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KILL BILL CERTIFIED FOR AVALARA’S SALES TAX AUTOMATION SOLUTION

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KILL BILL CERTIFIED FOR AVALARA’S SALES TAX AUTOMATION SOLUTION 1

Avalara, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based software delivering compliance solutions related to sales tax, VAT and other transactional taxes, today announced Kill Bill, an open-source subscription billing and payments platform, has joined Avalara’s community of certified solution partners. Avalara’s solution partners are software publishers that integrate Avalara’s software as a service (SaaS) offering for sales tax management directly into their own applications.

killbillAs a result of this partnership, customers of Kill Bill now have access to AvaTax™, Avalara’s cloud-based solution, to automatically calculate the final sales tax amount on every invoice. This eliminates the tedious work and complexity of calculating taxes across multiple jurisdictions and helps businesses focus on their core offering.

“Most of our users operate at a global scale,” said Pierre-Alexandre Meyer, co-founder at Kill Bill.  “Keeping up with local tax regulations can be a real struggle. Our partnership with Avalara will take this burden off their shoulders, so they can focus on their core business while being assured they will remain compliant.”

Pascal Van Dooren, Chief Revenue Officer at Avalara said, “This partnership allows Avalara to provide its comprehensive solutions to Kill Bill customers in a fast, easy and cost effective way. In today’s electronic world it just doesn’t make sense to manually manage sales tax. We’re pleased to welcome Kill Bill into our community.”

Avalara pioneered a web-based compliance platform for sales tax automation more than a decade ago and now provides an end-to-end suite of transactional tax compliance services for businesses of all sizes. Today its SaaS solution integrates into numerous ERP systems, accounting packages, ecommerce shopping carts, Point of Sale systems, and mobile payment platforms.

About Avalara

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with sales and excise tax, VAT, and other transactional tax requirements by delivering comprehensive, automated, cloud-based solutions that are fast, accurate, and easy to use.  Avalara’s end-to-end suite of solutions is designed to effectively manage complicated and burdensome tax compliance obligations imposed by state, local, and other taxing authorities in the United States and internationally.

Avalara offers hundreds of pre-built connectors into leading accounting, ERP, ecommerce and other business applications. The company processes millions of tax transactions for customers and free users every day, files hundreds of thousands of transactional tax returns per year, and manages millions of exemption certificates and other compliance related documents.

A privately held company, Avalara’ s venture capital investors include Sageview Capital, Battery Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Technology Crossover Ventures, Arthur Ventures, and other institutional and individual investors. Avalara employs more than 1000 people at its headquarters on Bainbridge Island, WA and in offices across the U.S. and in London, England and Pune, India. More information at: www.avalara.co.uk

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 2

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 3

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 4

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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