VATLive > Blog > Blog Post > Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work smarter, not harder

  • Nov 28, 2020 | David Cozens

As we adjust to a new era of working from home, many of us feel the need to review and improve our process efficiencies. This is where tax automation software can make a very welcome addition to your professtional tool kit.

So move over spreadsheets and say hello to Avalara's software solution, as David Cozens explains:

Twenty-twenty has brought about a world of global changes. From locking families into their own homes, to support workers finally being praised for the selfless acts they dutifully perform every day. The sudden appearance of my two-year-old daughter on conference calls, attempting to feed me plastic ice-creams (and throwing a fit until I play along), has become a staple my customers and partners have begun to rather enjoy.

It has led us to view our work and lives through a different lens. Having worked at home for the last six years, lockdown confining me to remote working was nothing new. But suddenly, I was not home alone - The Government made my family reappear.  They were (and still are for the most part) constantly here. Loud, attention seeking, loveable tiny humans. My time became stretched. 

When you work from home, you invariably end up working more than a “9 to 5”. And the jokes of – “oh home working is just turning on your email and Netflix” –  makes you overcompensate. You don’t take lunch breaks, you are always “on”.  This was different. Time became far more of a commodity. Investing in understanding tricks and techniques to become more efficient was the only way to get through a day. My customer base felt this too. 

The first couple weeks of lockdown customers were all saying the same thing: “We can’t talk, we don’t have access to our own work let alone being able to focus on a sales cycle!” As the dust settled, a realisation seems to have made its way through corporate society. If we, as a collective, are going to get through this, then we need to reassess our processes and thoughts on what is possible. 

My customers are indirect tax professionals. Tax has always been a staple in life. Sadly, the phrase “death and taxes” rings true. The people I speak to daily are dealing with complex, high volume numbers and legislation-driven tax issues. However, the industry has not always been first to react to new initiatives. Multiple times a week the same adage of manual processes and spreadsheet manipulation washes out of my headset. Is there a better way? 

Simply put – yes.

The past five years I have spent my career with Avalara. An indirect tax company that automates processes through the use of software.

Through software, cumbersome processes can be cut in half or taken away totally. Professionals are not required to waste their time downloading spreadsheets, fixing macros, consolidating data points. Typing digits into tax authority websites is a thing of the past. The Tax Authorities seem to  moved into the digital space faster that the professional processes, leaning towards more frequent filing requirements – SII, Hungary Real Time Report or e-Invoicing specifications. 

Our customers have been able to benefit from utilisation of software. Reducing their risk associated with manual processes, while increasing their overall efficiencies. Through this automation mindset, companies are able to use their teams with greater purpose. Suddenly efficiency allows for more strategic positioning of employees, skill sets and overview of the whole function. The return on a company’s investment using software speaks for itself. The value on time, mental health, daily functions has a clear increase too. 

The digital age has put information in front of us 24/7. Our goal is to take information overload away from customers, allowing them to view the important facts, do the important tasks.

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Senior Manager - Enterprise Sales, EMEA at Avalara
David Cozens
Senior Manager - Enterprise Sales, EMEA at Avalara David Cozens
David Cozens is Senior Sales Manager for Avalara EMEA, with experience working across the indirect tax, legal and finance sectors selling Enterprise SaaS solutions to board level executives.
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