Avalara - Automating sales tax and use tax
Updated July 26, 2019

Avalara - Automating sales tax and use tax

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

Modules Used

  • AvaTax

Overall Satisfaction with Avalara AvaTax

I have no insight regarding implementation as I was hired after implementation. It is important, however, to carefully select the AvaTax code associated with each item and select only the jurisdiction in which to collect and remit sales tax. More explanation was probably needed to be careful regarding activating jurisdiction for the cities.
The AvaTax service is very fun and the UI is user-friendly. There is a guided help section in which Avalara explains what each setting does. Avalara is able to calculate credit memos given to customers. Avalara also provides reports that can be exported to help reconcile the sales tax payable account to the GL.
It is used by the whole organization. Whenever we create invoices, the Zuora-to-Avalara connector automatically pushes the relevant invoice data to Avalara for AvaTax to calculate the amount of sales tax instantly. It addresses the issue of scalability, automation, and accuracy. We no longer have to keep up with the tax rate changes in any jurisdiction as AvaTax is always updated.
  • The tax has automatically calculated the instance that invoice is generated.
  • The sales tax rates are maintained on Avalara's side. Whenever there's a sales tax rate change for any jurisdiction, Avalara will update the rate.
  • The User Interface is very user-friendly. Reports can be constructed and filtered in many ways (by state, by types of documents, etc.)
  • Avalara doesn't have the ability to tax multiple jurisdictions if you have one invoice line item but have a quantity of more than 1. This is relevant for when you have 100 software licenses and these licenses are used throughout multiple jurisdictions.
  • Avalara needs to find a solution to handle and remit use tax that is not manual-intensive work.
  • It sometimes takes a while to connect to chat support when you try to get support during peak hours.
  • Our compliance with the sales tax has improved dramatically. The reports in which you can export aides when getting audited. This helps mitigate our audit risk and having to pay taxes, penalties, and fees.
  • We do not need to have a full-time tax person to maintain changes in sales tax rate. The sales tax task is just an extra task that the accountant has to do every month.
  • Along with AvaTax, we have the Ava Returns service. Using the data collected in AvaTax, Avalara is able to prepare our sales tax returns in a timely manner.
  • Zuora
  • SalesForce
  • Quickbooks
  • NetSuite
The time it took to integrate Zuora with Avalara was about 60 days. The Zuora connector to Avalara needed to be purchased in order to have APIs push the client's address to AvaTax to correctly calculate sales tax owed.
Our organization utilizes the AvaTax managed returns filing service. Since we have many jurisdictions in which we collect sales tax, it saved us money to have Avalara prepare the sales tax returns as AvaTax has all the relevant data to prepare the returns. Each state return is different and may change. It is easier to have Avalara do the returns for us. We don't have the exemption certification management because we do not have many exempted customers.
AvaTax has the ability to scale with your business as you are paying on a per-transaction basis. The amount charged per transaction is related to the tier in which you contract for. If there are very few jurisdictions in which you must collect and remit sales tax, then it might be more cost-effective to calculate tax and maintain rates yourself.