While innovation is by no means new to the world of business, 2018 brought technological development into the limelight for many industries. When it comes to the tax industry, this means re-evaluating old processes and challenging tax departments to adopt better systems. From planning, to management analysis and reporting, everyone is looking for the best up-and-coming technology to improve operational efficiencies.
For tax professionals, the implication is that it is no longer enough to just pay one’s taxes. It’s now necessary for those in the industry to understand and adopt the technologies that will enable them to be both efficient and strategic when managing this significant expense. This leaves many professionals wondering: which are the tax technology trends to watch in 2019?
1. Transparency and Collaboration
As people become increasingly accustomed to instantaneous information, the demand for immediacy and transparency has, unsurprisingly, permeated to tax departments of all sizes. Internal teams, consultants and clients want a way to effectively and efficiently update their data records, share reports, and monitor assets in real time. Transparency of process, investments, strategy and achievements have been proven to improve both workforce and client satisfaction. As a result, we can expect to see an increase in cloud-based tools and software that allow for real-time collaboration among teams, making it easier manage various tax related services in 2019.
2. AI and Predictive Analytics
You’d be hard pressed to find an industry that wouldn’t benefit from intelligent tools that utilize the strategic advantage of predictive analytics. That being said, few organizations were ready to adopt intelligent systems in 2018. As people become more aware of the uses and advantages of AI, we will see an increased presence and impact on industries that deal with large datasets in the coming year. When it comes to tax, we will see more tools that can help tax professionals take on an improved, strategic role. Using predictive analytics and AI to help identify historical trends, map out future projections and identify cost saving opportunities, intelligent tax software will become a huge asset to the tax professionals who choose to embrace it in 2019.
3. Accurate Automation
In this competitive landscape, organizations are constantly looking for ways to work faster and smarter, which in 2019 will mean automating manual processes. While automation is not necessarily new, according to CB Insights we are now moving on to “the automation of human cognition.” This refers to the automation of tasks that have been traditionally difficult to replace while still maintaining the level of accuracy needed to be effective. As accuracy increases and reaches the level tax professionals need to function properly, manual processes, like data entry, analysis, and workflow are ideal candidates for automation.
4. Tax Modernization and Digital Governments
Like every other industry, governments can find some powerful tools among today’s digital technologies to improve customer, or rather taxpayer, satisfaction. Though they have been slower to adopt than other industries, expect to see governing bodies look for ways to improve their outdated systems and digitize more public facing processes in the upcoming year. With countries like Canada introducing roles such as “ Minister of Digital Government” into their government structure in 2018, the pressure is on to make a change. Tax professionals should be prepared for the digitization of tax, including new data submission and electronic auditing requirements, and prepare themselves for any challenges that may arise as we undergo these changes.
Change is inevitable, but business leaders who take the time to learn about these changes and understand how evolution can improve their bottom line will find success. The organizations or individuals who remain open to new technologies and processes will be better equipped to deal with the demands and challenges of an evolving industry.
Contact us to learn about how Rethink Solutions can help you modernize your property tax processes and team.