Notion is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the SaaS space today. Their product, a connected workspace where individuals and teams can organize their work with docs, wikis, projects, and more, has more than 20 million users and has earned them a $10B valuation.
For Notion’s finance team, that means moving quickly to keep up with the operations and compliance needs of their rapidly expanding business.
“We have millions of customers, all over the world,” says Katya Ewing, Notion’s Tax Lead. “A business of our scale needs an automated solution to accurately charge tax in every country we operate.”
That might sound like a basic capability of any sales tax platform, but global SaaS businesses like Notion have some specific challenges that most tax tools are not designed to solve.
“Notion’s blend of B2B and B2C sales complicates tax compliance,” Ewing says. “We require a tool capable of managing diverse tax rules, validating addresses and tax IDs for precise calculations, and keeping up with our high transaction volume.”
Gaps in compliance coverage strained Notion’s resources
Legacy sales tax tools, often designed for a wide variety of businesses, do not cater to the specific needs of SaaS business models. This issue forces companies such as Notion to combine multiple tools or packages to meet their requirements, frequently necessitating additional expenditure on external accounting support. This approach not only inflates budgets but also places additional pressure on the finance team to address any shortcomings.
“I’ve used several other tax tools,” says Ewing. “Usually their main selling point is the number of different types of products they can support. But they often don’t have the core features we need as a SaaS business.”
Many tax platforms are limited in their ability to support recurring transactions, cover all the jurisdictions where SaaS is taxable, and integrate technically into a high-volume, low-friction checkout flow.
Notion implemented various traditional sales tax tools, but encountered technical issues during checkout integration. This situation had the potential to raise the company's vulnerability to fraud and unnecessary risk. The need to replace these tools with a solution that could address the complex needs of the company became a priority.