowledge or an understanding of sales tax. Their method of solving your issues is sending you links to their articles to try and resolve them. 80% of the time I have ended up troubleshooting my own issues before their support team is able to. This is another reason why investing in support packages with them would be a waste of money.
- Avalara's Account Reps do not provide any sense of transparency. Their contract reads they will automatically upgrade you to the next tier after you incur overage charges...which are very expensive. Please make sure you read their contracts, inquire about ALL billing charges and understand exactly how they bill. They changed the way they bill customers and did not provide any notice in regard to that. We only found out as we were hit with a $45,000 invoice for overage charges.
Do you think Avalara delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Avalara's feature set?
Did Avalara live up to sales and marketing promises?
I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process
Did implementation of Avalara go as expected?
Would you buy Avalara again?
- Their fees are approximately 10% of what we pay in sales tax liability annually.
- The number of staff needed to reconcile sales tax on a monthly basis in order to meet Avalara's strict deadline (which is by 8:00 PM EST on the 10th calendar day of every month) will be dependent on the experience of your staff and the complexity of your business model in regards to sales tax. I recommend 1-2 seasoned Accountants at the minimum level of Staff Accountant.
- If you are a high-volume business or Avalara customer, I recommend asking for your account to be categorized as an Enterprise user. There are less accounts tied to each Account Rep which will provide you with a little better experience.
- Suite Commerce
Avalara does integrate with NetSuite so it wasn't not as difficult compared to having a system that is not compatible with Avalara.
Avalara does not provide training to new users. They are also constantly updating their online module without any communication at all. Almost every month I am trying to figure out how to access reports and functionality because they keep redesigning their features. This slows down the reconciliation process and could potentially prevent you from approving your returns by their deadline. Avalara is now a publicly-traded company and its main concern is profit. [I feel that] they are not concerned with their customers or their needs.
- Avalara Returns
My organization does benefit from Avalara returns as we do not have to worry about filing 46 different returns on a monthly basis. CertCapture has been helpful and a positive impact for our customers as they have peace of mind their transactions will not be taxed. This cuts down on refunds issued and customer complaints.
Avalara provides the convenience and peace of mind that the correct tax rate will be applied to your sales transactions automatically without your needed input to change anything. This includes rate changes by local jurisdictions, sales tax holiday weekends, etc. This is especially helpful if you have a high volume of sales transactions. Avalara is a sophisticated tax software that makes sense for high-volume customers. Avalara is very expensive so this is not a tax software you would want to invest in if you are a small business with low volume of transactions. There are other options out there that are budget-friendly.
Avalara Feature Ratings
It does not [matter] how much you pay in support packages for Avalara, [from my experience] you will never receive timely response times. Additionally, [it seems to me] their support techs are not experienced and/or do not understand the nature of your issues. I have resolved the majority of my issues before the support team is able to.
Problems get solved
No escalation required
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
Difficult to get immediate help
Support doesn't seem to care
We had a premium support package and still received terrible customer service and response time. It was not worth paying for a premium support package when the service we continually experienced was horrible. Now we do not have a support package, but we know what to expect and try not to use their support center at all.
Our first Account Representative, Chad Meszaros, was the best rep we had. He was constantly analyzing our account to see where and what we could benefit from. He was completely transparent in all of the interactions weighing both pros and cons for us. He also took time to organize offsite seminars for his accounts who were located within the same region. We have not had this level of customer service from any account rep since Chad was promoted and our account was handed over to someone else.