Customer story

Dylan’s Candy Bar: A suite for the sweet

Results

Cost savings
Improved processes
Enabled growth

Summary

Results

  • Cost savings
  • Improved processes
  • Enabled growth

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • 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 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

  • Eliminated the need for a full-time tax accountant
  • Saved more than $100k/year in back taxes, interest, and penalties
  • Adding new stores with ease

Company overview


Customer
Dylan's Candy Bar

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Dylan’s Candy Bar is no ordinary candy store. It’s a confectionary experience combining all things candy with fashion, art, and pop culture. It offers over 7,000 candy and candy-related gifts from around the world.

Tax challenges


Dylan’s rapid expansion into new product lines and distribution channels exponentially increased the complexity of its tax accounting. Product taxability varies by location, and the team has to know where their candy is classified as food and whether a clothing item qualifies as a luxury good. The company’s omnichannel strategy introduced additional complications and potential for error.

As the business grew, so did the challenge of keeping up. And to make matters even more challenging, their systems didn’t talk to each other — GL, inventory, and POS systems were completely disconnected.

The accounting team had been calculating taxes, filing in each state, and managing exemption certificates for hundreds of customers, essentially by hand. Auditors found Dylan’s books such fertile ground for back taxes, penalties, and interest that they came back year after year — New York state alone audited the company on an annual basis from 2006 to 2012.

"It was really grueling,” says Lois Browne, the company’s vice president of finance. “Every time an auditor came in, we’d have two people completely dedicated to that for at least three weeks. Our exposure was so high, we couldn’t afford not to prioritize it.”

Why Avalara?


Dylan’s Candy Bar quickly saw Avalara as the right choice for automating sales tax calculation, managing exemption certificates, and filing returns. 

Avalara AvaTax applies sales tax as the transaction takes place, using continuously updated rates and applying them at the point of sale. As the company grows, AvaTax can easily determine sales tax for new locations. 

Transaction tax data from AvaTax is provided to Avalara Returns, which automates returns preparation and enables filing in every jurisdiction. It also consolidates returns payments.

And finally, Avalara CertCapture helps Dylan’s Candy Bar manage exemptions with ease and confidence. Exemptions are only allowed when a valid certificate is available. Certificates are stored in the cloud and are easily searchable by line item if required in an audit. Expirations and renewals are tracked automatically, and reports highlighting exposure from missing certificates are sent automatically via email.

Integration


Avalara connects directly with NetSuite, which Dylan’s had implemented as its ERP.

“The implementation of Avalara’s solution was really seamless and user-friendly,” says Lois. “It was a simple, turnkey process, and when we have questions, the team at Avalara is very responsive.”

Customer
Dylan's Candy Bar

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Integration
NetSuite, multistore POS system

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • 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 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

  • Eliminated the need for a full-time tax accountant
  • Saved more than $100k/year in back taxes, interest, and penalties
  • Adding new stores with ease

“We answer with such confidence and authority now; the auditors have moved on to someone else.”

—Lois Browne
Vice President of Finance

“We answer with such confidence and authority now; the auditors have moved on to someone else.”

—Lois Browne
Vice President of Finance

Results


Avalara has helped Dylan’s improve compliance with sales and use tax in multiple jurisdictions. “We’re even self-assessing consumer use taxes on purchase orders now, per Avalara’s recommendation,” Lois adds. 

Instead of paying each jurisdiction individually, which used to take significant time and labor, Dylan’s makes a single ACH payment to a secured account, and Avalara Returns takes care of individual payments to each tax jurisdiction.

“Just as importantly, we have shut the door on those annual audits,” says Lois. “We answer with such confidence and authority now; the auditors have moved on to someone else. We are no longer the low-hanging fruit for them.”

Lois and her team no longer spend energy on calculating and collecting taxes, filing across multiple jurisdictions, and complying with exemption requirements. Instead, the team can focus on projects to help Dylan’s pursue its aggressive growth goals.

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.