Former SpeedTax public relations director and accounting technology industry veteran Brian Austin has joined SaaS-based sales tax automation service provider Avalara in a newly created position as director of accountant and industry relations.

In his new capacity, Austin will oversee the company’s efforts to gain recognition among accountants in practice and industry, something Avalara chief executive Scott McFarlane admits it was previously lacking.

“Avalara has executed our main strategy to partner with top tier and mid-market ERP and ecommerce solutions,” said McFarlane. “Sales tax is a requirement and we figured how to do that faster, better, cheaper, and partnering with the right groups has been important, but we have not paid as much attention to the accountant network and industry as we’d like. CPAs are the trusted advisors now more than ever, and we want Brian to help make us the trusted advisor for those looking to sales tax automation. His skill and associations with the accounting community have driven him to this moment and we could not find a better person for the job than him.”

Austin will officially join Avalara in its Irvine, Calif., office on Sept. 21 and depart from his current position on Sept. 9. He has been with SpeedTax since its inception in 2007, but also served in public relations roles in a variety of accounting software companies over the past couple of decades, including SBT and Softline, both of which where ultimately purchased by Sage. SpeedTax was acquired in July by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business.

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