Avalara Unveils Cloud Sales Tax Returns Solution for Accounting Firms of All Sizes
SEATTLE, WA — January 7, 2021 — Avalara, Inc. (NYSE: AVLR), a leading provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation for businesses of all sizes, today announced the availability of Avalara Managed Returns for Accountants (MRA), a cloud sales tax returns solution designed exclusively for accounting firms. MRA enables firms to extend their practice with automated sales tax preparation and filing services, provide clients with the benefits of a fully managed returns service, and add efficiency while focusing on other high-value services.
The new offering also helps firms reduce clients’ tax compliance risk. MRA leverages the same technology currently used by Avalara to process over 1.5 million returns and remit over $9 billion in sales and use tax.
“Avalara understands what our firm needed to grow and scale our state and local tax practice, as a result of their many years of insights into the complex tax compliance challenges that businesses of all sizes are facing today, as well as their close alliances with accounting partners,” said Chris Vignone, CEO & managing SALT director at PM Business Advisors. “Adopting a fully managed cloud automation solution gives us an advantage in differentiating our service offerings, and with MRA, we can market and deliver tax automation services to clients and prospects under the firm brand, with Avalara as our trusted partner.”
Clients rely on their accounting firms to manage sales tax accurately and on time, but the time and expense of filing and remittance across thousands of tax jurisdictions stretches existing resources and limits growth potential. Avalara’s new outsourced tax compliance automation offering allows firms to:
Support clients with an easy-to-use dashboard. Access the filing process for all clients and their returns from a single dashboard designed for accountant workflow, with customizable, multi-client views, all managed from one cloud-based system. There’s no need to handle multiple spreadsheets or sign in to multiple systems or state websites.
Automatically track state and local jurisdiction filing requirements. MRA automatically prepares tax returns based on the appropriate government forms and state and local requirements, eliminating the need to navigate multiple department of revenue sites.
Remit payments on clients’ behalf. Avalara works directly with departments of revenue. Once a firm approves a client’s tax liability worksheet, Avalara handles the filing, payment, and related notice management (at firm’s request) on behalf of clients and keeps firm up to date on filing status.
Permit staff to work remotely. By using Avalara’s cloud-based solution, accounting firm staff can manage clients’ sales tax returns from any location, keeping the firm nimble and efficient.
Support omnichannel data imports. MRA provides robust data import functions to easily aggregate client sales information from multiple channels and marketplaces.
Keep client data safe. Avalara’s new returns solution provides strong security controls designed to keep clients’ data safe.
Avalara launches MRA as professionals work overtime to help clients manage an increasing list of tax-related trends, including increased sales tax complexity following the 2018 South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. Supreme Court decision. This action resulted in ongoing state-specific economic nexus legislation, with nearly every state having varying effective dates, exemptions, and thresholds, thereby forcing clients across industries to navigate an ever-changing maze of compliance. In tandem, pandemic-driven state budget shortfalls are pushing jurisdictions toward enhanced enforcement of sales tax laws, putting clients at greater risk.
“Avalara has believed since its founding that the broad adoption of tax automation is inevitable, and accountants have always been part of the Avalara vision,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy, chief product officer at Avalara. “Today we’re very excited to announce what accounting professionals have been requesting for years, and now require as never before — the ability to utilize Avalara’s platform to build a firm tax compliance foundation in the cloud, and address unprecedented compliance challenges for clients across industries. MRA gives firms of all sizes the ability to offer scalable tax compliance automation services to their clients, and contribute meaningfully to firm growth in 2021.”
“There is a significant opportunity for accounting firms to assist more clients with sales tax compliance complexity resulting from continued state-by-state economic nexus legislation,” said Kevin Permenter, research manager, IDC. “Avalara’s new outsourced tax compliance service gives firms a cloud platform to address client needs at scale, while gaining new efficiencies and taking an anticipatory stance toward the future of tax compliance complexity.”
Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in Brazil, Europe, and India. More information at avalara.com.