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Q&A with Scott McFarlane, Avalara CEO

As you might have seen already, we announced FinancialForce Accounting and FinancialForce PSA Winter 14 today.  One of the major product highlights was FinanicalForce Accounting’s integration with Avalara.  Scott McFarlane, Avalara’s CEO, took a few minutes to share with us his thoughts on the partnership and the company’s bright future ahead. 1) What can FinancialForce.com customers expect now that FinancialForce Accounting is integrated with Avalara, Inc.? First off, let me say how excited we are to be working with FinancialForce.com. They’ve built a fantastic suite of financial applications for the Salesforce.com market, and we see this as a great match of two perfectly complimentary, cloud-based solutions. Manually managing sales tax is difficult, expensive, and time consuming – and businesses can face stiff penalties if they don’t get it right. AvaTax™ makes sales tax compliance simple and automatic for thousands of customers every day. As a certified Avalara solution partner, FinancialForce is now able to help its customers reduce risk and increase efficiency by offering our complete set of transactional tax compliance services. Avalara’s SaaS-based, sales tax and compliance automation software solutions span the compliance spectrum; each year these solutions deliver billions of tax decisions, manage millions of exemption certificates, file hundreds of thousands of sales tax returns, and remit billions of tax dollars to states nationwide. 2) Avalara has experienced significant growth since its founding, can you share some of the reasons the company is so successful? With more than 10,000 taxing jurisdictions in the US and thousands of annual rate and boundary changes, getting sales tax right is nearly impossible. Avalara addressed the need to simplify this complex business requirement early on by offering a fast, easy way to calculate and remit indirect taxes that is as affordable and reliable for small and medium-sized business owners as it is for large corporations. Since our founding nearly a decade ago, we pioneered the service-based platform for tax automation and emerged as a dominant player in this market by leading the automation effort for financial, ecommerce, POS and mobility applications for businesses. Tax complexity is not cyclical, and therefore the need for our services remains relatively constant. Avalara relieves burdens that businesses face in any economic climate, allowing them to focus time, effort, and dollars on the more pressing needs of the day – whatever those may be for each individual company. 3) Looking at 2014, what are some things we can look forward to from Avalara?   The increasing complexity of sales and use tax regulation has only amplified the need for our easy, affordable offering. At our core, we believe it’s insane to manage sales tax manually in an electronic world, and we fundamentally believe all sales tax will be automated in the coming years. In the meantime, Avalara will continue to combine our industry leading technology with the best available content to deliver unsurpassed sales tax compliance solutions that are fast, easy, accurate, and affordable. As we do so, every one of our joint customers with FinancialForce.com will benefit from it. Such is the nature of a truly cloud-based solution.
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