For most tax practitioners, the answer to "how much time does your firm waste" lies within their investment in technology.
How does an investment in technology affect firm management or workflow?
We might be professionals by trade, but we are consumers at heart. As a consumer, it is natural to focus on the price of something when making a purchasing decision, but does it make sense to focus on price when it comes to making an investment decision? Far too often, we focus on price instead of cost. What a decision costs goes far beyond its price, to include things like: How much time and energy does it save? How much stress and frustration does it relieve?
Determining the price of an offering is fairly easy; it’s a purchasing decision. Determining the cost of not implementing an offering can be complicated; it’s an investment decision. This is especially true when it comes to investing in the right technology for your practice. When it comes to investing in the right tax research system, there is nothing more important than confidence and simplicity. How confident are you that the best answers are being surfaced and how simple is the process you must take to surface those answers?
How confident are you in the answers you find?
If you’re like most professionals, then you’re spending quite a bit of time making sure the answer you found is in fact correct. This might be in the form of cross-referencing that answer with information from other trusted sources. This might also be in the form of re-reading the information you found several times over in your attempt to understand exactly how it applies to the situation you’re facing. Both of these result in large amounts of time wasted on redundancies. Sure, it is essential that you validate the answers you find, but it doesn’t have to take as much time as it’s taking you today. Deciding to make an investment in technology and utilizing the right tax research system could be the keys to making this difference.
How simple is your process for finding answers?
Other than how confident you are in the answers you find, it is important to think about what you had to go through to find those answers. Think back over the last time you searched for the answer to a tax question you had. How many steps did you have to go through? How many clicks or keystrokes did it require? How many different search attempts did it take you to find the right information? This has become so routine that many of us have stopped noticing these inconveniences. We simply accept these as the unfortunate reality of tax research. Fortunately, recent advances have created a brighter future for all of us feeling this pain if we decide to make an investment in technology.
How much do you value confidence and simplicity?
Since we can all agree that we need to be confident in the answers we find and that there should be an easier way to find these answers, we should think about how much stress and frustration it would relieve if we solve for these issues.
What if, when you searched for an answer, your tax research system also surfaced relevant information from trusted sites like IRS.gov or the state-specific departments of revenue? You and your staff would no longer have to stress about validating the information they have found, or even worse, search for answers on unreliable or unverified sites.
What if, while working in your tax compliance system, you could access in-context answers to your questions without even having to search? You could spend less time on tax research and more time on what’s truly important to your business. Or you could start to achieve something that’s long eluded tax and accounting professionals – a better work-life balance.
What if, when you tried to find the answer to a question, the process was so simple that anyone in your firm could handle it? Instead of feeling like you have to jump through hoops to get what you need, you always have the answer at your fingertips.
How can making an investment in technology help?
Natural Language Processing allows you to search for answers as if you were simply asking someone in plain English. This would be like having a conversation with the most intelligent and experienced person in the room every time you have a question.
Other artificial intelligence technologies help your tax research system get smarter with every interaction to help you find answers more quickly and accurately than ever before, even when you aren’t even sure how to clearly articulate what exactly it is that you’re looking for?
Where many professionals have given up hope, recent advancements in technology are here to help. If you invest in the right technology for your practice, you set yourself up to effectively be the smartest and most experienced person in the room regardless of the topic.
The most progressive firms are making the necessary investment in technology today to set themselves up for a brighter future tomorrow. A future where they can spend time on what matters most to their practice. A future where they can spend time golfing, hiking, or whatever else they might enjoy. And a future where they have more time to spend with family and friends.