Artificial Intelligence: Who is Really Doing your Taxes?
Updated: Oct 31, 2017
By: Lindsay Sisk, Gable Tax Group
If you’ve been reading tax blogs and keeping up to date in the tax world (because that’s what everyone does, right) then you’ve most likely come across information on Artificial Intelligence and the plan for tax preparation.
I’ll be the first to admit that automation makes tax preparation so much easier. Isn’t it great when you have a fine-tuned spreadsheet with formulas that save you time, take administrative or manual tasks out of the task at hand, allowing you to spend time on reasoning rather than making sure you 10-keyed something correctly?
But with automation there is also a chance that the person who is “preparing” may not fully understand what they are doing. They know certain numbers should line up, but what happens when something isn’t flowing correctly, or not matching? Formulas are built based on a specific function requirements, designed to deliver an expected result based on the conditions created.
So, with taking automation one step further, companies are developing Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) hoping to eliminate human error, while also eliminating headcount. The question that is constantly surfacing is whether it’s going to replace people who do taxes.
In most cases, AI can work if it’s asking the right questions, and the people who are responding understand them. Sure, from an income tax prospective AI can look at your gross income and deductions and know whether you need to itemize or take the standard deduction, but in my opinion, there is something to be said about human interaction.
AI is set up on algorithms and will constantly be building those algorithms each time it can collect more data, and most likely has a set of questions it asks everyone in order to get the desired result, save you money on taxes. Which is great, I want to pay less money in taxes, I’m not sure I personally know anyone that is asking to pay more, but how can you really be sure AI is the answer? What I’ve gathered from networking and meeting with clients recently, is people are really missing the human touch, or the personal interaction. They want to talk to their provider, make sure their needs are understood and met, and have the opportunity to discuss changes and ways to make their processes better, and unfortunately for AI, it can’t provide that.
Recently I was on a call with a potential client and they asked, “what makes you better or different from your competition” and I could have responded with facts about how are process is faster, we have 25 years of experience, which is all true and was said, but what really makes us different is the relationships we choose to create with our clients. I want to know what changes your business is going through, I want to help streamline your GL reconciliation, and I want to always be helpful, and in my opinion, I think that will always set us apart from competitors as well as Artificial Intelligence, because people can try to be that way, and so can robots, but unless you mean it, it will eventually fall flat. The great thing about AI is that it’s being developed, and we can leverage the technology to our advantage.
At Gable Tax Group, we love collaborating with others in the technology space to reduce the cost of sales tax compliance for taxpayers, while recognizing the relationships we are developing cannot be replaced by a computer. We pride ourselves in being a tax provider that is constantly looking for better ways to utilize cutting edge technology while building relationships and providing high level of service and constant communication with our clients that they love, with something as simple as picking up the phone just to check in.
If this level of service is something that you are looking for, Call Us for a Free Quote at 888.872.6579 or email us at Info@Gable.Tax.
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