Avalara-Great Tax Calculator
Janet Pahls profile photo
December 08, 2017

Avalara-Great Tax Calculator

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • AvaTax

Overall Satisfaction with Avalara AvaTax

We use Avatax across our entire organization as the sales tax calculation engine supporting our quotes to customers that require an estimate of sales tax, and as the final tax calculation tool for all our invoicing. We invoice from 2 different systems currently, so we use 2 different connectors to Avatax to perform our tax calculations. Both work well and are consistent in application across the 2 platforms. Since we invoice from and to multiple states and have services and product sales, the ability to apply the same process to all is great.
  • In most cases, Avatax's general tax application catches the general intent of each state's tax rules. No small task. But in those unique and difficult to configure situations where something special applies, we have the ability to set up special rules that apply to our particular company. That has been a huge help to our company.
  • The range of tax codes that are pre-configured is awesome. We can always find the appropriate code for the product or services we are providing.
  • Accuracy and granularity of calculations detail are wonderful. It is so easy to see exactly what tax has been applied to each line item of an invoice as well as when something is exempted by either customer certificate (AvaCerts is a must) or a tax code.
  • The only piece that is missing are some tax codes that are telco related. We provide VOIP with our cloud service offerings and need just a few codes for products related to that.
  • Would love to see Universal Service Fund Fees calculated along with the sales tax in the general Avatax product. VOIP sits right next to cloud services for many cloud providers.
  • The Returns Filing process needs a lot of work. We have had 2 instances where the numbers were manipulated on a jurisdiction to make the tax return balance out. These were done very inappropriately and we had to have the returns amended. We spend as much time reviewing Avalara's work as we did filing the returns ourselves.
  • We spend a lot less administrative time correcting customer invoices because the tax was incorrect. As long a products are categorized properly, we have no problems with the calculations
  • Before Avatax, we had to maintain jurisdiction tax rates in our system manually. With hundreds of jurisdictions in multiple states, that manual process took a lot of time monthly to keep us taxing our sales correctly.
  • AvaCerts is a wonderful add on tool that has kept us in compliance on exemption certificates for customers. We save a lot of time not re-invoicing due to exemption status changes.
We had 2 implementations, one 5 years ago and 1 about a year ago for the 2 systems we use for invoicing. I did most of the implementation myself with the assistance of Avalara. The first implementation went very smoothly even though I was unfamiliar with Avalara at the time. The 2 was a lot more complex because of the system we were integrating with, but Avalara worked with me to make it happen.
  • Dynamics GP
  • Connectwise Manage
  • Connectwise Sell (formerly Quosal)
We use Avalara for estimating tax on Quotes. Integration was very easy. The integration with Dynamics GP was simple. We set up tax codes on our product classes. The integration with Connectwise Manage was more complex because Connectwise didn't handle taxation to the granularity that Avalara did, so there was a lot more set up on the Connectwise side. As for Avalara, it functioned just as it did for our Dynamics integration.
I think it has been a great addition to our systems and has been a accurate and efficient way to apply tax to our invoicing.
We use both the tax filing and the exemption certificate management. The certificate management has been a huge benefit in keeping us in compliance with exemption status. We have only had the tax filing services in place for a year and feel that we were doing a better job with that process before we took it to Avalara.
We didn't really research others. Avalara was recommended by our implementation team for Dynamics GP 5 years ago. We were so pleased with it we used it when we decided to integrate Connectwise.
Avatax works well for on all tangible product sales and service sales in all states and jurisdictions I have tested. It doesn't work well for some cloud-services and related connectivity products for VOIP. We had to create special tax rules for the jurisdictions where we sell VOIP and integrated services.