Avalara "upper management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Avalara Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Mar 21, 2019

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3.4
58%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
Avalara CEO Scott McFarlane (no image)
Scott McFarlane
243 Ratings
Pros
  • "Excellent work-life balance -- no expectation of working beyond a 40-45 hour week(in 21 reviews)

  • "Sense of team, amazing tool to sell, growing company, great self-marketing tools to use for prospecting(in 21 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "upper management"

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  1. "So far so good it's a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bainbridge Island, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'm relatively new here. It's a kind of business I've never experienced before in the work place but that's a good thing to learn different kinds of businesses. It's a fun place to work and everyone has a great sense of humor which I love. I have had nothing but positive input from my bosses and always patting me on the back for a job well done. To me that's important and makes me strive to do even better. I like... that they don't micro-manage you; don't stand over your shoulder every five minutes to make sure you're working. I'm pretty happy here and learning a lot.

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    Cons

    Compensation is less than what I was making but the medical insurance/dental/vision is way less than what I had to pay before so I guess it balances out. The cost of insurance may be less but the deductible is high even when you buy up. So far though I've been pretty healthy so out-of-pocket has been less than $100 so far which isn't bad. I came from 2 weeks vacation and 6 sick days so Avalara's PTO is the same... actually. They don't match on the 401k which is sad and the stock options?? well I thought they were giving us 200 shares; not the option to buy 200 shares at a low price so that was a little disappointing. The only company I've worked for that went public gave us 5 year vested stock and my first gift was 500 shares; after that each year I received 750 because I had been promoted which warranted more stock. I liked that. Every month I could actually sell 1/12 of the shares if the price of the stock was higher than what they bought them for, of course. That gave me extra money for things like vacations, furniture, etc. We also received a yearly bonus if the company was profitable and they were every single year. The last year I was there, I guess they weren't so the Board of Directors decided to give up their bonuses and split it between all the employees so we each got something anyway; even then mine was $900. On a down note, I sometimes get the feeling that if you don't have your head down working every single minute of the day, your job is in jeopardy. I've heard there are spies all around us watching us to make sure we're being productive. And if we're not, you get the ax. Like when upper management comes around, you have to put your nose to the grindstone. That makes me a little nervous that, if this is true, a company feels the need to do this. We all work hard but you can have fun while doing your job too and we're all adults right?

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    Advice to Management

    I really haven't been here that long to have any advice to upper management. One of the reviews said they need to grow up and get serious. I disagree, you can still have fun and make it a fun company and still be a serious company. Growth has probably been too fast to keep up with but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Avalara2013-09-11
  2. Helpful (9)

    "Where did you find management? From a garage sale?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Avalara

    Pros

    Orange is my favorite color

    Cons

    Upper management is running this place in the ground. Middle management were clueless

    Advice to Management

    Leave

    Avalara2019-03-21
  3. Helpful (19)

    "What once was a great place to work is no more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Partner Sales Manager in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Avalara full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Not many anymore. The software is great.

    Cons

    Seeing new upper management come in and fire a majority of my co workers is concerning. Directors seem to care more about themselves rather than their team. Quota being increased next year after being extremely successful this year, seems like I’m being punished for overachieving. Poor benefits, culture is deteriorating. Career growth is almost non existent internally, they prefer to hire outside.

    Advice to Management

    Start over. Rethink strategy. Put your employees first.

    Avalara2018-12-13
  4. Helpful (15)

    "Tax"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Avalara full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule and beer tap at work

    Cons

    Upper management has no idea and rarely listens

    Advice to Management

    Software engineers should not be making taxability decisions or Tax Engine design decisions on their own

    Avalara2018-05-10
  5. Helpful (23)

    "What a mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Avalara full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The view from the office is nice. I have great coworkers. The company is the leader in its space, in spite of itself.

    Cons

    Attention deficit disorder permeates the organization. Don't worry if you think the current direction is not a good idea, it will change soon enough. Budgets will evaporate, your contractors will be let go, and your priorities will rotate 180 degrees all without any warning. Upper management largely tolerates the overall dysfunction by claiming that the company is a "startup", despite the fact that it is over a... decade old, has 1100+ employees on three continents, and generates nine figures of revenue. The office space is always warm and comfortable, primarily from the piles of money that have been set on fire: abandoned initiatives, duplicate efforts from siloed teams, bloated company events, C-Suite musical chairs, and endless hints to the elusive IPO that everyone expected to take place years ago.

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    Advice to Management

    Speed up the time to the IPO, not because we need the money, but because then you can cash out and move on.

