Avalara Reviews

Updated April 11, 2015
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3.7
58 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Scott McFarlane
46 Ratings

58 Employee Reviews

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  1. Fantastic company with an exceptional culture and dynamite CEO

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

    I have been working at Avalara

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

    Pros

    Fun challenging work environment. Welcome to new ideas and constantly improving processes. The culture is great - summer BBQ's, exciting trips for top sales reps, beautiful new work spaces, a fun band made out of all Avalara employees. Work hard, play hard is very rewarding. The CEO is incredibly motivating.

    Cons

    A quick growing company and rapidly changing systems make it tough but not impossible to keep up. The learning curve is steep but if you keep with it you will be rewarded. Parking isn't the best. Pay is good but not out of this world.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. The level with which you support us is greatly appreciated.

  2. A fantastic place to work if you are achievement oriented and demand superior performance in every undertaking.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Avalara has somehow managed to create that elusive magical combination, that collision of unique, positive elements that when together, form a rare environment that encourages collaboration, fosters team work and celebrates achievement. Working here has been an amazing experience for many reasons. Most of all, it is the people. There are an unusually high amount of educated, intellectually curious and committed folks who make work stimulating and rewarding. The managers have achieved that perfect balance of being there to support you while giving you the room to develop your skills and empower you to achieve your goals. The culture is definitely focused on putting the customer first, so that often involves long hours to achieve the desired result, but when everyone is working with equal dedication, it does not seem burdensome. The company executives successfully straddle their dual role of creating a fun place to work, imbuing a sense of levity where possible, while remaining focused on the company's mission. In most cases, executive level managers are accessible, approachable and more than willing to listen to any member of the organization. If you are looking for more than a "job" and want to be part of something that is on a fast track to even greater success, then this is the place for you. If you are achievement oriented and accept nothing short of excellence in all you do, then you will thrive at Avalara.

    Cons

    More progressive HR initiatives would be welcome - such as giving FitBits to employees, providing opportunities to learn more about the functions of other departments, enabling employees to reward other employees who go above and beyond - programs of that nature.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. It's tempting to tinker with a winning formula but try to remain on the same path; it's working! Most of all - do not sacrifice integrity for short term gain; insist on honesty and transparency in every interaction. There are several innovative leaders of bold new initiatives who have extraordinary vision; we want to hear more from them so we can understand their strategy and help them realize their goals.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Empty promises

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Your experience at Avalara will vary greatly based on what location you work out of and what team you are on. The company has a great product and aggressive growth (which is also a con) and at it's best, the culture WAS dynamic and energizing. Island Living is only a plus if you live on the Island though and that theme is starting to alienate other locations.

    Cons

    My experience at Avalara has left me jaded with empty promises. From office moves that seem based on which executives wanted to be where as opposed to business sense, an almost revolving door of turnover in some departments, a growth model that while aggressive doesn't consider how to scale resources or ensure that the proper systems or teams are in place to support said growth, and a culture that is starting to feel mandated rather than natural. There's a bumpy road ahead at Avalara and while I am sticking it out for now am not sure it will be navigated well. Buyer beware.

    Advice to Management

    Managing to a budget is important, but not scaling your support teams to match that growth is a recipe for burnout. Add a long commute to Bainbridge Island and empty promises and you have a morale issue on your hands.

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  5. Helpful (10)

    Recognize Pattern of Glowing Reviews?

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

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

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

    Pros

    Notice how a glowing 5 star review comes from HR right after several true reviews written by actual employees? Why is Glassdoor letting companies game the system?

    Cons

    These guys aren't even clever enough to try to write the sock puppet reviews to sound like a real employee. Orange is the new black? Who says that? Gimme a break, buffoonery at it's best.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the mojo. Orange is the new black.

    Avalara Response

    Mar 30, 2015Management

    Avalara has taken the steps to be designated as an “open company” with Glassdoor, because we value transparency and feedback about our company. We encourage employees to provide feedback on ... More

  6. Helpful (1)

    Great Company to be a Part of

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Pay is good for the position and requirements.
    Friendly Co-Workers all around
    Benefits
    Pay
    People
    Team Spirit

    Cons

    Some departments need a lot of work or attention

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring. Hire enough to keep up with our growth!

  7. Helpful (8)

    Not a positive environment

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good people who are enthusiastic about what they do, in spite of being treated like used car salesmen.

    Cons

    Poorly run, very little concern for employees, poor pay. Company doesn't provide parking for most employees, doesn't fully reimburse for substantial commuting costs for those who don't live on Bainbridge Island or reimburse parking costs.

    Advice to Management

    Act like an adult company

  8. Helpful (5)

    Good company

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Avalara is about to make it big. The company is growing rapidly and has experienced a high satisfaction rate from customers. Good culture, fun environment.

