While it’s well known that artificial intelligence and automation make compliance easier and reduce manual processes, what’s less well understood is how to harness the technology to gain a richer experience that sparks innovation in business processes.
When tax departments actually engage with AI, the insights garnered can affect everything from how a company allocates human resources to the very direction a business decides to take in the wake of new tax regulations.
Embrace the robots
Tax departments just entering the automation space often see the technology as a one-way street — you set up the solution and it pumps out results. But there is a human side.
To truly embrace the full potential of an AI-enabled tax platform, companies need to develop a give-and-take relationship. That means educating the system about the business so the machine can give back insights about how to make the tax function stronger and more efficient.
In fact, by reducing dependence on tax professionals’ ability to recall, interpret and apply thousands of sales tax rates and regulations, AI enables companies to work smarter and allot their resources to more forward-thinking projects.
Transform the tax function
AI enables companies to organize huge volumes of data to identify opportunities. For example, robotic process automation can help a business corral and control its tax data. From compliance to internal audits, tax is one area that is still particularly labor-intensive, and it is often highly skilled employees who have to take on those roles. RPA bots ease the burden of highly repetitive manual tasks.
Data visualization and dashboards can spark fresh insights, revealing new opportunities for tax efficiencies. By turning raw data into actionable insights, businesses optimize tax performance and model, predict and influence business decision-making.
Beyond that, automation can help companies understand the role of adjacent businesses in the supply chain. Companies know how things should be taxed in their world, but what about those upstream? Any shift in their tax burden could come funneling downstream. AI can catch that kind of change and turn it into actionable information.
Hire and retain great talent
The benefits above are obvious once you understand how AI works. But there are other boons to utilizing cutting-edge AI-enabled tax solutions, including attracting top talent in an incredibly competitive hiring environment.
In-demand tax professionals are more likely to accept a role in which they spend less time on repetitive, transactional tasks and more time honing their strategic contributions. The opportunity to develop and sharpen skills and expertise related to current business systems and advanced tools also offers recruiting and retention benefits.
Automation has become a necessity, but more than that it has become an opportunity. AI isn’t just about reduced compliance risk; it’s about moving the business forward and putting the tax department at the leading edge.