Every corporate leader who invests in advanced technology is motivated in large part by the expected ROI it will produce. (There’s also a healthy fear surrounding what could happen as a result of doing nothing.) The same is true for the tax industry. Property tax professionals who have already started using the latest technology tools—including tax document automation software like CrowdReason—are seeing greater levels of productivity and higher-quality work product that makes their team more valuable for their organizations and clients. Why?
Because automation speeds up the most time-consuming (and mundane) aspects of the property tax process, giving tax teams more time to do the work that really matters—figuring out ways to save their organization or clients money.
In this article, we’ll briefly define tax document automation, and highlight the three parts of the property tax cycle your team can expect to complete in significantly less time using automation.
What is tax document automation?
Tax document automation (or tax preparation automation) is the application of advanced robotic processes to various activities that commonly take place as part of the property tax cycle. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technology application that performs highly logical automated tasks for which there are clear conditions associated with carrying out the task; for example, “If this is true, do this. If this is false, do that.” It is usually applied to manual, repetitive tasks that don’t require knowledge or human understanding, like data validation. RPA can either overlay a legacy application, or it can be embedded within another advanced application, as it is in CrowdReason software.
Machine learning is another type of advanced technology that involves “teaching” computers to progressively improve their performance on a task. This usually means training the computer to detect data patterns or relationships that will then help it to draw conclusions. Machine learning is also embedded in CrowdReason software, making it easy for tax teams to take advantage of the latest technology.
Download this free guide to find out about five components you need to have in place for any new software to be a success.
3 Parts Of The Property Tax Cycle You Can Complete Faster With CrowdReason Tax Preparation Automation Software
1. Data Entry
Whenever you receive tax bills in the mail, one of the first things your team needs to do is extract the important information from those bills, such as amounts due, payment due dates, who gets paid, and the payment mailing address. One of the reasons this process is so laborious is because tax documents contain “unstructured” data—data that’s formatted differently depending on which jurisdiction sent the document. Unfortunately, these manual data entry tasks are inundating most tax teams, sometimes taking up hundreds of hours.
Our advanced software, MetaTaskerPT, uses RPA and machine learning to perform data extraction faster (typically less than a 24-hour turnaround time) than an in-house team of humans. (It’s also more accurate than humans!) You simply scan and upload your property tax documents via our web-based interface; MetaTasker then converts your image to readable text and uses machine learning algorithms to mine data from the documents, using humans for answers when necessary. That data is then automatically imported into your enterprise system and is ready to use.
One of our customers who switched to CrowdReason’s applications has realized a 70% reduction of time spent on compliance activities.
2. Return Filing
Filling out multiple return forms is a time-intensive process, one that, when done manually, could take days. (Even some types of legacy software still take hours to complete hundreds of returns.) TotalPropertyTax (TPT) software automatically extracts the appropriate data from your database and populates your tax forms based on a set of rules and learned intelligence. With these technologies at work, minimal human intervention is required to fully complete a form, and the time your team devotes to this task is dramatically reduced: TPT is capable of creating thousands of return packages—complete with cover letters, return forms, and attachments (even custom attachments such as authorization letters)—in minutes. And you can also multitask while generating returns, working in other areas of the software at the same time.
3. Bill Processing
Tracking that the bills arrive, ensuring they’re correct, requesting checks, staying on top of installment payments, and meeting all due dates are essential tax compliance activities. (Tweet this!) TPT software automates bill paying by linking directly to the tax payment services such as Anybill. When a payment comes due, TPT software generates a check request that includes all the appropriate data—check amount, due date, and address to send to.
The check request and accompanying information is then automatically sent to the tax payment processing service. The payment processor then cuts the check for you and mails it to the collector of the appropriate tax jurisdiction along with a copy of the tax bill image (stored in TPT). The software also follows up to ensure payment is received on time and gets the cleared check image from the collector. And once your bills are paid, they can then be linked to the relevant supporting documents stored in the system for future reference.
Interested in learning more about CrowdReason tax preparation automation software?
We’d love to show you how it works! Schedule a demo to see how our software can save your team time where it counts—and help you deliver greater benefits to your organization at the same time.