Retail and Ecommerce

BRANY International reaps the benefits of sales tax automation

Results

Increased compliance
Integrated systems

Summary

Results

  • Increased compliance
  • Integrated systems

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • Tax complexity
  • Disparate systems


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.


Benefits

  • Tax compliance enables continued growth
  • Easy integration to current and future business systems
  • Expanded offerings taxed appropriately

 

Company overview


Customer
BRANY

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Biomedical Research Alliance of New York (BRANY) offers services to help scientific sponsors and investigators conduct efficient clinical trials and board or committee reviews. At its founding, BRANY worked primarily with hospitals and academic medical centers in the greater New York City area, but now partners with teams and organizations across the United States.

Tax challenges


A couple of key acquisitions moved the organization into online education in the clinical and social behavioral research space, as well as on-site and remote consulting for research compliance programs. With new services came new geographic markets and new complexity, especially around taxability.

“Those two acquisitions made us national,” says Executive Vice President and CFO Joanne Nicholson. “Suddenly we were selling online courses all over the country and we had consultants in several states.”

Why Avalara?


In a very short period of time, BRANY went from being registered for sales tax in one state to 28 states. Since different states tax services differently, Joanne knew that BRANY needed a solution to streamline the process of sales tax calculation and mitigate risk. Programming BRANY’s in-house ecommerce system to do the calculations would be difficult and wouldn’t ensure the accuracy they needed.

“We talked to several people, including our auditors, and the first name everyone mentioned was Avalara,” Joanne recalls. “One of my colleagues used Avalara in a previous company, so we really trusted that recommendation. Once we looked at the pricing and did some calculations, we knew Avalara was the right fit.”

Integration


BRANY needed Avalara AvaTax to integrate with its ecommerce system, as well as QuickBooks Desktop, which the company uses to invoice for online education services. “The QuickBooks integration was very, very easy,” says Joanne. “We got it done in two meetings, and the only reason we needed two was because we had to get through the firewalls of a third-party provider that hosts all our IT functions.”

Integrating with BRANY’s ecommerce system took a little longer. According to Joanne, “We had to look at all of our services and carefully map them to each state’s taxability requirements. For example, West Virginia considers online education taxable unless it has a continuing education (CE) designation. We have courses that have CE accreditation, and courses that don’t. Making sure those kinds of customizations were done the right way was important up-front work we had to do, and the Avalara team was very helpful in providing guidance along the way. After that, the technical integration was very simple.”

Customer
BRANY

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
QuickBooks Desktop
Custom ecommerce system

Tax challenges

  • Exemption management
  • Company growth
  • Disparate systems
  • Employee burnout

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.


Benefits

  • Tax compliance enables continued growth
  • Easy integration to current and future business systems
  • Expanded offerings taxed appropriately

“I honestly don’t know what we would have done without Avalara. We certainly would have needed to expand our staffing in order to manage all of this complexity. Avalara has been seamless”

Joanne Nicholson
Executive Vice President and CFO

“I honestly don’t know what we would have done without Avalara. We certainly would have needed to expand our staffing in order to manage all of this complexity. Avalara has been seamless”

Joanne Nicholson
Executive Vice President and CFO

Results


“One of the best things about using AvaTax is that it gives us the confidence to grow,” says Joanne. “Whether we’re adding states or services or both, knowing that we can handle the tax implications using Avalara allows us to grow without fear. We can comply in a timely and proactive way, rather than having to catch up after the fact.”

Joanne also appreciates the affordability, accuracy, and ease of use, along with the robust reporting capabilities available with AvaTax. 

“AvaTax gives us the tools to monitor our activity,” she says. “Without AvaTax, assessing whether we have triggered economic nexus in the remaining states would be a tedious, manual process, requiring significant staff hours.”

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