PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is the first of a new recurring topic titled Advisor Alliance. The purpose of the Advisor Alliance articles is to help our audience understand the "channel partner" offerings available from vendors in the community. These are editorial pieces, not advertisements, even though some of them may seem a bit on the promotional side. Our goal for these articles is to give you a condensed look at the offerings available to you that can help you grow your business, increase your skills and/or make more money. We hope you find these valuable. Thanks for being an Intuitive Accountant - Gary
Sales and use tax compliance is full of challenges for businesses of all sizes and types. Sales and use taxes impact businesses on a daily basis with far reaching legal and financial liabilities. As a trusted Advisor you are aware that the effects of sales and use tax management and compliance are not limited to traditional retailers any longer. All types of businesses must be aware of the instances of sales and use tax, and the challenges presented by calculation, collection and remittance of sales and use taxes and documenting tax-exempt sales.
Frequently you as the Advisor to these businesses will be called upon to not only answer questions about sales and use tax, but perhaps to even assist in the implementation of strategies to effectively manage these liabilities. The question is, “how much do you know about sales and use taxes” yourself? Certain you may know and understand the sales and use taxes for your own jurisdiction; but do you understand jurisdictional boundaries and reporting requirements in your own state? And how much do you know about neighboring states, or states half-way across the country? With E-commerce a major source of revenue for an ever growing number of businesses, the information needed to identify every possible scenario can, for lack of a better term is ‘taxing’ at best.
This is where Avalara comes in, “making sales tax less taxing.” You know Avalara, and you understand their simple promise: “to provide the fastest, easiest, most accurate, reliable and affordable way to manage transactional taxes.” If you have been in the Advisory business very long you have seen Avalara demonstrated, heard testimonials, and read the whitepapers; perhaps you have even referred some of your clients to Avalara as a solution. So with the exception of knowing that your clients are well taken care of, “how did Avalara impact your ‘Advisor Practice’?”
Well this, our first “Advisor Alliance” article is not about how Avalara can help your clients, it’s about how Avalara can help you, and bring you into and make you a part of the winning relationship that can exist between You, Your Clients and Avalara. Avalara refers to what we here at Intuitive Accountant call an ‘Advisor Alliance’ opportunity as their Accounting and Consulting Program.
Avalara understands your need to be a trusted advisor to your Clients, which is why they offer partnership programs for you to provide a range of sales and use tax solutions to your valued clients. In so doing you can prepare yourself for the inevitable questions on the Marketplace Fairness Act, access the best tools and knowledge resources related to sales and use tax compliance, and expand your service offerings and improve your clients’ overall experience.
Avalara makes it easy to join their Accounting and Consulting Program (ACP) with multiple levels of participation to fit your organizational and business objectives. The first partnership level is their Referral Partner Program: Partners at this level recommend Avalara’s sales and use tax services to meet the needs of their clients. Avalara then works closely with each Referral Partner to satisfy both the clients’ requirements and the Partner’s business objective.
The 2nd partnership level is Avalara’s Compliance Partner Program: The Compliance Program supports Advisors that want to expand their practices (sales and use tax capabilities), and grow their business, by using Avalara’s industry leading products on behalf of their clients.
The Avalara for Accountants level of partnership features accounting software that works with Avalara to provide sales tax calculation and product taxability for the partner’s participating clients, as well as sales tax returns for clients’ returns.
Compliance Services Partnerships feature exemption certificate management, sales tax returns, remittance services, notice management and 1099 & W9 Services.
So the next time you look at a client with the question in your mind about how they are sales tax compliant, don’t just think of Avalara, think of an Advisor Alliance with Avalara through their Accounting and Consulting Program, it’s a win-win-win opportunity.