Audit and Tax
Audit and tax practices and functions need to be on a journey of technological transformation to avoid falling behind. This doesn’t necessarily mean investing in emerging technologies like cognitive AI and blockchain, but taking the first, incremental steps in learning how to ‘walk before you run’.
Audit and tax automation is the process by which auditors and accountants streamline, digitize, and measure financial work.
Why is Audit and Tax Automation Important?
If we analyse the current financial climate, we understand that audit and accounting firms are under significant pressure to meet the increasing demands of their clients all whilst capitalising on their minimal resources. With this increasing demand, it is becoming more and more difficult for auditors and accountants to manage their workload, particularly because the nature of their work is very repetitive, manual, and highly prone to error. This therefore presents a need for auditors and accountants to improve their workflow management systems and increase their speed, quality and accuracy when completing tasks.
Some of the key issues that auditors and accountants currently face include:
1. The management of tax compliance and tax processing is being done via a number of spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are inefficient collations of data that often require hours or even days of manual labour to manage and evaluate. There are several interlinked moving parts when it comes to the daily work of financial professionals and often these moving parts are managed by very manual tax compliance and tax processing systems that require back and forth information gathering and slow, inefficient data input.
2. A lot of inefficient, manual, process-oriented work is being done – for example, obtaining information and data from within your organisation’s business lines or from clients.
In most instances, particularly when processing accounts receivables and payables, accountants are keying in information one by one. This is tedious and requires a lot of human involvement. Furthermore, back and forth emails and phone calls to chase up relevant information from stakeholders often leaves less time for more complex, high value tasks.
3. Tax authorities are adopting technology and processes which increase the chance of being caught for non-compliance.
Manual checking and inputting systems are extremely error prone and often auditors and accountants are managing several spreadsheets of data manually. Due to stricter compliance measures being imposed, constant media attention and increased competition in the market, it is easier now than ever for audit and accounting firms to be charged for non-compliance and as a result lose reputation and business.
Use Cases for Audit and Tax Automation
Audit and Tax automation empowers users to take control of their workload by providing self-serve tools to their clients or staff, creating dynamic questionnaires that streamline audit and tax processes by guiding the user through the relevant legislation or standards, whilst facilitating rule-based automated decisions to decrease the possibility of human error.
Automated assessment , report generation and self-serve tools
Through automation, clients can build tools that provide preliminary assessments such as the eligibility for tax exemptions. This tool can be embedded into a company’s website and enable clients to self-serve and arrive at preliminary outcomes after being guided through questions that are tailored to their industry and services. Furthermore a report is generated with automated advice which includes the phone, name and contact details of partners as a channel to generate new engagements. This enables differentiation from the competition, a new channel to generate leads and clients to be empowered to self-serve and get better and more timely advice.
Compliance related solutions
Compliance related solutions help navigate the user through the complexities standards to determine the applicability of regulation such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), assess compliance, perform calculations, automatically draw conclusions as well as produce completely automated and comprehensive position papers that justify the position reached. This effectively unwinds complex processes, reduces the risk of error, and increases the firm’s profit margin by automating manual work and shifting time back into the hands of auditors and accountants.
Pre-qualification tools allow clients to fill out and forward information to involved parties without the need for back and forth communication. This streamlines processes for parties who are able to navigate through relevant questionnaires depending on the scope of their work. This questionnaire will guide clients to upload relevant documents and information in a streamlined manner, provide a risk assessment and assign a relevant external or internal auditor to finalise the audit. Furthermore, auditors can also request more information or evidence as well. Once the audit has been approved, a final report with a full audit trail and automatically qualified scope is generated and the client is notified to proceed.
Audit workflow solutions allow organisations to use integrations via their internal website or accounting systems which their clients can access. Clients are then able to use platforms which pre-populates information from the organisation’s website or through any scanned documents to proceed with the audit assessment. On completion of the assessment, an automatic audit report is generated and sent back to the audit firm for storage.
Benefits of Audit and Tax Automation
Maximise efficiency in internal business operations
Automated solutions act as a digital front door for auditors and accountants to manage client requests and workload. This will provide professionals with better task allocation and more visibility and control over their internal business operations. This will also provide management with real and accurately tracked data to make decisions.
Drastically reduce lost opportunities by providing 24/7 self-serve support for clients
By implementing a self- serve channel on your organisation’s website, clients will be able to access full service and support 24/7 without any need to engage directly with a financial professional. This will allow organisations to capture more passive business and capture information that can be converted actively into business.
Maximise efficiency on low margin and fixed fee work
By directing manual, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks towards tech-based solutions, auditors and accountants are able to free up time to focus on complex, high value tasks or building relationships with clients through meaningful advice.
Provide value add to clients and win more work
By becoming more efficient and reputable due to faster turnaround times, organisations will provide value to both existing and new clients seeking financial services. This will increase the organisation’s competitive advantage and improve customer satisfaction.
Checkbox as an Audit and Tax Automation platform
Checkbox empowers non-IT users to build their own automation and workflow software using drag and drop. Trusted by the best brands globally, Checkbox has been used by audit and tax teams to build automated tools that manage client inquiries, automates advice, letter and report generation and intake.
Checkbox is known for being the easiest to use, yet the most powerful expert process automation platform available. Combined with our deep expertise in audit and tax automation, we are excited to demonstrate to you why the best continuously choose Checkbox and why they always succeed with us.