Customer story

Bartlett Bearing Company reduces friction in sales tax compliance

Results

Improved processes
Increased compliance
Integrated systems

Summary

Outcomes delivered

  • Improved processes
  • Increased compliance
  • Integrated systems

Tax challenges

  • Process inefficiency
  • Compliance risk
  • Exemption management


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 CertCapture
A highly scalable solution to securely collect, store, and manage tax documents in the cloud and automate exemptions at checkout.

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

  • Easier tax registration, calculation, and filing
  • Confident compliance with ever-changing tax rates
  • Integration with business systems
  • Simplified filing and exemption management from any location

Company overview


Customer
Bartlett Bearing Company

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

In 1951, Thomas Bartlett started selling bearings out of the trunk of his car using his garage as a warehouse. Eventually, his daughter Gayle took over and grew the business to six locations in the United States. Today, Bartlett Bearing Company distributes bearings and other power-transmission components to motor-repair shops all over the country.

Tax challenges


Despite Bartlett Bearing’s impressive growth, it remains to this day a family company. “One of our vice presidents has been here more than 40 years,” says Sarah Musser, the company’s operations manager and Gayle’s daughter. “It is the company’s growth and the rapidly changing tax landscape that demanded a more modern tax approach,” Sarah explains.

Document management was a big challenge for Sarah and her team. “The vast majority of our customers are tax exempt,” says Sarah. “Storing certificates and keeping them updated and organized was a mountain of work. Also, the complexity of sales tax in general … I think it’s impossible for any person to keep up with rates that are changing constantly.”

Why Avalara?


Bartlett Bearing’s business systems partner, The Mesa Group, presented a few options for relieving their sales tax headaches. One of the key criteria was the ability to integrate with Iptor DC1, Bartlett Bearing’s ERP system, which narrowed the list further. 

With six locations, the company was also concerned about business continuity and disaster recovery. “If our Philly location went up in flames,” Sarah worries, “could we stand back up in 24 or 48 hours?” 

In the end, Bartlett Bearing wanted a solution that wasn’t tied to a single, physical location, and Avalara’s cloud-based tax compliance suite emerged as an obvious choice.

Integrations


With the prebuilt integration between Avalara and Iptor, built by The Mesa Group, the implementation was fairly easy but not completely without challenges, Sarah recalls. Most of the challenges had to do with putting the company’s data in order. Exemption certificates, for example, needed to be updated, and some of Bartlett’s customer address data required validation by Avalara AvaTax. 

All of the implementation work was resolved with the expert help of both Avalara and The Mesa Group. Bartlett Bearing went live with Avalara AvaTax, Avalara Returns, and Avalara CertCapture, all integrated with Iptor.

Results


What satisfies Sarah the most is the peace of mind that comes with automation and a higher level of accuracy, both now and in the future. “Having these processes automated is vital as we continue to grow,” says Sarah. “And the Avalara calendar gives us notice well in advance when a customer’s certificate is set to expire, so we can get ahead of it with the customer.”

“Having these processes automated is vital as we continue to grow.”

—Sarah Musser
Operations Manager

Sarah also discovered the benefit of Avalara University, which provides product training modules that she uses regularly. “Because we are a lean team, having a reference to how the products work has been incredibly useful,” she explains.

In her role, Sarah travels to branch facilities regularly. “It’s a lot easier to stay on top of tax compliance, no matter where I am,” she says. “I can’t imagine going back to the way we did it before. Today it would be a full-time job for one or two people, and the possibility of an audit would be nerve-wracking if we didn’t have everything accurately aligned and readily available.”

Customer
Bartlett Bearing Company

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
Iptor DC1 (The Mesa Group)

Tax challenges

  • Process inefficiency
  • Compliance risk
  • Exemption management

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 CertCapture
A highly scalable solution to securely collect, store, and manage tax documents in the cloud and automate exemptions at checkout.

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

  • Easier tax registration, calculation, and filing
  • Confident compliance with ever-changing tax rates
  • Integration with business systems
  • Simplified filing and exemption management from any location

“I can’t imagine going back to the way we did it before. Today it would be a full-time job for one or two people, and the possibility of an audit would be nerve-wracking if we didn’t have everything accurately aligned and readily available.”

—Sarah Musser
Operations Manager

“I can’t imagine going back to the way we did it before. Today it would be a full-time job for one or two people, and the possibility of an audit would be nerve-wracking if we didn’t have everything accurately aligned and readily available.”

—Sarah Musser
Operations Manager

Join the 30,000+ customers that automate tax compliance with Avalara
See how easily our solutions work with your business applications.
Curious how we can help with your specific tax challenges? Just ask.