Avalara

  www.avalara.com
  www.avalara.com

Avalara Reviews in Seattle, WA

Updated November 4, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014
88 Reviews
3.8
88 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Scott McFarlane
66 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

54 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  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
  2.  

    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 an 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
  3. 10 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 an 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

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great experience in some departments and not so great in others

    • 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)

    Pros

    Great space to be in, everyone needs to pay taxes. Good culture, ( although cult of they customer is a joke). Many dedicated people. Solid SAAS business. Workload is busy, but there is a good work life balance.

    Cons

    Low salaries. Favoritism runs rampat, especially in inside sales where if mgt. likes you then you get good leads. If not, you get old lists and they ( leads and manager) pretty rude to you. Company releases products that are not ready for prime time yet, or they will make a push out something that only ends up being incorrect and it wastes people's time to fix it. Happens all the time.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    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 an 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
  7.  

    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 an 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
  8.  

    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 an 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
  9. 9 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. 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 an 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
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Like a fast pace and switching hats?

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

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

    Pros

    My time at Avalara has been like a return to the dot.com boom only at a company with a lot more business savvy. If you see a better way to do something, there isn't red tape getting in the way or barriers to change: make a case and do it. You might need to roll up your sleeves and make it happen but in my opinion being able to sit at the table to discuss strategy and then dive deep to make things happen is one of the reasons I find Avalara a great place to work. Successes are celebrated.

    Cons

    The pace is fast: that's pro and a con. So much is happening you hear talk about wanting to debrief as you run on to the next project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't forget to stop and look back so next time, we do even better!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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