By now you’ve heard all about it: Technology is changing the way people work. That’s true across all industries and workplaces, whether it’s the floor of a manufacturing facility or the office space of an insurance company.
Property tax management is no exception. Currently, a digital transformation is underway, giving property tax teams new and better ways to provide value to their organizations, become more efficient, and spend less money. It comes at a time when organizations are under increased scrutiny to compete with emerging, often global, competitors. Those teams willing to embrace advanced tax technology tools will be better positioned to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
The Future Of Tax & Technology: Changing The Distribution Of Work
One of the primary ways in which emerging technologies will impact property tax teams is in the solutions they use to perform the required activities and manage the tax cycle.
Much of property tax revolves around manual, repetitive work, including data entry, data verification, and report generation. When highly paid tax professionals spend time doing data entry work, that leaves less time for activities that deliver greater value, such as managing tax risk, looking for tax reductions, and finding opportunities to appeal unfair assessments. Having alternative, accurate ways to handle data extraction and data entry will be essential for the high-performing tax departments of the future.
Robotic Process Automation: The Programmable Robot
One of the tax technology advancements that lifts the burden of manual data tasks is robotic process automation (RPA). Many property tax professionals use legacy data systems for asset management and report generation, performing the same tasks repeatedly, the same way every time. They click the same buttons to generate reports, for instance, or follow a set series of actions to retrieve a list of assets.
Manual, repetitive tasks like these can be automated thanks to RPA. It’s a type of software that can mimic physical activity tasks—essentially, any type of task that doesn’t require knowledge or human understanding. RPA could be used for a number of property tax processes, including data validation (checking a list of fixed assets against the information in a general ledger, for instance) and data entry (inputting data into a tax return application).
Case studies have shown that organizations using RPA have experienced a return on investment ranging from 30% to 200% in the first year of use. But the other benefits are equally important: more time for staff members to focus on activities that provide greater return (like predictive analytics and tax planning), greater accuracy in data handling, and higher levels of job satisfaction among tax teams. RPA also solves the challenges associated with pulling data from various non-integrated systems—a time-consuming, tedious task faced by many organizations.
Want to know more? Find out about other advanced tax technology tools your property tax team can start using today by downloading our free white paper, The State Of Property Tax Technology: 2018-2020.
Emerging technologies are already impacting all aspects of property tax management, from workers to processes to software solutions. RPA is just one example of using innovation to get ahead, but there are many other opportunities for property tax professionals to work smarter using fewer resources. To read about technology your team can start taking advantage of today, download our free white paper, The State Of Property Tax Technology: 2018-2020.