Avalara Reviews | Glassdoor

Avalara Reviews

Updated June 16, 2017
236 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.1
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Scott McFarlane
160 Ratings

236 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work-life balance - WFH when needed (in 14 reviews)

  • Fun challenging work environment (in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • Lots of poor planning by upper management (in 14 reviews)

  • The commute to the Bainbridge Island office in addition to a drive and bus ride makes for a long day (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Growing in the Right Direction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Development Representative in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Sales Development Representative in Durham, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Avalara is taking tons of steps into the right direction. Ive been with the company for almost 2 full years. While it hasn't always been "The Most Perfect Place in the World" , I commend them on not only taking feedback but actually do something with the feedback given. Everyone is very welcoming and willing to help , no matter what department they are in. Also there's Free Beer EVERYDAY. They have made a couple of changes since I've been here and now the compensation is pretty great and I have plenty of room to make more .I love the fact that I can control my own money! And the best part is the fact the you're not micro-managed and dont have to worry about camera's spying on you or anyone breathing over your shoulder. Overall, I'm pretty happy here. Just turn on some tunes and get the job done!

    Cons

    It's not a call center enviornment and no it's not telemarketing either, but you are required to put in work. You only get back what you put in! And I'm not one to complain about that.

    Advice to Management

    Keep Growing, your heading in the right direction!


  2. Helpful (12)

    "Ethical deficiency, sexism, lack of integrity, overwhelming micromanagement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rocklin, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rocklin, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Company aspires to provide employees with perks like the finest Silicon Valley firms.
    * Good work-life balance
    * Co-workers went out of their way to assist each other, often without recognition
    * Casual working environment

    Cons

    * Rampant nepotism creates an atmosphere of back-stabbing.
    * Leave your integrity and ethics at the door. Regional executive was more interested in bottom-line numbers than providing quality services for clients. Staff was instructed to send incomplete, inaccurate or unprofessional work to clients in order to pad the balance sheet. Unsubstantiated conclusions were included in reports without citing sources.
    * Misogyny and favoritism was overwhelming. One worker arrived whenever it was convenient for her (it was probably a coincidence that her thong was exposed every day). Execs used to joke during onboarding that her hours were "whenever she felt like arriving." A friend was hired and showered with perks: his own office, took him to lunch multiple times a week, extended time to learn the system without any productivity requirements. The friend resigned before making a significant contribution.
    * Supervisors were crude and unprofessional. One would disappear for "lunch" with friends (translation: he would go out for drinks). A supervisor insinuated that he slept with one of his managers while at a meeting in Washington. A supervisor passed out at his desk after an office party where he made margaritas.
    * Upper management was not interested in knowing what happened in Rocklin. HR said CEO would reach out after Washington was notified of the situation in California. No follow-up was ever done.
    * Micromanagerial policies were implemented requiring a morning meeting laying out the working expectations for the day, a follow-up email chart documenting the work discussed at the meeting, and documenting the completed work on the emailed chart at the day's end. The meetings, charts, and emails wasted 30-45 minutes each day. It felt like a law office documenting billable time.

    Advice to Management

    Kitschy perks like providing snacks, having beer readily available and making life as orange as possible is not a substitute for honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Listen to the people who are in the trenches: they are the ones who know what is going on.


  3. Helpful (10)

    "Big Mistake"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cannot think of any and I am serious

    Cons

    Poor leadership in the inside sales department, poor pay structure, and did I mention poor management in the inside sales department

    Advice to Management

    Have Team Leaders to stop showing favoritism and distribute leads equal amongst each rep.


  4. Helpful (14)

    "Beware Engineers, This is not a Technology Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Durham, NH
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Durham, NH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Company has a lot of potential in terms of tax knowledge and products that could very well be successful. CEO seems nice enough and seems to care about the company a lot.

    There's a strong desire to cultivate a culture (though it doesn't appear to be going well). Compensation is reasonable, but 401k is useless. Medical benefits are average.

    Cons

    The company has zero engineering culture and does not at all respect engineers's decisions and ideas in the ways a technology company should. Standards aren't high enough, tech debt is un sustainable including 2 years to rewrite one of the main components of the product. These tech debt issues are not at all either understood or taken seriously by senior management.

    Petty politics between people who have no technical background running departments like QA. All in all the company is a small cliquish company that has no ability or understanding of collaboration.

    Career development, even in engineering, is non-existent.

    Zero bonus.

    Almost no opportunity for growth (or management doesn't understand how to make it happen).

    And, again, I'll reiterate a complete misunderstanding of how collaboration should work. Collaboration, discussion, and debate are ___ESSENTIAL__ to a productive environment. People should not get defensive over things like that and rather should be encouraged. Otherwise every product that comes out will be substandard.