    Cons

    Salaries are lower than most seattle tech companies (I am now hired by one of the top 10 software companies in the Seattle area), benefits are average but less than what you would expect for the size of the company. I was let go from Inside Sales, which my position is now in Inside sales with another tech company and I'm in the top 10% month after month. If you can get into Avalara other than Inside sales, then do it, otherwise pass. Lead distribution is very unfair, 1) they play favorites 2) they give leads out to the people who are already performing. If you happen to take vacation like I did, then you fall behind. If you fall behind, then you don't get the good leads, then you fall behind further, and you again get the crappy leads because you are behind in goals, and you end up getting into a situation where you can't dig yourself out. 3 ) you are treated like a commodity in IS. If I heard, one more time "maybe its not the right job for you", then I would have screamed. It was the right job, it just isn't a fair job. I liked the company, disliked IS management. Wish I could have stayed long enough to move to another department, but I am happy at my new job and especially that my new company actually distributes leads evenly. Funny how you can succeed when things are fair.

    Advice to Management

    You have a good company, you have a good product. Most companies have an Inside Sales Dept., but they are not run the way Avalara's is run. Change the management in IS, and change the way the people are treated in IS, and make it fair. There is tons of drama in that department.

  9. Not for the the faint of heart.

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

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

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

    Pros

    The best thing about Avalara, is the people. It doesn't matter which department I am interacting with everyone is warm and helpful. I love going to work and having friends there. The work is interesting and constantly changing.

    Cons

    The office on the island feels a bit cramped. I wish I knew more about what was coming in the future. A few years ago this was no problem, but as we continue to grow, it feels like the other teams have become silos.

    Advice to Management

    Share more. As we continue to grow, it is hard to see all of the wonderful things that are happening across the organization.

    Avalara Response

    Dec 1, 2014Management

    Thank you for your comments. You are right...there is so much good work that is happening all of the time. We will work, as a management team, on continuing to evaluate our communication methods!

  10. Helpful (17)

    Not terrible, work elsewhere if you can

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    BBQs during the summer, subsided bus passes, nice coworkers (obviously depends which department you work), easy work and very laid back environment.

    Stock options are a nice bonus.

    Unless you're in a department like sales/account management where you have to hit certain goals, you pretty much have to be a complete moron to get fired (this can be a con also).

    Cons

    Benefits and pay are below industry standards.

    No 401k match. Stock options take forever to vest, if you are lucky enough to receive them.

    Most departments do not receive bonuses or pay raises (I know one employee who has been with the company for 8+ years and has had the same salary for 4+ years), and performance reviews are a joke.

    Nepotism is rampant. Upper management will pick favorites and then continually promote those people, despite the fact that they are completely unsuited for the roles. Relatives and friends are also hired and given preferential treatment.

    For the majority of employees, you'll be working on Bainbridge Island, which adds an hour each way to your commute. I know quite a few people that want to transfer to the Seattle office, but space is limited and most end up stuck on Bainbridge.

    Middle management, while nice people for the most part, are generally unsuited for their roles. This goes back to the nepotism comment above.

    Your coworkers are typically just there to get a paycheck and/or experience, and most are looking for better jobs.

    Avalara asks hew hires to write them favorable reviews on Glassdoor, which is why most of the reviews here are quite positive. If you are thinking of working at Avalara, I would definitely take time to read through the reviews, it should be pretty easy to recognize which ones were written by people that literally just started working here.

    Before HR started asking new hires to do so, the company's ratings were considerably worse (which is why HR started asking in the first place).

    Advice to Management

    If you have 18-20% turnover, most of it voluntary, it's not because you are hiring people that "aren't a culture fit", it's because you don't pay people enough. Start paying people competitive wages and you'll be able to attract the talent you want.

    Hire competent management and invest in your employees, do not promote someone just because they have been with the company for x number of years or they are related to the CEO. Get rid of people that consistently under perform. Reward people that perform well or they'll leave.

    Avalara Response

    Nov 18, 2014Management

    I am sorry that you did not have a good experience with us. I did want to clear up some inconsistencies in your email and our practices. We do have an annual review process and merit is based on ... More

  11. Great culture, lots of opportunity

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

    Great people, work hard/play hard culture, a lot of opportunity to learn and grow professionally. Fantastic products, lots of potential for growth.The culture can vary fro team to team, but from what I'e seen, there's not a group wouldn't work with.

    Cons

    Constant change, it can be hard to keep up. The company has grown so fast that they've run out of room, so everyone is crammed in together. I enjoy the ferry commute, but it makes it a long day.

    Advice to Management

    Avalara needs to be more customer focused after the sale if they're going to maintain a low churn rate, it will be a challenge without a lot more support staff.

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