We Make It Easy For Cus­tomers To In­te­grate Tax Au­to­ma­tion Into Their Ex­ist­ing Busi­ness Ecosys­tems

Dataquest - - CONTENTS - —GAU­TAM MUKHER­JEE Gen­eral Man­ager, Global De­liv­ery – In­dia, Avalara Tech­nolo­gies

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:

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.

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 Pro- viders (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.

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.

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.

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 gen- er­at­ing 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.

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.

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