    Advice to Management

    Management training is absolutely essential. Many managers are nice enough, but many have no idea how to manage feedback from employees or at least communicate that feedback. They're also mostly young and inexperienced and aren't given proper feedback to improve their performance. In fact, I'd strongly recommend a giving evaluations to Leads and Managers.

    Leadership was severely lacking. Products visions come out of a whim with no real vision, strategy, or even an understanding of who and how they're going to use it. Their concepts of design and UX is out of the 90's and no where close to where it should be.

    All in all, company has potential but MAJOR changes need to take place in the executive ranks. STRONG Technical leaders need to brought in to shake things up. People who came in through acquisitions and have no business being in the positions they're in should not be around.

    All in all, the company can be a huge success or a huge dud. It all depends on EXECUTION. NOT IDEAS. Ideas are a dime a dozen, the hard part is making being successful.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Senior Developer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    nothing...I was blinded by the possibility of this company going IPO....now the best thing for this is hostile takeover and overthrow senior management.

    Cons

    lies lies lies false promises incompetent lies lies lies lies poor management Scott needs to leave the company before running completely in the ground


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Tax Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Analyst in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Tax Analyst in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible, nice people, casual attire

    Cons

    Compensation, benefits, upper management


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Sales"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Sales in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Avalara full-time

    Pros

    Growing company domestically and internationally. Great energy. Automates compliance for businesses of all kinds; ultimately, every business will do that, just like payroll. People care.

    Cons

    Usual operational challenges due to growth. Requires passionate people given the lofty goals so not for the faint of heart.

    Advice to Management

    Set one strategy and stick to it. Focus on simplifying operational aspects of the business.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Growing Company - Great Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Company to express your entrepreneurship and innovative traits.

    Cons

    Issues with talent retention.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace your existing talent.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Good people but frustrating environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of great people, interesting challenges to solve, competitive benefits and salary

    Cons

    Culture of overwork, communication issues between teams with such fast growth, management struggles to maintain consistent direction that allows you to feel you accomplished something

    Advice to Management

    Don't burn people out


  10. Helpful (22)

    "If you're in sales, just stay away"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free beer after hours, if you don't have a life and no one to go home to. That's about it.

    Cons

    Worst micro-management I've ever experienced. Which might not be SO bad if the sales managers actually knew what they were doing. Completely clueless. Their entire philosophy is "dial more numbers", "send more emails" and by default, you'll just magically make more money. A couple years ago, the company thought they were growing a lot faster than they really were and over hired sales reps. By a long shot. The entire sales organization has been struggling ever since. They had to let a bunch of people go, and created new (worthless) positions for other people they didn't want to can right there on the spot. But ultimately, it was a position where management hoped people would just weed themselves out. It worked. People were quitting left and right, while those that hung on (miserably) were given more and more restrictions, month after month, systematically guaranteeing their failure. Then they hold "team meetings" where managers berate their entire team for missing quota. If anyone mentioned the restrictions and how they made it very challenging to hit quota, they would literally get screamed at and told to "find employment elsewhere, if you don't like it". On top of that, we were consistently given fake leads then we would get yelled at for "not working them". We were trying to sell sales tax calculation software, but we were expected to work leads for non-profit organizations, government entities, utility companies, and a laundry list of other businesses that had no use for our software. For the handful of leads that were actually good, the majority would say they weren't interested, then their contact information would go into a list that was called ad emailed over and over, day in and day out by two dozen desperate sales people, until they demanded we never call again, blocked our phone numbers, and registered our email domain as spam. If people asked me what I did for a living, I literally told them I was a telemarketer. Morale couldn't possibly get any lower across the entire sales team.There are a few "superstars" there, who are force fed all the high quality, big $$ opportunities and are raking in the cash. But they are drinking buddies in the "good ol' boy club" with upper management. If you don't spend all your "free time" (what little is given to you) drinking and partying with upper management, then you are just given the leftover scraps that the managers BFF's couldn't close. While these few sales reps are blowing their numbers out of the water, the entire rest of the sales force was struggling to even come close to quota. Customers were constantly furious, because they were sold products they didn't want or need, but were sold them at a highly discounted rate and the only way to get the "great deal" was to purchase multiple products as a "bundle package". Everything would seem great, and we'd get them into this fully automated system, then when their automatic renewal comes around, their cost for using the products would increase 200%. Customers would be irate and threaten to cancel, but it was so difficult to undo the automation, and go back to a manual process, that they were practically stuck with the product. Either pay full price, or cancel and deal with months of difficult work to undo everything and get back to the manual process and get your books back in order. I could go on and on about all the cons and negativity, but you can just scroll down through all the other reviews to see everything else that's wrong with this company. As stated many times before, the majority of the positive reviews are clearly fake.

    Advice to Management

    If entire sales teams are failing en masse, maybe you should look at the source of the problem, rather than the result. Poor management that doesn't care about their employees and puts zero effort into training them unless they're drinking buddies.


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