The start of a new year is a popular time for predictions—what developments do experts and visionaries see around the bend?
In the tax industry, legislative and other procedural changes are common enough that you don’t need to be an expert to predict their (almost) yearly arrival. And you don’t need to be a visionary, either, to see some of what lies ahead for large corporations like yours; most of us are well aware of forthcoming trends because there’s been so much chatter about them already.
One such trend is digitization—the idea of capitalizing on new digital technologies to maximize performance. Digital tools allow businesses to shift their focus, emphasizing strategic thinking and learning (business drivers) over simple labor productivity. Tax technology has come far enough that practitioners can realize these gains, thereby giving your team the time and the resources to learn more and perform better on the job. By embracing advanced tools, you’re proactively positioning your team for success in the years ahead.
So, no crystal ball needed: Here are three tax technology trends you can implement now that will put your team on par with the most forward-thinking organizations today.
Ninety-five percent of business leaders surveyed think those who don’t invest in digitization within the next 12 months will face negative business consequences as a result.
Tax Technology Trends You Can Implement Now
The property tax industry is full of paper, both incoming and outgoing; handling it all takes a significant amount of time and presents daily opportunities for human error.
Think of your current bill-paying process. If you’re like many tax teams, you rely on spreadsheets for mailing addresses, request checks manually from accounts payable, print out the required returns and other accompanying information, assemble the requisite documents for mailing, stuff envelopes, and physically deposit them in the mail. Even legacy tax applications, which may claim to assist with mailing, require you to upload CSV files into the software, leaving critical parts of the data entry process up to you. Mailing processes like these decrease the effectiveness of your team and your organization as a whole because:
- They include low-level tasks that take up valuable time on the part of your team members.
- They allow too much room for human error.
- They aren’t cost-effective.
Print-to-mail automation systems streamline and simplify the mailing process by digitizing it. Tax software that uses an application programming interface, or API (a set of communication protocols that allow software applications to talk to each other), stores your tax information in a database and connects your office directly to a print-and-mail center electronically. The mail center will then complete your mailings for you, as per your instructions. Having a programmatic way for both systems to communicate means you can automate the mailing process so it requires no effort on your part.
As a result, you reduce the chance of human error, and, along with that, the likelihood of incurring penalties. The gains include greater transparency over your mailings—knowing exactly what’s being mailed and when—and realizing significant cost savings from a more efficient, scalable process. Even more importantly, team members have more time to focus on higher-value work.
Interested in reading about two more tax technology trends—the virtual office and smart process automation?
To learn about more tax technology trends that can transform your practice, download our latest whitepaper, Trends In Tax. It also includes information about how you can implement these cutting-edge technologies now—without reinventing the way your team works. Take the first step toward your digital future, and download the whitepaper today.