Avalara Reviews

Updated July 28, 2015
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3.9
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Scott McFarlane
49 Ratings

Pros
  • Workload is busy, but there is a good work life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • Front line employees are great people trying to do the right things (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Leadership uses the term "cult of culture" and "island culture" (the founders based it on Bainbridge Island) (in 9 reviews)

  • They forced out good experience people because the clashed with upper management who didn't know what they were doing (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

65 Employee Reviews

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  1. Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Partner Sales Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Partner Sales Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Avalara full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun and exciting work environment. Opportunity to grow with a start-up that is growing exponentially and has a ton of potential to be one of the top companies in Seattle.

    Cons

    Salary doesn't compare with other tech companies in Seattle. If you don't live in Seattle there is a long ferry commute, but the company covers all commuting cost so that is a huge benefit.

    Advice to Management

    No advice. Management and CEO do a great job of listening to employees and making sure they are satisfied with their work environment and keep things laid back.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Meww....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Avalara full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The vision is good, the implementation and execution not so good. Core product does what it is supposed to do, lots of issues with other products. It is a good working environment with smart co workers.

    Cons

    A MANY reviewers have noted, Salaries are WELL below (15 - 20%) what other companies are offering. While management says it reviews Glassdoor, and values employee feedback, it doesn't seem to be sinking in. It's a very top down organization which is pretty old school at this point.

    Advice to Management

    Why don't you pay your employees (whom you tout that you hold in great esteem and that you wouldn't be here without them) fair market value.


  3. Helpful (13)

    The Ridiculist: A fully replicable product in a malignant culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bainbridge Island, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bainbridge Island, WA

    I worked at Avalara full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A few good people trying, trying, and trying to overcome the current state of this house of cards.

    Cons

    - A not-so-unique product that sells to small-to-midsized businesses; although, it is marketed as leading-edge so convincingly as to attract big investors. - This organization is primed for an investor cash-out, or takeover. The highly-touted IPO potential of Avalara will be a devastation to its employees, who have been promised many futures that are incapable of maturing. - Integrity is a quality that is scarce among Senior Leadership and entirely absent among a despicable host of Middle-Managers. - Turnover is rampant. This is a signal -- not of a culture intent upon improving -- but rather a signal of a system that does not function properly. - STAY TUNED FOR MORE GAMING OF THE GLASSDOOR REVIEWS BY AVALARA HR AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND MARKETING MINIONS WHO WILL POST MORE SMOKE AND MIRRORS. THIS IS NOT A COMPANY FOR WHICH YOU WANT TO ALIGN YOUR SKILLS AND ASPIRATIONS. THEY WILL WASTE YOU, IN-BETWEEN WRITING POSTS TELLING GLASSDOOR HOW GREAT THEY ARE.

    Advice to Management

    No advice. You're not going to listen to anyone outside the cliques you've designed for yourselves already. Okay, maybe you'll listen to the investors you continue to 'numerify' with data that is questionable at best. But, that's about it.


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  5. Great place for engineering

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Avalara

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have no idea what the complainers on this site are talking about. Looks like other departments have some issues, but if you're a developer, things are great. There are great people here - smart, and fun to work with. The management makes sense; I don't always agree with what they do, but when I have something to say they are willing to hear me out, and explain why they decided what they did. They let developers make the estimates. We don't get snacks, but the company is always doing fun stuff for us like happy hours, BBQs, or taking us out on the boss's boat. We have a new office that's really nice. There's plenty of money; if you have a need and it's legitimate, you get what you need. The company is growing quickly, and it's refreshing to be at a place that actually exceeds its growth targets. It's amazing what a difference it makes to be at a company that is successful. We have thousands of customers using the code and there are something like 20 new ones every day. It's fun to make stuff that actually gets used. I don't understand the comments from these other departments - it's like they're at a different company. If you are in development, test, program management ... join this company. Things make sense and it's a great place to work.

    Cons

    Not really sure; every job has some aggravations. There's some people you don't like, policies that don't make sense, whatever. That's par for the course at a big company.

