Director, Business Process & Achitecture at CalPortland
Prior to using Avalara, CalPortland used Taxware for its sales and use tax calculation. It was used primarily only for that with very little, if any, use around reporting or other tax-related functions. The method for determining tax rates was antiquated and no longer fit our business model. Miscalculations led to increased time for billing, incorrect billing, and increased time spent on customer service to handle customer billing issues.
We have seen a number of benefits since switching over to Avalara. Sales tax rate determination is now much more accurate. This has improved our billing efficiency, reduced incorrect billings, and increased customer satisfaction.
Our biggest selling point for Avalara was the ability to determine sales tax using very specific geographical data, specifically latitude and longitude. Being a building materials company in the construction industry, we are often delivering materials to brand new locations, which often do not have valid street address information yet. Being able to determine tax rates and jurisdictions by a point on a map is extremely valuable to us.
There is never a ‘good time’ to go through a major transformational project like this. There will always be competing priorities, and it will require additional hours from the business to participate and drive the project to completion. However, the short-term pain is quickly paid off with major process improvements and better system usability.
We were able to successfully transform our sales and use tax system into a valuable asset for the business and remove the burden of the existing system from our IT department.
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