When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., in 2018, it expanded the complexity of sales tax obligations for many businesses. The ruling gave each state the green light to adopt its own economic nexus law, a tax collection obligation imposed on companies based solely on a certain level of economic activity within a state. Today, every state with a general sales tax has imposed an economic nexus law that imposes a sales tax obligation on a remote seller’s sales volume in the state.
Set Solutions, a Trace3 Company, an advanced cybersecurity consulting and procurement solutions provider, selected Avalara and Sage to address state-specific tax complexity and meet its burgeoning tax compliance needs while saving the company money and time.
When Set Solutions first started with Avalara in 2019, the company was collecting tax in one state. Fast-forward to 2023, and the company is meeting its tax compliance obligations with ease in 27 states. With Avalara and Sage accounting software, Set Solutions has seen increased productivity within its finance and accounting department, saving dozens of hours a week on manual finance processes. As a result, employees can spend their time on more important tasks associated with growing the business versus manually calculating taxes and filing returns.
“The Wayfair decision led us to Avalara for an automated tax solution because we knew that we were going to have to collect and remit in different states, but weren’t sure exactly how many,” said Missy Basone, Chief Financial Officer at Set Solutions, a Trace3 Company.“Working with both Avalara and Sage, Set Solutions has saved more than $300,000 annually and 30 hours per week on tax compliance tasks — valuable time, and resources that greatly affect our growing business.”
Each state defines and taxes SaaS differently. The responsibility falls to businesses to understand these diverse definitions in order to determine the taxability of a product. SaaS providers must figure out whether their business is providing a subscription, selling tangible property, or something else altogether, like providing a communications service that might not be subject to sales tax but is subject to any number of federal, state, and local communications taxes.
“Tax rates and rules are complex and vary widely by jurisdiction for physical goods, but when it comes to digital goods produced by SaaS companies like Set Solutions, the complexity of what is taxed and how, grows exponentially,” said Liz Armbruester, EVP of Customer and Compliance Operations at Avalara. “By using Avalara’s technology, Set Solutions has been able to offload the complexity of sales tax, while also saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and time that would have been spent managing a regulatory requirement that provides no benefit to its bottom line. And thanks to Avalara’s long-standing partnership and integration with Sage, Set Solutions was able to seamlessly manage tax on every invoice processed on the Sage platform.”
Avalara and Sage team up to provide seamless compliance
Set Solutions has implemented Avalara AvaTax, Avalara Returns, Avalara Exemption Certificate Management, and Avalara Tax Research as its business grows and to meet the company’s expanding tax obligations.
In addition to tax automation, Set Solutions sought accounting software that could scale with its growth and easily integrate to manage tax on each transaction. On the recommendation of a tax advisor, Set Solutions implemented Sage Intacct’s cloud accounting and financial management solution to automate and scale the business.
Today Set Solutions leverages Avalara from lead to cash, starting with calculating tax on quotes early in the business process. Sage Intacct’s cloud accounting and financial management solution helps invoice customers, while Avalara automatically calculates the sales tax on each invoice.
“Sage Intacct is the leader in offering complete finance tech stacks for fast-growth SaaS companies. With growth comes increased complexity in billing, cash flow, and tax management. The power of an integrated solution with Avalara allows successful firms, like Set Solutions, to scale to meet the demands of their customers, investors, and tax authorities,” said David Appel, Global Head, Subscription and SaaS Vertical, Sage Intacct, Inc.
To learn more about the partnership between Avalara and Sage, click here.