Cloud-based sales and use tax automation provider Avalara is making plans to establish a more international presence, eying regional and country-specific offices - the first of which is currently being established in London.
Avalara chief executive and founder Scott McFarlane and executive vice president of business development Marshal Kushniruk are currently in the U.K. to set up the London office and expect the it will be fully operational by the first half of 2013. Kushniruk is slated to head the office, which for the foreseeable future will serve customers in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa(EMEA) region. The company will then look to establish country-specific offices on a per-demand basis, according to executive vice president, sales and marketing Pascal Van Dooren.
"You need to be able to handle multi-type tax issues if you have this kind of focus, so when we say we handle tax and compliance at a local[country] level, we need to be at that level," Van Dooren said. "We have been operating internationally for a while, with no real offices but we have clients leveraging the service throughout the world. As of today we have several million transactions going through that are internationally based. We have global tax calculations in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim so its pulling us internationally by nature of customers and partners we work with."
Van Dooren did not give an exact time frame for the establishement of country-specific offices, but explained that any regional offices that are set up - such as the one in London - would not preclude the company from "being on the ground in other countries."
"We understand the sensitivities of opening offices in specific countries around the world, we will have regional headquarters but also look to address local markets," said Van Dooren. "There are some [accounting and ERP] products where we will leverage relationships in those countries as well. Overall, I can envision Avalara being world wide in the next two to three years."
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