INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Avalara Partners with Xero to Automate Sales Tax for Small Businesses

Avalara | August 25, 2022 | Read time : 02:16 min

Avalara Partners with Xero to Automate Sales
Avalara, Inc, a leading provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation for businesses of all sizes, today announced a new partnership with Xero, the global small business platform, that will provide accountants, bookkeepers, and small businesses with a new sales tax automation solution. The new partnership will bring advanced sales tax workflows and management directly into the Xero platform, enabling advisors and business owners to automate sales tax calculations, reporting, and filing.With more than 13,000 sales and use tax jurisdictions in the U.S., managing and reporting sales tax can be a complex and resource-intensive burden for small business owners. Recent research found that small businesses with up to five employees spend an average of 163 hours or $17,672 each month on sales tax compliance. The partnership will allow Avalara and Xero to build an integration solution that automates the sales tax compliance journey from within the Xero platform, which allows accountants and small businesses to more easily manage sales tax calculation and reporting. Avalara’s expansive tax content database and sales tax calculation engine improves the accuracy and streamlines the management of ever-changing taxability rules and rates. Meanwhile, Xero provides the ability to apply the correct tax treatment to invoices and simple, state-based reporting.

"We know people don’t start their small business to be buried in tricky admin. Our new partnership with the experts at Avalara, we can automate compliance work and give small businesses and their advisors a simple, efficient, and beautiful experience to meet their tax obligations so they can focus on growing their business,

Anna Curzon, chief product officer at Xero.

Looking forward, accountants and businesses will benefit from additional sales tax functionality from across Avalara's suite of products, including e-filing options and more detailed reporting tools. “Sales tax continues to change and become more complex, especially for small businesses. We want to make it as easy as possible for these businesses to have access to automated solutions so they can focus on running their business,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy, chief product officer at Avalara. “By partnering with Xero, we are able to inject Avalara’s tax compliance expertise and technology directly into a leading global accounting platform for a convenient way for businesses to manage sales tax. This partnership will also support accountants by automating the management of changing tax rates and rules, and providing validated data to process returns for clients.” This partnership with Xero illustrates Avalara’s commitment to embedding compliance into experiences for our partners. Earlier this year, Avalara announced new tools and APIs to expand opportunities for partners to build compliance integrations and functions. The partnership was announced at Xerocon New Orleans, where Avalara and Xero provided attendees the first opportunity to sign up for closed-beta trials, which will be available next year to a limited number of users. To keep up to date with the latest partnership developments, please click here.

About Avalara
Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in Brazil, Europe, and India.

Spotlight

Small businesses are the engine of the EU economy, employing 2 out of 3 Europeans. What challenges do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face, and how can the EIB Group help address them? This video will include interviews of experts and entrepreneurs.


Other News
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Sana Expands Affordable Health Insurance Offerings for Small Businesses to Alabama

Sana | September 19, 2022

Sana, a health care company providing dependable health benefits to small businesses at affordable prices, today announced its expansion into Alabama.Founded in 2017, Sana recently closed a $60 million Series B funding round co-led by Trust Ventures and Gigafund. Sana is serving a traditionally underserved market in Alabama. In addition to the lack of health insurance options for small businesses, Alabama ranks among the nation’s worst states regarding overall clinical care, according to The United Health Foundation’s 2021 report. That study ranked Alabama last in the category of mental-health providers and 46th in primary-care providers. Sana members receive no-cost virtual appointments with primary-care and mental-health providers, helping Alabamians overcome those shortfalls. “Sana has also entered Indiana and Virginia this year and plans to keep expanding in 2022, We’re on a mission to make quality health care understandable, accessible and affordable to as many Americans as possible. We’re excited to offer Alabama a better alternative to the same restrictive networks and sky-high ‘negotiated rates’ that have dominated the market for decades.” Sana co-founder and CEO Will Young Sana’s availability in Alabama means small and midsize businesses can now get health plans purpose-built to meet their needs. The state’s market is the most concentrated in the country, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama controlling 97%, according to the most recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Sana will offer a desperately needed alternative to BCBS’s monopoly. Only payroll surpasses health benefits as companies’ largest expense category. According to one report, small businesses pay anywhere from 8% to 18% more than a large company for an identical health insurance policy. Worse, 40% of small businesses reported that they’d increased the prices of goods and services due to rising health care costs, according to a 2021 survey. When Sana enters a market, 35% of its new customers are small businesses previously unable to provide health care to employees due to high costs. Launching in Alabama adds more than 800,000 employees who can benefit from Sana’s health plans.Our whole company loves Sana, it's the best health insurance experience we've had in our company history," said Andy Reeves, COO of RedTree Albums. "[It's a] better price for our company and employees and much better benefits coverage. Also it's been a huge benefit how simple Sana is to use and get help with any problems. Those looking for small business health insurance in Alabama can utilize Sana to save money and attract and retain top talent in a competitive labor market. Sana’s customers often save up to 20% compared to legacy insurers. Starting today, Alabama businesses can offer their employees health benefits packages with full medical, dental, vision and more without network restrictions or hidden fees. Sana is known for affordable employer health plans, $0 virtual doctors’ visits, low co-pays and 95% customer-service satisfaction. In addition to primary care, Sana gives employees access to virtual care with providers specializing in pediatrics, maternity and mental health. About Sana Sana provides small businesses with dependable health plans at prices they can afford. Through value-based care, the Sana Care ecosystem of world-class providers, direct primary care, and more, Sana is reducing the cost of high-quality care. Sana makes it easy for employers to administer benefits and offers members simplified health plans and top-notch customer service.

