From Tedious Tasks to Automated Efficiency: How Numeral Transformed Obvi's Sales Tax Operations

About Obvi

Obvi is a health and wellness brand that has grown tremendously over the last four years. It was started by three ecommerce marketing experts who wanted to launch a brand and found a crucial gap in the market.

Health & Wellness
Migrating from:
Sales Tax Agency

Obvi is a health and wellness brand that has grown tremendously over the last four years. It was started by three ecommerce marketing experts who wanted to launch a brand and found a crucial gap in the market.  

"Ron, Ash, and Ankit were running an ecommerce marketing agency for seven and eight-figure brands. After running the agency for six years, they wanted to start something of their own,” marked Ravi. 

Seeing a gap in the collagen supplement market, which only offered vanilla and chocolate flavors, the founders launched Obvi to provide unique and appealing fruit-flavored collagen powders.

"They launched Obvi—a collagen protein company, because they saw a trend in the nutricosmetic space that collagen was growing rapidly as an ingredient. They saw in the market that right now, flavors for collagen protein are just like vanilla and chocolate compared to wafers. We have every possible flavor with every possible license. And that was the gap in the market.

The collagen supplements were a hit, and soon, Obvi expanded into other health products like fat burner capsules, detox capsules, and gummies. The company generated over $60 million in revenue in four short years.

Challenge: expansion led to sales tax headaches 

The rapid revenue growth came with an exponential increase in sales tax compliance complexity. Obvi outsourced their finance and accounting functions to the agency for the first few years of operations.

"When I joined, we were using an outsourced CFO and bookkeeping service. And they also handled our sales tax."

This firm handled all sales tax registration, filing, and remittance for Obvi using their in-house system. However, they needed more visibility into the process.

Ravi recalls the pain of this setup:

"They would understand how much sales tax we needed to collect, how much was collected, how much we filed, which states are heading next to. So that was all their in-house system. And it was part of the agency’s package. It lacked transparency and access."

Without access to filing records and data, Obvi experienced a flood of letters from state tax authorities:

"We received a ton of letters every week from the different states saying that you have this filing, tax has yet to be paid, we have yet to receive payments, and an interest in a late fee. Meanwhile, we have paid it, but the tax authorities have yet to receive it. So then you have to rebuttal all those."

Ravi estimates he spent around 2 hours each week just scanning and forwarding these notices to the outsourced bookkeeping service. As revenue grew, so did the volume of letters demanding responses.

"It was just like a mountain of letters coming in once a week. And so I would have to open every letter, take it out, and scan it with my phone because we don't have a scanner in the office. And send it individually to my team. And so that entire process is extremely tedious and takes over two hours out of your day.

This manual reconciliation was a significant time sink, made worse by the fact that some penalties still slipped through the cracks:

The need for more automation and transparency around sales tax was becoming a severe operational burden for a lean startup focusing on rapid growth. Eager to eliminate the tedious letter scanning and reconciliation, Ravi began researching alternative solutions.

By finding one that could truly own the process end-to-end, Ravi could perform manual reconciliation for the foreseeable future.

Solution: discovering numeral—the automated sales tax management platform

During an online search, Ravi came across Numeral—an automatic sales tax solution built for ecommerce. Numeral sat on Obvi’s existing systems, syncing data to automatically register, file, and remit sales tax. 

They also provided financial reporting and reconciliation to eliminate the need for manual tracking of notices and filings.

As Ravi learned more, several key features stood out:

  • Comprehensive registration and filing: Numeral handles registrations and ongoing filing in every jurisdiction. No more tracking constantly changing sales tax rules and requirements.
  • Automated reconciliation: Numeral automatically receives and reconciles all state letters and notices—no scanning, emailing, or cross-checking required.
  • Real-time payment visibility: The Numeral dashboard has cash flow transparency, allowing all authorized users to see upcoming sales tax payments.
  • Proactive customer support: The team offers quick response times and a willingness to customize features based on client feedback.
"Right now, with Numeral, we're getting half, or even less than half, of the letters we used to get. And that's a huge time-saving because we don't have to send it to you. We can just file it away and know Numeral handles it without our intervention."

The hands-off automation and reporting visibility Numeral offered was precisely what Obvi needed to scale its sales tax processes. After reviewing the solution, Ravi decided to make the switch.

Impact: automated efficiency for faster growth

Implementing Numeral saved Obvi significant time and headaches. As Ravi explains:

"Now I don't have to scan the letters anymore. Most of them go to your lockbox. Then, on top of that, you have a record and data of everything going on. "That's a huge time saver. Just open the letter, file it away, and that’s it. Numeral has the letter, too, and will take care of it."

Approving monthly filings and remittances now took just seconds instead of hours:

"Now the way I file and pay taxes is I get an email saying, hey, you have X number of approvals, log in here, and approve it. And I note down that number for my cash flow purposes. Then, all I need to do is check them and click Approve, and the filing is done.”

This newfound efficiency allowed the finance team to focus on high-value initiatives that drove growth. With Numeral, real-time visibility into upcoming payments, cash flow planning became effortless:

"And when I would do sales tax with my team, it would be a once-a-month activity. I can log into the dashboard anytime with Numeral and see how much you've released on the next payout. If you will, that helps cash for management a lot, being able to project that out."

As Obvi continues expanding into new states and jurisdictions, Ravi finds compliance just as seamless:

"If we hit nexus, Numeral handles it automatically—they register the file and collect the letters to them. So, scaling is a breeze with Numeral.

And with Numeral's rigorous filing process, the company has avoided all penalties and interest charges:

"I don’t recall paying any late fees, interest, or penalties on any tax payments since we switched to Numeral. That's another benefit that I haven't stressed enough.

When reflecting on the impact of Numeral, Ravi is thrilled with this transformation!

By the numbers: obvi's growth since switching to numeral

  • Two hours per week compliance time savings
  • 10x reduction in state notice letters
  • Zero penalties or interest charges

For fast-scaling ecommerce brands like Obvi, Numeral is an indispensable solution since these brands would focus on growth rather than worry about sales tax compliance, which is the right thing to do. 

The result is faster growth, seamless scaling into new markets, and frictionless sales tax compliance.

Numeral is the most comprehensive sales tax compliance solution for ecommerce brands. Top brands like Obvi, Muddy Bites, Crossnet, and Graza spend less than five minutes a month on sales tax. Can we do the same for you? 

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