A pioneered tax Automation partner pushing businesses worldwide towards efficiency, ease, and trackability in tax compliance: the story of Avalara Inc.
On the midnight of July 1, 2017, a shift launched which was about to replace a raft of existing sales and other indirect taxes, aiming to simplify the tax latitude for businesses and unifying the country’s indirect taxes under one $2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into a common market. Though GST (Goods & Service Tax) scarfed the country with the principle of ‘one nation, one market, one tax’ system, yet this stroke dismantled, brought uncertainty and left the industry puzzled. Previous Indian taxation system was already bruised by numerous compliance issues including fraudulent claims, duplication of input tax credit (ITC), mismatched ITC and unpaid tax liabilities, and present tax tools might not be able to cater to the needs of technology-driven GST compliance requirements, which posed several hurdles for the organizations. To clean the cloudy picture of Indian taxation system, global leader Avalara Inc enrolled in. Pioneered in delivering comprehensive, automated SaaS solutions that help customers manage complicated and burdensome tax compliance obligations imposed by state, local, and other taxing authorities throughout the world, Avalara has been serving businesses of all sizes to achieve compliance with transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, and other tax types. With a prodigious record of processing billions of indirect tax transactions for users, filing files more than a million tax returns and managing millions of tax exemption certificates and other compliance documents every year, Avalara has been successful in making taxation a piece of cake for customers to integrate tax automation into their existing business ecosystems.
Founded in 2004 as a privately held company, Avalara is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with additional offices across the U.S. and in the UK, Belgium, Brazil, and India. The company offers the convenience of a SaaS solution and facilitates offline uploads and management, considering the possibility of connectivity failures. Avalara has also partnered with authorized GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs), such as Excellon Software and Alankit Limited, and ERP providers, such as Abas Force (India) and Anand ERP. A GST compliance partnership program in India has also been launched under the hat of Avalara for ERP publishers, tax professionals, and entrepreneurs. “Through this program, we aim to deliver compliance automation to our Indian partners’ clients, helping them deepen relationships with customers, build their loyalty, and reduce their churn,” adjoins Gautam Mukherjee, General Manager — Global Delivery, Avalara. Today, the organization has pioneered itself in spearheading the domain by delivering excellence expertise under the tax automation framework.
From a concept to a Magnum Opus: Avalara’s advent
Internet revolution was to the full brim re-defining business operations. Possessing expertise in financial planning, business planning, profit analysis, and tax research, Rory Rawlings felt the need to channelize the revolution in sales tax spectrum, making it more manageable for businesses, combining rates and taxability rules in a single engine that could integrate with accounting packages and e-commerce platforms. The idea was shared with Jared Vogt. Well, things didn’t stop here; in addition to automated tax calculations, Rory wanted to prepare and file returns and remit payments for companies. The duo was soon joined by Scott McFarlane and the trio proved ‘two is a company, three’s a crowd’ phrase wrong with brimming up Avalara in Jared’s garage in 2004. The technical know-how, dexterity and transparency of Avalara in short order, started building harmonious relationships with clients. Sooner the number began to magnify across international boundaries, which in turn made Avalara Inc stretch its horizon and expand further to cover numerous global markets. Today, with more than 600 pre-built connectors into leading accounting, ERP, e-commerce and other business applications, Avalara has been making it easy for customers to integrate tax automation into their existing business ecosystems. Each year, the company processes billions of indirect tax transactions for users, files more than a million tax returns, and manages millions of tax exemption certificates and other compliance documents.
Infusing its global prowess in India: Avalara TrustFile GST
As one of the leading companies in cloud-based tax compliance automation, serving more than 20,000 businesses worldwide, Avalara, Inc enrolled its global expertise in the Indian market as an Application Service Provider (ASP) with the launch of a cloud-based GST automation solution, Avalara TrustFile GST, following years of hands-on experience successfully implementing GST automation in Brazil and Canada.
Avalara TrustFile GST helps automate GST compliance, including reconciliation, report generation, correction assistance, technical and online support, and return preparation with benefits including more timely compliance, comparison of reports, more accurate reporting, and much more. “With a legacy of in-depth understanding of indirect tax complexities, we offer more connectors adapted into leading accounting, ERP, e-commerce, and other business applications, thereby making the integration of tax and compliance solutions easier for our customers,” asserts Gautam. “In fact, our modern user interface coupled with regular updates communicated through the software and mobile app makes the task of compliance much easier.”
“All our states successfully filed the GSTR 1 with DSC through TrustFile GST,” expressed J Ganesh Pandian in the finance department of Lotte India Corporation Ltd., a customer of Avalara TrustFile GST. “We thank Avalara for the wonderful support in successful completion of our GSTR1 filing.” The Indian clientele of the organization includes Trimex Industries, Elcom, Walter Pack Automotive, Mantri Metallic, ParanjapeAutocast, and many more.
Besides TrustFile GST, Avalara has, over the years, established several other innovative and technologically strong solutions like Avalara AvaTax, a tax determination engine. The Avalara Compliance Cloudplatform delivers end-to-end transaction tax compliance automation services to businesses of all sizes worldwide.
Being an ‘orange’ among ‘the blues and the whites’: Creating a mark with Tax compliance done right
Sales tax was a clear business opportunity, yet no clear path forward, as no one had automated sales tax management before. There was no framework; the trio has to create it by themselves. Making people meet with the technology, convincing them to use it and migrating them to Avalara was a daunting task for the team. That was how the organization landed on orange as its corporate color at the trade shows and convergence to catch people’s eyes and differentiating themselves! The organization has successfully grown from five customers that first year to more than 20,000 today. Avalara’s DNA is technology, and through the years, the organization amassed deep stores of statutory tax content, including tax rates, taxability rules on millions of products and services, tax jurisdiction boundaries, etc. Being first-to-market with sales tax automation, Avalara has completely transformed time-consuming, error-prone task of compliance into an efficient, more accurate, and seamless process.
The Manager’s Periscope
General Manager — Global Delivery
Gautam is a strategic leader and currently heads Avalara’s global software delivery center in Pune. Possessing almost two decades of extensive experience in the IT industry in USA and India as a business and technology leader, Gautam is an expert in managing global projects, building high performing teams and new product development.
A Piece of advice for the young entrepreneurs
Believe in your idea and solve a genuine problem in a unique, accessible way through your business model; then the sky is the limit.
In a way of making every possible effort to offer a pleasant experience to clients, the management at Avalara envisions continuing delivering value to both existing and new customers so they can feel confident they’re getting tax compliance right. Avalara’s vast global presence and extreme scalability allow multinational clients to opt for only one tax automation partner across their geographical presence and growth trajectories. In India, the organization will continue expanding the reach of and optimizing its GST automation offerings for return filing, audit trails, and more.