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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

TriNet Announces Enrich Learn™, Tax Optimized Education Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Size Businesses

TriNet | September 15, 2022

TriNet, a leading provider of comprehensive human resources for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), today announced at TriNet PeopleForce the launch of Enrich Learn™, the newest benefit product offering from its recently launched Enrich product line. Enrich Learn will offer tax-optimized reimbursements for expenses by SMB employees to advance their education. Like the other Enrich products, Enrich Learn is a turn-key solution for benefits sponsored by the SMB. Enrich Learn will be available to all of TriNet's 23,000 SMB customers starting next month. The previously announced product releases include Enrich Access, which allows for TriNet customers to offer tax-optimized travel reimbursements for medical care, and Enrich Adopt, which offers reimbursements for expenses incurred during the adoption process."Our Enrich product line is designed to allow SMBs to make choices in benefit offerings that are right for their company. SMB leaders recognize that the benefits they offer speak to the culture that they are building," said Burton M. Goldfield, President and CEO of TriNet. "It's just one more way TriNet seeks to fulfill its mission to power the success of SMBs by supporting their growth and enabling their people." "TriNet believes that the benefits offered by the Enrich product line are essential to attract and retain the talent that many of our customers need to innovate and grow, Education is a key factor in job advancement and satisfaction, so we expect Enrich Learn to be a particularly effective way for our clients to expand their benefit offerings." Samantha Wellington, TriNet's Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Chief Legal Officer, and Secretary For all of the Enrich product offerings, TriNet will administer the benefit for the customer and manage all reimbursements and compliance requirements. For more information on this groundbreaking new product line from TriNet, please visit: Employee Benefit Plans | Comprehensive Benefits Packages | TriNet About TriNet       TriNet provides small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. To free SMBs from HR complexities, TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll, all enabled by industry leading technology capabilities. TriNet's suite of products also includes services and software-based solutions to help streamline workflows by connecting HR, Benefits, Employee Engagement, Payroll and Time & Attendance. From Main Street to Wall Street, TriNet empowers SMBs to focus on what matters most—growing their business and enabling their people.

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TECHNOLOGY, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

CyberCatch and Arizona Small Business Association Announce Partnership to Help Small Businesses in Arizona Mitigate Cyber Risk

