Tax Technology Veteran, Michael Gardner, Joins Avalara

 In Avalara, tax technology

Michael Gardner, who has specialized in tax technology services for 15 years, has joined Avalara as vice president of compliance. Avalara ( is a leading provider of Web-hosted sales tax management services. Avalara is transforming the sales tax compliance process by providing solutions and services that enable transparent transactions, accurate tax compliance, painless administration and effortless reporting. Currently, Avalara employs three professionals at its Falls Church location. Gardner says he expects that number to reach eight by the middle of this year. Gardner said that Falls Church is where Avalaras tax research operation, which he will oversee, will be located and that his team will support customer service.

Gardner said he decided to join Avalara after the company entered the managed returns service space with the introduction of AvaFile, which has driven a significant amount of growth for the business due to the comprehensive nature of the product. Avalara has the complete solution, he said. Ive always looked for a marriage of technology, the right delivery model and public service. Avalara and I share the same vision.

Gardner added that Avalara offers a deep understanding of whats happening overall in the sales tax technology industry. Whats happening in this space is a drive to reduce the complexity of sales tax compliance by using technology, he said. Its critical for businesses today to have a very clear understanding of what theyre doing. Accordingly, Avalaras model is to use technology to simplify the process and make it transparent.

In addition to opening Avalaras new major tax research and returns production center, which currently processes more than $10 billion in sales tax revenues, Gardner is also leading expansion of international research and compliance capabilities, has overseen the successful migration of all customers to an improved managed returns model with more efficiencies in data aggregation, approval, remittance, treasury and reporting aspects, and has played a key role in the dramatic increase of new customers and number of returns processed.

Throughout his career, Gardner has focused on technology, compliance and operational issues associated with finance technology. He has worked with hundreds of companies of various sizes and types in North America and Western Europe to help them improve their transaction and consumption tax processes. Prior to joining Avalara, he led the tax technology solutions practice at The SC&H Group, co-founded Taxconnect, a successful tax technology services firm, and served as a regional practice leader and SALT strategies professional with KPMG.

Gardner holds a J.D. from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a B.A. in history and economics from George Mason University. He is a member of the State Bar of California and has earned several executive certificates related to project management and use, implementation and training on specialized software applications. He is a frequent presenter on tax technology issues and has published many articles on transaction tax reform, global tax automation trends and best practices for using rate content and multi-tiered systems environments.

About Avalara

Headquartered on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington, Avalara is changing the sales tax landscape by delivering innovative and affordable solutions to small and mid-sized businesses. Avalaras mission is to transform the sales tax compliance process by creating cost-effective, state-of-the-art solutions. Avalara does so through integrated, on demand, Web-based services that provide transparent transactions, accurate tax compliance, painless administration and effortless reporting.

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