Manufacturing

Fortune 500 supplier gains tax confidence using Avalara

Results

Increased compliance
Integrated systems
Improved processes

Summary

Results

  • Increased compliance
  • Integrated systems
  • Improved processes

Tax challenges

  • Tax complexity
  • Process inefficiency
  • Compliance risk


Products used

Avalara AvaTax
Dynamically delivers sales and use tax calculations, based on the latest rules and rates in our tax engine, to a shopping cart or invoicing system at the time of purchase.

Avalara Returns
Automatically gathers data from AvaTax to prepare and file sales and use tax returns and remit payments across multiple jurisdictions every filing cycle.


Benefits

  • AvaTax delivers the most current tax rates and rules across jurisdictions
  • Tax calculation automation integrated with their ERP system
  • Resources reallocated to other financial work
  • Increased accuracy

Company overview


Customer
Atlas

Industry
Manufacturing

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
Aptean Made2Manage ERP

 

From custom design and engineering, all the way through manufacturing, installation, and maintenance, Atlas manages branded sign projects for many national chains in the Fortune 500. When you drive down the road and see signs for national brands in almost any industry, there’s a good chance those are Atlas projects.

Tax challenges


Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, Atlas owns facilities all around the country and files taxes in more than 50 jurisdictions across 47 states. The tax rates and rules for signage are complex because they’re based on whether a sign is attached to a building, how it’s attached, and if it’s a new or existing building. And across jurisdictions, the tax landscape is changing all the time.

“I used to get three notices a week from various jurisdictions around the country, announcing new changes to their sales tax rules and rates,” says CFO Gary Bennett. “Who can keep up with that?”

Gary’s team made manual updates to its internal table of tax rates every year, but they never felt confident in the accuracy of their data across all jurisdictions at any given time. Despite their best efforts, Gary and his team knew they were probably collecting and filing taxes incorrectly. “That feeling of always being exposed drove us to look for a better solution,” remembers Gary.

Why Avalara?


“We looked at several solutions with the aim of finding one that would integrate seamlessly with our on-premises ERP system,” Gary explains. Atlas uses Aptean Made2Manage ERP, a popular ERP system among manufacturers. 

Progressive Edge, a Milwaukee-based firm that services Aptean Made2Manage for users like Atlas, had already built an integration for Avalara. In the end, it was Avalara’s ability to integrate with Aptean Made2Manage ERP that made it the right choice for Atlas.

Integration


“Progressive Edge consistently helps their customers get up and running quickly on AvaTax,” says SVP, Business Development of Avalara, Greg Chapman. “Avalara technology partners excel at understanding their customers’ needs and helping them deploy a solution for streamlined tax compliance, ultimately saving them both time and money, while reducing risk.”

Once Atlas upgraded to the latest version of Aptean Made2Manage ERP, it only took a short time to get fully automated sales tax calculations from AvaTax into the on-premises ERP system. “Progressive Edge really knocked it out of the park,” says Gary. “It was extremely easy to implement, and it works seamlessly.” 

Atlas has been using the integration with AvaTax and Avalara Returns since summer of 2017.

Customer
Atlas

Industry
Manufacturing

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
Aptean Made2Manage ERP

Tax challenges

  • Tax complexity
  • Process inefficiency
  • Compliance risk

Products used

Avalara AvaTax
Dynamically delivers sales and use tax calculations, based on the latest rules and rates in our tax engine, to a shopping cart or invoicing system at the time of purchase.

Avalara Returns
Automatically gathers data from AvaTax to prepare and file sales and use tax returns and remit payments across multiple jurisdictions every filing cycle.


Benefits

  • AvaTax delivers the most current tax rates and rules across jurisdictions
  • Tax calculation automation integrated with their ERP system
  • Resources reallocated to other financial work
  • Increased accuracy

“We needed a much higher degree of accuracy and confidence, and a much lower degree of effort and worry. Now it’s pressing a button. It really makes our collection process run much more smoothly.”

Gary Bennett 
CFO

“We needed a much higher degree of accuracy and confidence, and a much lower degree of effort and worry. Now it’s pressing a button. It really makes our collection process run much more smoothly.”

Gary Bennett 
CFO

Results


Gary cites many benefits of using the fully connected system. Primarily, it has limited the company’s exposure to sales tax calculation errors, since the rates in cloud-based AvaTax are the most current across every jurisdiction.

“There’s a lot of value there,” says Gary. “We had the equivalent of a full-time person just trying, with varying degrees of success, to make sure the right rates were applied. Automating sales tax calculations and connecting them back into Aptean Made2Manage ERP enabled us to reallocate that energy and effort into more important accounting projects.”

“Now it’s pressing a button. They get the answer within seconds, and it’s accurate. It really makes our collection process run much more smoothly.”

—Gary Bennett
CFO

Automation also reduced friction in the sales process and relieved some frustrations among Atlas program managers and their customers. Prior to the new system, a program manager issuing a customer quote would call the accounting department for the sales tax rates, then manually enter the rate on the quote. Once the sales order was issued, the program manager would go through the same process to create the invoice. If the rate on the invoice didn’t match the rate on the quote, an invoice would likely be rejected, and the project manager would have to do the work again. “Now it’s pressing a button,” says Gary. “They get the answer within seconds, and it’s accurate. It really makes our collection process run much more smoothly.”

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