Technology trends in tax compliance | Vertex Exchange Europe 2019 | World Finance

Technology trends in tax compliance | Vertex Exchange Europe 2019 | World Finance

September 15, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


David Deputy: I think we’re seeing an increasing
trend towards automation. When new technologies like RPA, or artificial
intelligence, machine learning, come out – there’s always an immediate reaction to uptake them. And the way that happens is, we copy what
the humans do. So we replicate the human actions by mimicking
it through automation. Which is great! You know, customers are receiving a lot of
benefits. We’re working with customers who are going
from 15 hours to 15 seconds type of benefits. But that’s only the first stage. The next stage is always to reimagine why
are we doing it this way? Because it was human based. The process was designed to accommodate humans. So we think the next wave of technology is
to reimagine how things could be done. And that takes creativity. So we’re collaborating with our customers,
we’ve got multiple projects going on, and machine learning, and robotics process automation. But always in conjunction with the customers,
to understand how we could reimagine the process, and step beyond replicating inefficient human
processes designed for humans with technology, and move to the next level of automation. Which is to streamline and really reimagine
the whole process. The way that Vertex is bringing this technology
into the tax realm is, we’re working with both machine learning and robotic process
automation in two different areas. One, we’re using robotic process automation
to look into automating the process of filing returns. So currently the work’s being done in the
US at the state level. So there are state websites where you go,
and you have to click through and upload your return. That’s manual labour, it’s designed for humans,
these interfaces. So we’re looking to put robotics behind it,
to remove the drudgery work of humans going through these websites, clicking, uploading,
all that. Another one we’re doing is, we’re looking
at the categorisation of products; for taxability, but more broadly for customs, even for search
engine placement. So we’re working with large product catalogues
and the mapping to tax categories. And working with multiple clients to build
up a machine learning library, that understands how to take a product and make a recommendation
on what the appropriate tax categorisation will be. We’re seeing tax authorities use the technologies
as well. For example, last month we hosted a delegation
from the Korea tax administration. And in a couple of weeks we’ll be hosting
the China tax administration. So they’re doing tours, the Asian countries
specifically are doing tours, to understand the best practices in use of analytics for
fraud detection and audits. So we’re working with them to explain that
our customers would never conduct fraud, because they’re paying a lot of money for a high quality
determination engine, and compliance and reporting. So we’re trying to make sure that there’s
not a lot of false positives in the efforts. But we’re also educating them on the use of
big data, and how analytics can help spot anomalies. But the key thing is to make sure that the
industry collaborates with the governments, so that we’re not stuck with analytics programs
that kick out just a tonne of false positives, and we spend the next 10 years of our career
responding to government requests for information that are perhaps ill-informed. So that’s our goal. Thanks for watching. Click now for more videos from Vertex Exchange
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