    Avalara2018-02-04
  6. Helpful (20)

    "Putting the fun in dysfunctional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Avalara full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are some wonderful and bright people that inexplicably work there and some seriously incapable and arrogant sociopaths. You can spend the first few months working there figuring out who is who. Free beer will help you during this time of hopeful discovery and creeping dread. It will take time to figure out who is who, but take notes in your orange notebook and trust no one. There is a beautiful brand new... office that makes it look like it is a real company that might have a hope of going public despite its chronic dysfunction. Good looking building is pretty sweet. But,good looks can't replace ability, substance and moral character. That goes for companies and people alike.

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    Cons

    There are so many. Let's start with the terrible upper management that is built on sycophantic and nepotistic relationships that have nothing to do with ability or hard work. Sexism is rampant, but not overt. Very subversive. They've trundled out some females for promotion to the upper reaches finally because of the metoo movement. It would not have happened otherwise. I can't think of one person of color... at the top. Silos are chronic and therefore it is hard to get things done. No one really asks the customers what they want. I've never seen a real focus group with customers at the center, but talk is always about 'cult of the customer'. Decisions are made based on what the CEO thinks a customer wants or what looks good for the press release. One thing is certain, customers do not want to be over charged (and they often are) and they do not want to be sold something that they didn't want or need (this is common too). There are some employees that have been there a long time and they seem to be resting and vesting now. Waiting eternally for the company to go public. There is just a corporate malaise and lack of energetic leadership with good business decisions based on customer need. It's such a lost opportunity, but the arrogance of the upper management won't allow for nimble and necessary changes to occur.

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    Advice to Management

    I won't give them any. They wouldn't take it anyway. Maybe some brave soul will come in and buy them and do some 'corporate culling' to get the company running well.

    Avalara2018-02-22
  7. Helpful (17)

    "Lost Its Way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Avalara for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Free beer, nice offices, a few really great people. The best "pro" is that I no longer work there. I am actually grateful that things were so deeply dysfunctional and intolerable because it ultimately motivated me to find a new job with higher compensation in a company that offers better working conditions, potential for growth and superior benefits. I bless every day since I have left, and grateful that I had the... sense to leave before hopelessness and malaise overwhelmed me.

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    Cons

    Too many to name. Management clearly views employees as disposable commodities, despite the measurable and significant contributions made by numerous talented employees. Most of the highly skilled, committed and mission-focused employees have left. I have personally witnessed dedicated employees treated with indifference, disrespect or disdain simply dependent upon the changing whims of newly hired upper management.... Management is exclusively focused on self preservation and the potential realization of personal financial or professional gain. One might surmise that inauthentic or manufactured reviews are posted in order to bolster the ratings and artificially offset what is clearly a downward trend. There are certain VPs/SVPs who are nothing short of mean spirted, malicious, egotistical, grasping and avaricious. Just look for the departments with the revolving door of employees who have taken their expertise elsewhere and left a gaping hole. The company has lost its way and the culture has devolved dramatically. It's rather sad, especially if you had witnessed the company at its peak, when there was a sense of shared mission and delight in the boldness of this new venture. We were almost giddy with the possibilities before us, and eager to tackle every challenge. That feeling is entirely gone.

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    Advice to Management

    Replace the management of each department and let new leaders with a fresh perspective try and breathe life into this company before it's too late. Stop referring to Avalara as a "start up". Listen to your employees; they are closest to customers and partners and have valuable insight that should not be ignored. Treat employees who have made significant contributions to the company with respect. Loss of key... employees has had a profoundly negative impact on the company, so perhaps its time to stop and question why they felt compelled to leave despite years of dedicated service. If you don't address retention of key employees, you will continue this downward spiral. I can't imagine anyone reading these reviews who would think "Now that's a company I want to join"!

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    Avalara2018-02-09
  8. Helpful (17)

    "Worst case of HR BS I have ever ran into."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Avalara full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Company culture is really good.

    Cons

    Upper Management and the CEO don't know what they are doing. They let HR and managers get away with a lot. Watch your back, people like to put knives in it.

    Advice to Management

    Open your eyes and ears. If something looks wrong or sounds wrong you should probably ask questions.

    Avalara2018-01-10
  9. Helpful (20)

    "Great vision, poor execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Avalara full-time

    Pros

    Decent benefits, fun company events, and lots of room to grow internally. I joined when the company had less than 200 employees and it was a lot of fun to be a part of the ride early on.

    Cons

    Rampant sexism, party culture, unrealistic sales expectations, barely any women in upper management, and a major struggle to execute initiatives due to poor top level leadership.

    Advice to Management

    I've never seen so many talented people under utilized and so many lame ducks promoted. Make use of the talent you have and set aside executive egos.

    Avalara2017-07-18
  10. Helpful (26)

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

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

    I worked at Avalara full-time for 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.

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    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.

    Avalara2017-06-16
Found 22 reviews