CyberCatch | September 22, 2022

CyberCatch, today, jointly announced with the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), a strategic partnership to enable Arizona's small businesses to quickly and easily implement necessary cyber security controls for digital success.According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 590,000 small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) in Arizona, and these businesses employ nearly 43.5% of the state's private workforce. Small businesses are the growth engine of Arizona's economy, and this partnership provides a valuable tool for continued success,said Debbie Hann, Chief Operating Officer, ASBA. We are delighted to partner with CyberCatch to keep Arizona's small businesses one step ahead of cyber threats, so they can continue to grow and succeed digitally. Nearly all small businesses are digital these days, and need to stay proactive, said Hann.ASBA is pleased to take a leadership position with this program and announce a new ASBA membership benefit in the form of a subscription to CyberCatch, at a discount. CyberCatch's patented, innovative, cybersecurity Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is specifically designed for small businesses and enables quick and easy implementation of all necessary controls for continuous cyber security. The SaaS solution automatically and continuously tests cyber security controls to detect security holes for prompt remediation so attackers cannot exploit and ensures ongoing compliance and cyber risk mitigation. "CyberCatch is a one-stop-shop for small businesses. We are honored to partner with ASBA. Our compliments to ASBA for their foresight and forward thinking to recognize cyber risk as a key threat to small businesses in Arizona and to partner with us to craft a valuable and timely solution for their members and prospective members to assure their continued success." Sai Huda, founder, chairman and CEO, CyberCatch. The root cause of data thefts and ransomware is security holes which derive from missing or ineffective cybersecurity controls that the small business is unaware of," said Huda. "Small businesses have limited resources and generally don't know what cyber security controls to implement or how to implement them in order to be secure from cyber threats, and now must comply with new requirements such as Zero Trust. ASBA and CyberCatch aim to fill those gaps in small business knowledge, with this innovative new partnership. This member benefit gives small businesses immediate savings and continual digital compliance and security. To learn more about this benefit, visit website. About Arizona Small Business Association The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) was founded in 1973 and serves as the collective voice of small businesses in Arizona by driving a better environment for all of us to do business. Today, ASBA is focused on delivering statewide education, mentoring, networking, and advocacy programs, providing innovative entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to grow and evolve in an ever-changing marketplace. For more information, visit website. About CyberCatch CyberCatch is a unique, patented cybersecurity Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that protects small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from cyberattacks by focusing on the root cause why SMBs fall victim: security holes. It provides an innovative cloud-based SaaS platform coupled with deep subject matter expertise to help SMBs implement just the right type and amount of cybersecurity controls. The platform then performs automated testing of controls from three dimensions: outside-in, inside-out and social engineering. It generates the Cyber Breach Score to continuously measure cyber risk and finds security holes and guides the SMB to fix them promptly, so attackers can't exploit any missing or broken controls to break in and steal data or infect ransomware. CyberCatch's continuous value proposition:

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

ShopBIPOC launches free online marketplace featuring BIPOC small business owners

ShopBIPOC | November 18, 2022

ShopBIPOC has launched a new online marketplace featuring BIPOC-owned small businesses in Colorado. (BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). The creation of ShopBIPOC was a response to calls from individuals, businesses, and institutions who wanted to support BIPOC-owned businesses and didn't have access to a central marketplace. So, twelve community organizations came together to create the ShopBIPOC platform an online marketplace where conscientious consumers can shop with Colorado's BIPOC-owned businesses. For the first time, Colorado consumers will have a new opportunity to invest their dollars into businesses owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs in an easy-to-access and shop platform. This holiday season, Americans are expected to spend an average of $932 on gifts, up from an average of $837 last year (Gallup, October 2022). According to the U.S. SBA, Hispanic entrepreneurs comprise 11.1 percent of business owners in Colorado, and BIPOC entrepreneurs comprise 7.4 percent. ShopBIPOC is where Colorado shoppers can buy from nearly 200 local, BIPOC-owned businesses. "People have a real appetite for buying from local small businesses right now, but they can be hard to identify and find, We care about closing the racial wealth gap and lifting entrepreneurs of color. We created ShopBIPOC to connect local BIPOC-owned small businesses with a wider market." Yessica Holguin, Executive Director of Center for Community Wealth Building, one of ShopBIPOC's twelve founding organizations. This platform also supports these entrepreneurs in establishing and strengthening their digital presence and connecting with new consumers that may have never had access to them. Restaurateur Edwin Sandoval of Xatrucho Concepts shared, ShopBIPOC has been a valuable resource to Xatrucho in many ways, primarily in helping us reach and connect with government offices and organizations that are looking to diversify their purchasing.ShopBIPOC is free for business owners to list their businesses and accessible for consumers to shop and explore. About ShopBIPOC Through a collaborative effort of twelve community organizations led by the Center for Community Wealth Building, ShopBIPOC was launched in the Fall of 2022 to connect consumers with BIPOC-owned businesses through an online marketplace.

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Spotlight

Small businesses are the engine of the EU economy, employing 2 out of 3 Europeans. What challenges do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face, and how can the EIB Group help address them? This video will include interviews of experts and entrepreneurs.

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