AvaTax Calc is intended as the rate and rule engine, and does not include a direct e-filing and remittance system. For reporting, users can manually produce forms for each of the states, with all forms available in the library. Businesses can also use Avalara’s AvaTax Returns service, where Avalara’s staff imports all of the transaction tax data, prepares all forms, and remits data to all jurisdictions where the business has a filing requirement. AvaTax Returns can also be used independently of the AvaTax Calc system. As noted previously, all rates, rules and taxability issues in AvaTax are kept updated in real-time by the vendor.
Integration/Import/Export - 5 Stars
Integration with a business’ sales and accounting system is at the core of the AvaTax Calc system, allowing taxability and appropriate rates to be applied instantly as users enter transactions. The rates populate immediately and the system is transparent to most users. Drill-down and override is available to users with higher access rights. Integrations are available for more than 80 financial systems, including QuickBooks, Peachtree, Intacct and NetSuite.
Liability reports are automatically generated, and users can produce detail and summary sales tax reports by company or jurisdiction. Data and reports can also be saved to Excel, Word and PDF formats. Alerts can be programmed to remind tax managers of deadlines, and an approvals process can be initiated that requires sign-off by supervisory staff.
Help/Support - 5 Stars
Since the program is mostly automated after the initial setup, very few help features are necessary. However, the online management console offers user manuals and best practices, as well as program documentation and integration support. Additional resources are available via the Avalara University support center, which provides classroom-style live and recorded training. All live and web-based technical support is included with system pricing.
Executive Summary & Pricing
AvaTax Calc is designed for businesses with complex and/or high volume taxable sales across vast numbers of jurisdictions. By synching with the business’ sales, e-commerce, accounting or ERP, it frees the business user from tedious manual lookups of appropriate rates and rules, and also helps ensure greater compliance. Even more beneficial, these rate lookups are performed instantly via the web-based calculation engine, putting real-time, accurate sales tax information directly into transactions as a line item that includes drill-down access to sub-jurisdictions. Exemption certificate management and return filing options are also available. Pricing for AvaTax Calc is based on the accounting system being used by the business, and the volume of transactions. For QuickBooks companies with up to 700 transactions per year, the cost is $350. For higher volumes, such as up to 7,000 transactions annually, the cost is about $0.35 per transaction/lookup (about $2,400).