    Advice to Management

    Don't screw it up! Good so far.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Senior In Information Technology

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Avalara

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A company whose survival is unquestionable ("You can't escape death or taxes" - we do taxes) and is independent of boom and bust in the economy. Very challenging for skills needed (dealing with legacy and acquired company code require far greater skill sets than green field/new start-up code). Good comradery. Free beer every day (depends on location), regular game tickets raffles, Pre-IPO stock options. May actually be making a profit - venture capital investment of $140 million in last 2 years, mainly for acquiring companies.

    Cons

    Wages are average or perhaps slightly below for the area (getting multiple offers of $30K more from head hunters recently). Open office environment (see Forbes articles on them being bad). Telecommuting being discouraged (see hbr.com articles on them increasing productivity) - seen some gifted employee bail over those -- illustrating a tendency to "stale legacy" management using old "cook book policy and attitude". Resourcing level is well below adequate, especially in QA.

    Advice to Management

    Founders must challenge management "Show me the studies backing your decisions...". Implement skip-level or double-skip level meetings directly with employees regularly.


  7. Helpful (8)

    PSM

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Avalara full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great People, Used to be a great culture, great company.

    Cons

    Your manager will singlehandedly make or break your experience here. Managers are by and large-first time managers. Little OR poor training. Many are incessant micro-managers. Poor pay. Lots of lip service from HR.

    Advice to Management

    Yeah, they don't listen......


  8. Helpful (2)

    Great growing company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Avalara

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Fantastic motivated people trying to make an impact. Talent and ambition is high. Opportunities for high individual contribution.

    Cons

    Marketing driven team focused on numbers and sales. Deadlines are number focused not product focused. Benefits could be better.

    Advice to Management

    Great passionate leadership. Seems to be a distinct culture gap between the business and engineering disciplines in a tech company.


  9. Go Orange!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Poulsbo, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Poulsbo, WA

    I have been working at Avalara full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great company, environment, co-workers. I love the product and culture. The best place I have ever worked!

    Cons

    Growing pain issues that are being addressed

    Advice to Management

    Stick with the core and push our awesome culture to every new hire..... Let's keep this sea of orange flowing


  10. Helpful (1)

    Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Washington in Bainbridge Island, WA
    Current Employee - Washington in Bainbridge Island, WA

    I have been working at Avalara full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Performance driven environment that focuses on getting the job done. Avalara is in a unique place that is relatively untouched by technology and can make a huge difference in the business of its customers. Avalara is very good about understanding this market and know what it is going to take to get the job done. If you are looking for a place you can make an impact and be part of something special this is definitely the place for you.

    Cons

    As with most companies, making an impact comes with a cost. If you are looking for a 9 - 5 job this is not the place for you. Not to say you can have work life balance, you have to work to get it. I would not say this is unique to Avalara but I would say you need to pay attention to it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


  11. Helpful (9)

    Sexism, Nepotism & Sexual Harassment Oh My!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Bainbridge Island, WA
    Former Employee - Marketing in Bainbridge Island, WA

    I worked at Avalara full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Avalara is an exciting company with a diverse culture. Its the perfect place for someone who is in the early stages of their career who is intent on getting their feet wet wearing multiple hats on any given day.

    Cons

    Avalara is not well suited for anyone looking for long term career placement, future employment, security or advancement as the company does not promote based on results achieved, merit or even hard work. Rather, this is a company that flies by the seat of its pants--granting jobs to friends & family rather than those with the necessary experience. Additionally, the corporate culture is run by numerous middle-aged men who act as though human resource laws do not pertain to them often displaying & communicating highly inappropriate & sexist behavior. Additionally, the internal hr department willingly & regularly offers protection concealing this illegal behavior. It is common knowledge at Avalara that specific executives have fire arms, weapons, hard liquor & drugs onsite however because they are higher up on the totem pole, they're illegal behavior is totally ignored.

    Advice to Management

    Promote employees on results achieved as opposed to playing political games. Hire future employees based upon experience rather than offering jobs to your friends & family members as you continually undermine hard working employees who are committed to the company. Finally, stop acting like a bunch of outlaws in the wild west where rules do not apply. Offer competitive wages & benefits as the pay you offer is at least 15 years behind industry standards. Grow up---Avalara is way too old to still be acting like a startup--at 11 years old, you have no excuse to act like an infant & you know better after this amount of time. Stop making empty promises to employees just to get them to accept job offers or stay in positions they know they're expertise far outweighs.



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