Why automate tax compliance?

The better question is: Why burden your business with something so complex and tedious when it can be solved with software in the cloud?

Decrease the high cost and drain on your business

Employee time and expertise are expensive


Without automation, your tax professionals are probably buried in endless tasks that could be offloaded. Every hour spent on tax management is an hour lost on other (more important) parts of your business.

It would take me three days to research and categorize just 100 items. Can you imagine how long it would take me to do more than 20,000?

 – Diana Rancy, Sales Tax Manager
The Vitamin Shoppe

Reduce tax risk

Spreadsheets can lead to guesswork


Government requirements are increasingly complex and vast. Without automation, your business takes on unnecessary risk.

Automated tax software increases the accuracy of your tax compliance by storing the most-up-to date info in the cloud. 

Rate calculations are more accurate, use tax is assessed, returns are filed on time, exemption certificates are up to date and easily accessible, and you’re registered in all of the right locations.

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

- Lois Browne, VP Finance
Dylan’s Candy Bar

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

- Lois Browne, VP Finance
Dylan’s Candy Bar

Reduce tax risk

Spreadsheets can lead to guesswork


Government requirements are increasingly complex and vast, as rates, product taxability rules, and tax laws are constantly in flux. Without automation, your business is likely taking on unnecessary risk.

With up-to-date rates and rules maintained by a cloud-based tax engine, automated tax software can increase the accuracy of your tax compliance. 

With automation, rate calculations are more accurate, use tax is assessed, returns are filed on time, exemption certificates are up to date and easily accessible, and you’re registered in all the right locations.

Grow and scale without adding tax pain

Expand your business, not your tax department


Company growth can create more tax pain. Entering new markets and adding sales channels, employees, products, and/or services can trigger new obligations to register and file in more locations.  

So, too, does expanding into international markets. With global sales come more complicated tax rules and an additional set of tax jurisdictions. Value-added tax (VAT) and goods and services tax (GST) are applied differently than U.S. sales tax. And every country’s tax rules are different.

Automation decreases the tax complexity that often comes with business grow. The effort required to maintain compliance in a few states is vastly different when you do business in most of the U.S. And selling into more countries adds a whole new level of complexity. With automation, it’s easier to scale.

I don’t worry about sales tax at all now. If we turn on 15 more states tomorrow, we wouldn’t have to worry about a single thing.

- Andrea Riviezzo Controller 
Inovonics

We just publicly announced another pending acquisition, and the ability to take in a new revenue stream, port it into Zuora, and immediately be compliant — that scalability is really nice. 

– Jason Heckel, Senior Director of Tax 
Zillow

Get more out of your existing technology and systems

Add tax compliance to your business applications


You’re likely already automating critical parts of your operations with ERPs, ecommerce platforms, and other business applications. Get more out of your investments by connecting tax software into the systems that power other parts of your business.

Automated tax solutions like Avalara integrate into the most widely used solutions or offer an open API, which allows you to manage your tax compliance within a single dashboard.

Get more out of your existing technology and systems

Add tax compliance to your business systems


Chances are, you’re already automating critical parts of your business with ERPs, ecommerce platforms, and other business systems.Get more out of your investment by connecting tax software into the solutions that power other parts of your business.

Automated tax solutions like Avalara are integrated into the most widely used solutions or offer an open API, which allows you to manage your tax compliance within a single dashboard.

We just publicly announced another pending acquisition, and the ability to take in a new revenue stream, port it into Zuora, and immediately be compliant — that scalability is really nice. 

– Jason Heckel, Senior Director of Tax 
Zillow

On average, companies with $10 million or more in revenue have six finance professionals who spend 25% of their time on sales and use tax compliance related tasks.

The Sales and Use Tax Knowledge Gap survey, 2017

Side-by-side comparison

  Manual Automated
REGISTRATION
  • Research tax laws and obligations (nexus laws)
  • Register with individual tax authorities
  • Remit registration fees
  • Re-register when select registrations expire
  • Fill out one form for multiple registrations
  • Provide information for a licensing program (once)
  • Remit fees or make changes when alerted by software
CALCULATION
  • Visit Department of Revenue websites frequently to track tax rate and taxability rule changes
  • Upload rate tables
  • Set up jurisdictions and tax codes
  • Assign rates
  • Build tax schedules
  • Manage tax notices
  • Make system updates every time a rate, rule, product code, or tax law changes
  • Calculate tax rates with rooftop accuracy in real time for all U.S. jurisdictions (13,000+)
  • Instantly and automatically account for and apply changes to taxability rates and rules
  • Verify SKU-level tax rules for millions of product and service universal product codes (UPC) and thousands of tax code categories.
  • Automatically track and account for sales tax holidays and other exemptions
RETURNS & REPORTING
  • Determine filing schedules and deadlines for all appropriate tax jurisdictions
  • Find, download and fill out the correct forms
  • Report and remit the right amount of sales tax owed for each jurisdiction in which you have an obligation to collect has been established
  • Keep track of filing dates and deadlines for tax remittance and returns
  • Mail or e-file returns on time to avoid late fees or penalties
  • Export tax data instantly with auto-populated forms for faster, easier remittance and filing
  • Track filing dates and deadlines for on-time payments and filings for every jurisdiction
  • Streamline payments to multiple taxing authorities
  • Digitally archive and store records for easy retrieval or audit access 
DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
  • Physically store hard copies for every tax exempt customer
  • Validate documents at point of sale
  • Manually retrieve documents as requested by auditors
  • Monitor certificate expirations and request updated documents as needed
  • Upload exemption certificates into cloud software
  • Access current certificates digitally at the point of sale
  • Direct auditors to customized dashboards for document retrieval

Cost of manual tax compliance calculator

See how automating with Avalara can help reduce the cost of tax compliance for your business
Use this calculator to estimate your current costs and potential tax liability.

How many hours per month do you spend on the following?

What is your potential tax liability?

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Potential annual savings

Fill out form to find out $

Cost savings breakdown

Manual labor costs1 TBD $
Potential annual tax liability2 TBD $

1. Based on $55/hour per Aberdeen Group report (The costs of compliance: strategies for automating tax management in the cloud and avoiding hidden fees)

2. Audit mitigation in states where your business has tax liabilities; assumes average tax rate of 8% and average interest and penalty of 15%

The information provided by this calculation is intended to be a rough approximation only. The estimate may not reflect actual time and cost savings.

Next steps

See how automation works

Talk to us and we'll show you how you can automate your tax compliance — from calculation and returns to registration and document management —  from a single dashboard.

 

Compare against your peers

You spend {{hoursspent}} hours/month manually managing tax compliance. See how you match up against industry peers, who spend between 100 and 650 hours a month. Get Aberdeen Group’s report on the manual cost of tax compliance.

Determine where to file

Try our free Sales Tax Risk Assessment to determine the states where you might be obligated to register and collect sales tax.

Sales and use tax solution

One solution to calculate rates, prepare returns, and manage documents