city using cloud computing

“There’s an app for that.” The ubiquitous Apple trademarked phrase has transcended beyond iPhone games and gadgets to apply to pretty much anything and everything being done in the Cloud today. It’s almost mind boggling how software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are making it easier for companies to grow or operate their businesses while saving them time and money in the process.

The gap between the Cloud haves and the Cloud have-nots is quickly closing. Small to mid-size companies can now hand off any number of tedious tasks easily and affordably to third-party providers. A recent McKinsey study of more than 2,000 different work activities found that almost half (45%) could be automated with technology available now. Industries are getting better at leveraging this technology to their advantage. For example, mobile phone order and activation for cellular companies; inventory management for retailers; claims processing for insurance companies; mortgage approvals for banks; supply chain quality management for manufacturers.

But for many businesses, it’s the tedious, manual basics of running a business where automation makes the biggest difference – freeing up staff time and resources for more value-add or strategic activities. Intuit reports that 65% of small businesses use Cloud-based apps today to conduct back office work including bookkeeping and accounting. Deloitte found that 43% of mid-market companies now automate many business processes (up from just 24% the previous year).

Collaboration software, ecommerce and productivity tools top the list of the most popular apps, but many businesses are now realizing benefits from Cloud services that automate sales and marketing, customer care, human resources, project management, payroll, expense reporting and benefits, shipping and fulfillment and, yes, transactional tax calculation and returns filing.

The appeal of Cloud solutions is that they work in concert with other processes and services, providing a more fluid and integrated platform and deeper insight into your business. More often than not, you don’t have to start all over with a new technology platform or business application (something many businesses can’t afford to do). ERP, ecommerce and financial platforms have evolved along with their customers to be SaaS-friendly hybrid environments, where companies can add-on functionality unique to their industry or business.

So, why should sales and use tax compliance be on this list? For one, it’s time-consuming and highly prone to error – two things that make any CFO or business owner cringe. Second, automation is now the gold standard. Why spend time, money and resources on something that a technology can do faster, cheaper and better? And third, it’s a no-brainer. Leading industry software like Avalara AvaTax, which has been certified to work with hundreds of technology platforms, involves only a simple integration to the business systems you already use today. There’s no downtime – and no downside – to turning it on. And Avalara AvaTax can actually make your accounting system, ERP, ecommerce or shopping cart software more valuable by giving you greater insight and control over more areas of your business. It’s why 20,000 businesses use AvaTax today to manage their transactional tax compliance and why Avalara is partnered with more than 500 technology providers to bring this capability to their customers. So the question now becomes, why aren’t you automating sales and use tax with Avalara AvaTax?

For more reasons to automate sales and use tax, check out Avalara’s Five Sales and Use Tax Tips for 2016.