Harnessing the Power of Technology Highly Commended: Avalara

Published: Jul 2019


Photo of Zach Nobis-Olson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bilkay Rose, Avalara.

Bilkay Rose

Vice President, Global Client Payments


Avalara provides a leading suite of cloud-based solutions designed to help businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with their international VAT and transactional tax obligations.

in partnership with

Avalara automates payments service with “truly unique” customised treasury management system

The challenge

In the past, Avalara relied on a highly manual and cumbersome spreadsheet-dependent process to manage tax payments on behalf of its customers. To illustrate, in order to remit sales tax payments, Avalara extracted and combined customer banking information and liability data and manually uploaded transactions into the applicable bank portal.

As Avalara grew, the company recognised it needed a scalable, integrated, and efficient treasury management system that would automate global customer payment services.

The solution

Following an industry benchmarking exercise and an extensive RFP engagement, Avalara concluded no single existing treasury platform would completely meet the company’s unique global tax compliance needs.

Avalara decided the best solution would be to build an in-house treasury management system that would integrate with the company’s core automated returns compliance platform. As a result, Avalara developed its own innovative treasury management system, which automates a massive volume of transactions. This technology success story has been instrumental in supporting the company’s continued growth.

Best practice and innovation

The development of Avalara’s in-house treasury management system had to fulfil three critical requirements:

  • Firstly, the system had to ascertain customer tax and jurisdiction data required to foster the full end-to-end remittance automation.
  • Secondly, the system had to send payments in an automated way to each jurisdiction so those payments could be processed. The system also had to quickly map the payments to the tax accounts within the state and local jurisdiction’s payment system. This had to be cost effective and efficient in order to meet the company’s needs.
  • Lastly, the system had to have good bank reconciliation and be able to generate timely financial reporting. Avalara worked with banking partner Bank of America Merrill Lynch to ensure the system could fully integrate with the bank’s platform.

While most vendors of existing treasury workstation solutions could accomplish most of these functions, none could do all, which is why Avalara developed its own customised, proprietary system. This truly unique system is the very definition of a best practice.

Key benefits

Avalara’s custom-built treasury management system has been a resounding success for the company. The system currently supports approximately 7,500 businesses and has automated the cumbersome manual spreadsheet process. Now, with the ability to quickly conduct automatic verifications of bank accounts and complete audit verification and reconciliation regarding tax remittance, Avalara has greatly improved the customer experience.

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