Avalara Inc., is a provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation, serving more than 20,000 businesses worldwide, and an Application Service Provider (ASP) in India. The company helps businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, and other tax types. It delivers comprehensive, automated SaaS solutions that help customers manage complicated and burdensome tax compliance obligations imposed by the state, local, and other taxing authorities throughout the world.
In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, Gautam Mukherjee, General Manager, Global Delivery – India, Avalara Technologies talks about how Avalara helps companies cope with the new tax regime, what are the new trends seen in ERP and Tax automation in India, and what are the recent announcements made by them. Excerpts:
Q. What is so special about your company, and how does it help your clients?
With more than 600 pre-built connectors into leading accounting, ERP, e-commerce and other business applications, Avalara makes it easy for customers to integrate tax automation into their existing business ecosystems. Each year, the company processes billions of indirect tax transactions for users, files more than a million tax returns, and manages millions of tax exemption certificates and other compliance documents.
Q. How does Avalara help companies cope with the new tax regime?
Avalara has been named an Application Service Provider (ASP) and is partnering with authorized GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) in India — including Excellon Software — to offer businesses Avalara TrustFile GST, its automated GST compliance solution. With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and digitized return filing process in India, companies in India or selling into India need an efficient solution to comply with the new regulations. GST compliance is challenging, but Avalara TrustFile GST is a proven tool that improves compliance accuracy and efficiency for customers.
Q. How does TrustFile GST in India help in easy tax automation?
As one of the leading companies in cloud-based tax compliance automation, Avalara enrolled its global expertise in the Indian market as an Application Service Provider (ASP) with the launch of a cloud-based GST automation solution, known as Avalara TrustFile GST, following more than 14 years of hands-on experience successfully implementing GST automation in Brazil and Canada. Avalara TrustFile GST helps automate GST compliance, including reconciliation, report generation, correction assistance, technical and online support, and return preparation. Benefits include more timely compliance, report generation, comparison of reports, decision making, cost-effectiveness with reduced staff, technical and online support, and much more.
Q. According to you, what are the trends in ERP and Tax automation in India?
GSTN is using technology in an unprecedented manner. The GST regime necessitates a high level of synchronization between tax payer’s system of record, and the GST system. The level of reporting expected is highly detailed and complex. ERP’s are required to get out of their comfort zone and start supporting more tax functions. The average ERP user now expects his ERP to be more than just be a system of record. ERPs in India are today providing varied levels of tax compliance support – from a basic handling of GST Rates and Rules, right up to GST Return and e-Waybill preparation. As we go towards a more comprehensive implementation of GST, this need will only be more magnified. ERP’s will do well to start providing and build on – the Tax Compliance functions that their products provide.
Q. What are the recent announcements made by your company?
We recently announced the addition of e-way bill generation feature to Avalara TrustFile GST. This will help in generating and reconciling e-way bills on the interstate supply of goods, further easing the burden of GST compliance. In a single process, taxpayers upload transactions to TrustFile GST. TrustFile GST then interfaces with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) system, generates an e-way bill, and files the requisite GSTR-1 form on the GST network (GSTN). This is a classic model for enhancing the ease of doing business with the help of technology.
TrustFile GST makes filing e-way bills, and overall GST compliance, much easier by:
- Eliminating duplicated entries when filing both e-way bills and GST returns
- Managing credentials in the case of multiple GST identification numbers (GSTINs)
- Reducing manual data processing, which will help reduce human error
- Maintaining transporters multi state registrations and vehicle numbers
- Creating a unique e-way bill number (EBN) that will be allocated and available to the supplier, recipient, and transporter.
Avalara has recently been certified as a Great Place to Work in India for 2018 by Great Place to Work® Institute India.
Q. What is your business plan for 2018?
Avalara aspires to become a part of every tax transaction in the world. We cater to the complexity of tax compliance. In India we concentrate on tax compliance first followed by determination, however, it’s the vice versa outside India. Our prime focus is on Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs), however, our technology doesn’t limit us for large enterprises but they need a bigger bundle of services. In India, SMEs are at a different connotation – we are looking at the ones with revenue of 50 – 100 crores approx. At an average 15 – 18 million e-way bills will be generated per month per state and data analytics will grow. SMEs are also expected to grow and so will our services. We are at an initial stage in India – as far as our revenues are concerned we have optimistic projections. India is a big strategy destination for us – we are targeting digitized economy here. We want to expand and spread the word through partnerships. We aim to partner with the ERPs itself and build integration with them.