Avalara

www.avalara.com

Avalara Reviews in Seattle, WA

Updated January 25, 2015
Updated January 25, 2015
91 Reviews
3.6
91 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Scott McFarlane
68 Ratings

Review Highlights

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)

  • Very very clicky especially at upper management level (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

55 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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!

  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Act like an adult company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 14 people found this helpful  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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

  7.  

    This is a great place to work and is how they describe it.

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

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

    Pros

    This is an impressive company with a great culture and dynamic people. The folks you work with are open and want to help you be successful at your job. The company invests in their people and constantly push for ways to do things better. It is a fast paced environment where you are expected to perform and have fun.

    What I love, having come from a Fortune 200 company, is the ability to have a voice and have management listen. You will be hard pressed to find another organization of this size where you open access to all the key leaders. I was blown away how senior leadership makes an effort to be accessible to the front line people.

    Cons

    Ferry commute from Seattle. I will be glad when they expand their Seattle office space. You will find that the orange in your wardrobe will grow significantly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have built an amazing culture. Look for ways to keep this alive as you rapidly grow. Train your people well enough so they can grow and treat them well enough that they will want to stay.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Work hard, have fun...

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

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

    Pros

    I'm fairly new at Avalara but there are already a lot of things I like about the company and culture. The work environment is positive and people really embrace the vision of the leadership. I'm looking forward to being part of helping the company grow.

    Cons

    Benefits are good, but could be a little better especially for things like 401k. This should get better as the company continues to grow. Office space is a bit challenging as well, but it is to be expected with any company growing as fast as Avalara is.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 11 people found this helpful  

    Frat House

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    Pros

    The business Avalara is in makes sense. The people are certainly friendly and fun-loving. Flexible environment. Decent technology, as far as it goes.

    Cons

    Weakling management. More interested in creating a circus atmosphere than succeeding, probably because they don't know how to succceed. Several so-called senior managers think they are smarter than they really are. Activity is mistaken for strategy, the latter being absent. The culture is a chaotic hybrid of a harem + Animal House. Compensation is below average. Plenty of competition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    An army of little minions is unlikley to up elevate the game. Better rethink that strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    I love working here

    • 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)

    Pros

    -Work Environment
    -Product's
    -Potential for growth
    -Everyone and I mean EVERYONE get's along, no mater what department you work in.
    -Very easy to go up to anyone in the company and ask for help or advise and even Senior Leadership

    Cons

    I really don't have any

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the good work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Plenty of ups and downs, get ready for micromanagement from middle managers who are blameless.

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Great culture, really embrace the casual workplace
    Summer BBQ's
    Good mix of employees
    Minimal travel

    Cons

    Managers that treat you like scum
    Little or no advancement possibilities
    Below market salary
    Nobody gets fired, even for sub-standard and half-assed work, very frustrating when they don't recognize success and reward accordingly
    Weekend work often, ridiculous hours that grind salary employees to the bone
    Ferry ride to Bainbridge can be a pain

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! Reward your employees, do away with sniveling middle management, reinforce a culture of innovation rather than stagnation. Have to do away with much of the old guard.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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