Customer story

McCaffrey’s stocks up on tax compliance confidence with Avalara MatrixMaster

Results

Integrated systems
Improved processes
Increased compliance

Summary

Results

  • Integrated systems
  • Improved processes
  • Increased compliance

Tax challenges

  • Compliance risk
  • Tax complexity


Product used

Avalara MatrixMaster
With a powerful database of over 15 million codes Avalara MatrixMaster is the world’s largest database of Universal Product Codes (UPC) with specialized sales taxability data.


Benefits

  • Point-of-sale system automatically updated with correct tax rates for all jurisdictions
  • Retail government assistance programs also included in POS updates
  • Tax calculation compliance and confidence

Company overview


Customer
McCaffrey’s Food Markets

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Jim McCaffrey III and his son, Jim McCaffrey IV, opened their first food market in North East Philadelphia in 1980. Today there are eight McCaffrey’s locations across southeast Pennsylvania and central New Jersey. Their stores have up to 60,000 different items on the shelves at any given time, and more than 100,000 in their point-of-sale (POS) system. 

Tax challenges


Managing tens of thousands of varying items along with changing taxability rates is difficult enough. But manually managing them all across two states? The chances of getting tax rates wrong are high. 

“We want to do the right thing,” says Ben Norton, who is in charge of retail technology for McCaffrey’s Food Markets. “We want to make sure our customers are taxed — or not taxed — correctly. But it was really a guessing game for our small team.”

Ben knew things had to change when McCaffrey’s got hit with a fine during a state audit. “We decided to fine-tune the process,” he says, “and to automate it as much as possible.”

Why Avalara?


Avalara MatrixMaster is a niche service designed to solve product taxability problems like those at McCaffrey’s. Retail businesses can track and apply thousands of sales tax rates based on individual SKUs using the MatrixMaster database of more than 15 million codes. They can then apply the correct rate for each product, in each jurisdiction, at the time of sale.

Customer
McCaffrey’s Food Markets

Industry
Retail and ecommerce

Tax type
Sales and use

Tax challenges

  • Compliance risk
  • Tax complexity

Product used

Avalara MatrixMaster
With a powerful database of over 15 million codes Avalara MatrixMaster is the world’s largest database of Universal Product Codes (UPC) with specialized sales taxability data.


Benefits

  • Point-of-sale system automatically updated with correct tax rates for all jurisdictions
  • Retail government assistance programs also included in POS updates
  • Tax calculation compliance and confidence

“We are going through another audit right now, and with Avalara we’re able to provide solid answers to every question from the auditor. No more guessing — we are absolutely more confident with Avalara.”

Ben Norton,
Director of Retail Technology

“We are going through another audit right now, and with Avalara we’re able to provide solid answers to every question from the auditor. No more guessing — we are absolutely more confident with Avalara.”

Ben Norton,
Director of Retail Technology

Results


“MatrixMaster allows us to be fast and accurate with the staff that we have,” says Ben. “We’re a small team, and any time we can automate something, we take a task off of somebody’s plate so they can focus on more important things. Without MatrixMaster, we’d still be guessing item by item.”

In addition to determining product taxability, McCaffrey’s customized MatrixMaster to determine each product’s eligibility for government assistance programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps. Because the regulations are always changing, Avalara has been vital in helping McCaffrey’s keep up.

“MatrixMaster allows us to be fast and accurate with the staff that we have.” 

—Ben Norton
Director of Retail Technology

Ben also appreciates the relationship he’s built with his Avalara account manager. “I can contact her at any time,” he says. “For example, New Jersey changed tax codes the past two years, and she helped us identify and implement the necessary changes in advance so that we were compliant on the day the rate changes took effect.”

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