SaaS-based sales tax automation service provider Avalara has officially joined the CloudSolutions Alliance, a CPA-focused group formed in 2010 with the goal of educating and gaining further access to firms who would be most interested in their services.

Avalara, along with SmartVault, Fujitsu, FreshBooks, and workflow management service XCM, work directly with CPA firms of all sizes to sponsor education and thought leadership initiatives that help firms better understand how new technology adoption leads to improved client service and retention, and ultimately firm growth.

“We’ve been watching the CloudSolutions Alliance develop and mature over the past year, and are very pleased to now participate in and help guide the Alliance in this shared mission of educating accountants on the benefits of Cloud, SaaS and paperless technologies,” said Avalara chief executive and co-founder Scott McFarlane. “I predict that one of the most valuable end results of the alliance will be the ongoing product integrations already taking place within this group, and the inevitable improvement of the overall client experience that occurs through connected technologies that are easy to use and share a familiar look and feel.” 

In addition, since their respective purchases by CCH and Drake Software, SpeedTax (now Sales Tax SaaS) and Copanion are no longer CloudSolutions Alliance members.

Avalara will participate in upcoming CloudSolutions Alliance educational initiatives directed at CPA firms of all sizes, including an ongoing podcast series from the THRIVEal+CPA Network, called THRIVEcasts. Educational initiatives undertaken by the CloudSolutions Alliance in the past year have included:

• A research study of top 100 accounting firms conducted by Bay Street Group focused on profit margins, competition between firms and getting up-to-date with technology,  particularly how top firms are aggressively adopting cloud, SaaS and paperless offerings.

• A white paper by WithumSmith+Brown partner James Bourke,  describing how competitive, growth-oriented firms are leveraging technologies like document management and SaaS to better serve clients and improve internal operations.