It is no secret that technology has been transforming the way we work. Every day, new tools and applications appear to automate processes, making them more agile and precise. In the area of finance, especially in the tax sector, the use of Artificial Intelligence has become increasingly fundamental to eliminate manual errors, increase productivity and make the business more strategic – mainly in the UK – where 1,958 hours are spent per year to meet all tax obligations, according to the World Bank.
According to the survey conducted by Thomson Reuters in partnership with Live University, 56% of British companies intend to use Artificial Intelligence to optimize tax management. When the debate is about which technology is more functional for the sector, 61% of professionals point to Machine Learning as the innovation most capable of benefiting the segment; 31% bet on Data Science, and 10% prefer chatbots.
The fact is that these combined technologies should revolutionize the finance area, as has already been happening with banks, in addition to other sectors such as e-commerce and general service, due to their high precision in collecting and data analysis, problem-solving, and responsiveness.
In the case of the tax sector, we can see in the short term a kind of humanization of work – ironically provided by AI – with the elimination of bureaucratic and routine activities that demand a lot of time. With this, professionals in this segment will be able to abolish manual tasks in spreadsheets, optimize and integrate ERP processes or even suppress them, since technologies based on AI development will be responsible for the collection, coded analysis, and incorporation of information in an automated and highly agile way, significantly increasing productivity. In practice, these professionals will have more time to make a more detailed analysis of the business, in addition to strengthening relationships with colleagues, partners, and customers, to exchange ideas, more organization, and application of new projects.
More technology, less people?
But if, on the one hand, Artificial Intelligence has the power to “de-botch” human work, on the other hand, there is a debate about replacing the workforce in favour of technology. According to research by Thomson Reuters and Live University, 61% of respondents prefer professionals with little experience in the tax area but a lot of knowledge in technology and innovation – a trend that has been occurring in all areas and segments.
Keeping up with technological developments is a predominant factor for any professional, but that does not mean that he will lose his job.
For example, a financial analyst who was daily filling out spreadsheets and feeding systems obviously will not be able to stick to this type of task, which will certainly be replaced by bots. But, he can and must use his knowledge and creative potential to find bottlenecks and opportunities in operation, point out new fronts of action and look more closely at his client’s pains to propose more assertive and strategic solutions for the business, that is, put aside repetitive work in order to give time to the true differential of the professional in the face of technology, human subjectivity.
The use of technological innovation such as artificial intelligence and machine learning in the financial sector brings mutual gains: for the company, it means innovation, cost reduction, more agility, excellence, compliance, and competitiveness in operation. For the professional, it is an opportunity to develop new skills, highlight knowledge and skills, explore creativity and get out of sameness. The difference is in the eyes of those who see it as a difficulty or as a new path for their career, be it initial or already consolidated. It is this look that will make a difference in personal, professional, and business life.
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