These days, it’s more important than ever that organizations comply with an increasingly stringent set of tax compliance obligations. In addition, it’s also necessary to accomplish all that much more quickly and without losing anything in the way of quality.
The obvious solution to all that is that technology will be needed to help shape the future of tax computations and processing. If you happen to be in a position where you head up a tax organization, you might be wondering exactly how you can harness technology opportunities to make your tax processing much smoother and quicker.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use modern technology to accomplish just that. It could be that your tax preparation efforts in the future will benefit significantly from the upgraded approach to processing.
Tax Preparation Technology
Any kind of program, software, or collection of digital tools that facilitates digitizing tax procedures and makes the job easier for tax professionals is considered tax technology. At present, there is a tremendous range of technologies that can be used to facilitate tax procedures, and the list of options is certain to grow in the coming years.
Here are some of the most prominent examples of tax technology that you can currently take advantage of:
- Artificial intelligence – there are already computer systems that can execute tasks just as efficiently or more than a human can. Currently, there are few AI solutions available for the tax function, but for those that are, they provide superior data analytics that will increase your tax team’s effectiveness. Given that such great value is provided by these kinds of technology, it is likely that even more similar solutions will be developed and made available in the future.
- Smart process automation – this is sometimes referred to as intelligent process automation, combining robotic process automation with machine learning to provide the most intelligent possible automated workflow. Machine learning is how computers learn to process a task over some time, and this allows smart process automation technology to handle activities such as asset categorization or document classification.
- Robotic process automation – this helps accomplish a great many tax activities that tend to be repetitive, highly manual, and very logical. Robotic process automation was designed to automate simple processes to make them much more effective and to accomplish them much more quickly. Robotic process automation can handle low-value jobs such as report preparation, data entry, and data validation far more quickly and easily than they could be by humans.
- Online portals – in modern times, delivering a tax return is best accomplished by submitting them through tax portals so that you can forget about emails, CDs and memory sticks. Today’s portal solutions have become quite secure and are widely available, making for easy filing and good collaboration between clients and professionals. Tax organizations can get more clients on board with the portal concept by communicating with them several times during the year. Ask them to make contact through the portal to get information about estimated taxes, updates on changes to tax law, and information about upcoming events. The more often that clients use online portals, the more comfortable they will be with them, and the greater the likelihood that they will adopt them for submitting their tax returns.
- Communication methods – taxpayers, expect their tax professionals to make use of the most modern technology available, and this includes the possibility of conducting video conferences or online communications via text messaging. Many tax organizations are already using such features as chatbots and virtual assistants to provide more efficient and timely answers to typical questions posed by taxpayers. It’s also true that online dashboards are becoming more popular, allowing clients to inspect their data and important information in a format that can be easily digested. These data visualization tools provide greater transparency to taxpayers about their fees and tax information, as well as the requirements for compliance with all major tax laws and regulations.
- Cloud computing – a great many tax organizations are now starting to use cloud applications that are web-based and which can deliver results via the Internet instead of being accomplished locally on home servers. When organizations move toward greater virtualization, tax teams won’t be constrained by physical devices any longer but will instead be able to do their work from any location and at any time convenient.
These kinds of tax technologies are all currently in use, and they can impact virtually every aspect of tax management. They’re also extremely good at accomplishing data extraction, bill-paying, return filing, document management, forecasting, and even more. Given the fact that these types of technologies are so proficient and reliable for accomplishing tax processing, it’s very likely that they will come into much greater use soon.
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