Avalara Cloud Service Simplifies Sales Tax Exemption Process for Businesses of All Sizes

New Versions of Avalara Exemption Certificate Management Solutions Available

Seattle, WA – March 20, 2017 – Avalara, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation solutions, today announced enhanced versions of its exemption certificate management solutions to support buyers and sellers of goods and services. Complexities in managing tax-exempt purchases are a daily reality for businesses around the globe, and are especially burdensome in the United States, where requirements vary significantly from state to state. According to Aberdeen Group research on the cost of compliance, 38% of large companies stated that management of customer exemption certificates was the most difficult component of sales and use tax compliance management.

As businesses shift to digital and multi-channel commerce, the need for creating, collecting, and maintaining tax exemption certificates increases in complexity as consumers find new ways to transact and manage their account. Trying to address these challenges with a manual process creates unneeded costs and elevates exposure to the risk of unfavorable audits. In 2015, Avalara found that one in four companies (24%) don’t track their exemption certificates at all, putting them at risk of negative audits. Among those that do have a process in place, 48% rely entirely on hard copies stored in a file cabinet. Avalara today announced new versions of its CertCapture and CertExpress solutions aimed at making the process of managing exemption certificates easy, scalable, and digital, to align with the compliance needs of businesses of all sizes.

CertCapture is a tool for sellers including wholesale distributors, retailers, manufacturers, and others to collect, validate, renew, and store buyer’s exemption certificates. CertCapture allows sellers to establish control around the exemption certificate management process and reduce risk in the case of an audit. CertCapture advantages include:

  • Device Agnostic. Exemptions can be created anytime, anywhere from any device. All forms of data capture have been upgraded in the product to support all kinds of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
  • Flexible Workflows. CertCapture accommodates a company’s exemption certificate management workflow, including an option to immediately exempt tax-exempt purchases or wait until the certificate has been validated.
  • Customer-Friendly. When CertCapture customers send out requests for exemption certificates, CertExpress, Avalara’s certificate creation tool, users will be able to quickly access a mobile-friendly interface to complete an exemption certificate.

CertExpress is a tool for tax-exempt buyers to create and store compliant exemption certificates for submission in advance of and at the moment of a purchase. CertExpress allows businesses to avoid the tedious research of state-level exemption rules and changes, mitigating audit risk and ongoing resource expense. CertExpress is available as a standalone mobile application for tax-exempt buyers as well as an integrated solution for businesses using CertCapture that are looking for a better way to exchange compliance documents with their customers and suppliers. It prepares certificates for all states in the U.S. and across dozens of exemption classes, helping to ensure accurate document completion. CertExpress advantages include:

  • Mobile-Friendly. Forms can be created and managed using a simple, intuitive interface on any internet-connected device.
  • Quick Start. New users can sign up for an account, complete a tax profile, and immediately begin creating exemption certificates for all states in the U.S. and across dozens of exempt industry classes – helping ensure accurate completion.
  • Simple Document Exchanges. If a CertExpress user creates a certificate for a CertCapture customer, the CertExpress user can submit the certificate directly to the CertCapture account.
  • Secure Storage. Easily archive and manage all exemption certificates.

What Avalara Exemption Certificate Management Customers Say

“CertExpress is a very easy to use tool. The application made the process of creating an exemption certificate fast and simple,” said Detective Michael Taylor, New York Police Department, who uses CertExpress to simplify his tax-exempt payments made for business-related purposes.

“Northern Tool has used Avalara CertCapture to manage customer sales tax exemption for years. The new release improves on an already streamlined process for completing exemption certificates, and works great on any technology we use in store or at any of our other customer touch points,” said Jason Davenport, sales tax manager, Northern Tool & Equipment.

Mike Maselli, senior director of product management at Avalara, said “We have more than 24 million certificates currently stored in the CertCapture system, and that number grows every day. We are addressing a daily challenge for our customers who are trying to optimize for customer experience and compliant back-end management.

“By adding a mobile-friendly version of CertExpress to our platform, we are establishing the foundation for a digital compliance exchange that will make it easier and faster for businesses to ensure they set up compliant business relationships and eliminate costly and time-consuming errors,” Maselli continued. “The digital exchange solves problems for both buyers and sellers -- like the displacement of paper checks by credit cards, CertExpress and CertCapture facilitate easy, smooth tax exempt transactions.”

More information on Avalara Exemption products is available online on CertCapture and CertExpress pages.

About Avalara

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with transactional taxes, including sales and use, VAT, excise, communications, and other tax types. The company delivers comprehensive, automated, cloud-based solutions that are designed to be fast, accurate, and easy to use.  Avalara’s Compliance Cloud™ platform helps customers manage complicated and burdensome tax compliance obligations imposed by state, local, and other taxing authorities throughout the world.

Avalara offers more than 650 pre-built connectors into leading accounting, ERP, ecommerce and other business applications, making the integration of tax and compliance solutions easy for customers. Each year, the company processes billions of indirect tax transactions for customers and users, files more than a million tax returns and manages millions of tax exemption certificates and other compliance documents.

A privately held company, Avalara’s venture capital investors include Sageview Capital, Battery Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Technology Crossover Ventures, Arthur Ventures, and other institutional and individual investors. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and overseas in the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India. More information at www.avalara.com 

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