Donny Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA, is the founder and managing director of IntrapriseTechKnowledgies LLC. To Shimamoto, anything to do with technology is second nature. He notes that there are technologies that seem futuristic, but there are many that are readily available to be implemented by businesses right now. Tax firms can benefit greatly from these simple electronics. Shimamoto spoke at the AICPA ENGAGE 2019 conference in Las Vegas to address these technologies and explain their benefits.
When people think of AI, AR and VR, they often get intimidated. There are many ‘simpler’ technologies, as Shamimoto explains, which can create a huge difference for tax firms.
One big technological change in business is aimed towards the digitalisation of documents, leading to less paper waste and more efficiency and organisation. Although many have made the switch to a more digital workplace, many firms still include paper in daily routines, especially to cater to some clients which prefer to submit paper tax documents. In general, a movement towards digital documents should be highly considered and pushed towards the norm.
When documents are digitised, the notorious ‘cloud’ can be utilised to easily share and collaborate on documents. Many people are skeptical or do not have a solid understanding of what the cloud really is, but in simple terms it is a server on which all documents are stored, outside of your immediate digital device. Cloud software is extremely handy for tax firms because they allow for instant data exchanges with clients and 24/7 services. Shimamoto notes that this transition is gradual as it takes time to get situated.
Something so simple as automation can add a lot for tax firms, it just takes a bit of effort to set up. Some firms are currently using RPA (robotic process automation) which is used to automatically click through software interfaces and record information between programs. This type of automation can take over simplistic data entry services. When automation is used, the tasks which it takes over are generally simple. Therefore it can save tax firms time and labour on undemanding routines which can be trusted to computer processes.
These are only a few simple points out of many that Shimamoto mentions – simplistic, yet with a big impact. Technology integrated further into tax firms can effect the way businesses operate in an exciting way. Follow along with our James Woodman blog as well as on LinkedIn for bite sized financial news.
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