The world of taxation is rapidly evolving, driven by increasing regulatory complexity, evolving business models, and the ever-expanding role of technology. In response to these changes, tax departments are embracing innovation and adopting new technologies to enhance efficiency, improve compliance, and gain a competitive edge.
Robotic Process Automation
RPA is a game-changer in tax automation, allowing businesses to streamline and digitize their tax processes. By replicating human actions, RPA bots can automate routine tasks such as data entry, invoice processing, and tax form preparation.
Thomson Reuters’ 2023 State of the Corporate Tax Department report shows that 70% of corporate tax departments want to enhance operational efficiency in 2024. This includes improving efficiency and processes, upgrading software, and automating processes. RPA will undoubtedly be a big part of helping companies achieve these goals. This means tax professionals can focus on more strategic and value-added activities, such as tax planning and analysis.
AI is bringing a new level of intelligence to tax technology. AI-powered tax solutions can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns, trends, and potential risks. They may be able to identify potential tax deductions and credits, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring compliance with complex tax regulations. This, in turn, can help businesses make better decisions about tax strategies, mitigate tax liabilities, and improve their overall tax compliance posture.
However, as pointed out in RSM’s “Top Trends for Tax Technology in 2024 and Beyond,” AI software can’t do everything for you. “Digital tax tools are only as effective as the quality and timeliness of the data you’re feeding into them.” Companies still need to have efficient processes and professionals to ensure that tax software is used effectively.
Cloud-based Tax Preparation
As Benjamin Wann, founder of CFO Consultants, explained in a blog post, “One of the biggest challenges facing the tax profession today is the increasing amount of data that must be processed to prepare financial statements. This data is often coming from a variety of sources, which can make it difficult to reconcile. In addition, as businesses become more globalized, accountants must be able to account for transactions in multiple currencies.”
In answer to these challenges, cloud-based tax preparation has emerged as a transformative force in the industry, offering a host of benefits over traditional on-premises solutions. Cloud-based platforms provide real-time access to tax data, enabling tax professionals to work from anywhere and collaborate seamlessly with colleagues. They also provide increased computing power and allow better sharing of information.
Blockchain for Transparency and Security
Blockchain technology is poised to transform the tax landscape by providing a secure and transparent record of transactions. According to a PwC report, “Blockchain is likely to be of value to tax authorities and to regulators because it provides accurate information that can be shared, and may allow earlier collection and oversight of transaction-related taxes.”
For businesses, the added security of blockchain's distributed ledger system can eliminate the risk of fraud and manipulation. At the same time, the technology holds the potential to improve efficiency in tax filing and payment processes.
Advances in data analytics tools are empowering tax departments to gain deeper insights into their tax data, enabling them to make informed decisions and optimize their tax strategies. This could lead to big savings for companies.
However, data mining provides an even more tantalizing benefit: the ability to predict future changes. According to The Enterprise World, “Big data analytics allow for predictive modeling, enabling accountants to foresee possible changes and strategize accordingly.” The ability to analyze vast amounts of data gives tax professionals the opportunity to identify trends and patterns, uncover potential risks, and make predictions that could help in tax planning.
The adoption of these innovative technologies is transforming the tax landscape, enabling tax departments to operate more efficiently, improve compliance, and gain a competitive edge. As technology continues to evolve, tax professionals must stay abreast of the latest trends and adapt their practices accordingly to remain competitive.