Tools for Tax Pros: Reduce Errors and Improve Productivity at Work

Jamie Eagan - VP Product Management Tax & Transfer Pricing

Jamie Eagan is VP, Product Management of Longview products at insightsoftware. Jamie holds a B.Sc. in Accounting and a minor in Economics from State University of New York at Fredonia.

Tools For Tax Pros Reduce Errors And Improve Productivity At Work

Errors and disorganization are a tax department’s worst enemy. Inefficient provisioning and reporting, as well as poor task management across all tax department activities, can have costly and damaging consequences.

In the provisioning and reporting process, simple data entry errors can have significant consequences that create a ripple effect throughout your department. Workflows are interrupted, productivity slows down, and efficiency plummets as unnecessary costs for the organization rise. These errors disrupt workflows while forcing professionals to go back and address them.

Meanwhile, inefficient management of tax documents, compliance data, and menial tasks like data entry can drag out the time it takes for important financial documents to be completed and submitted for approval.

But businesses can address these pain points by adopting software platforms and other tools to support provisioning, reporting, analytics, and other tasks and processes central to the day-to-day activity of finance and tax departments. The right tax solutions can help organizations reduce errors, increase productivity, and accelerate the time it takes to close.

Here’s a look at some of the best tools that support tax professionals in their day-to-day roles.

1. Task Management Software

With tax department teams collaborating on complex, interconnected projects, it’s important to create workflows that clearly communicate the status of those activities, while also supporting timely reviews and approvals to keep these projects moving toward completion.

Today’s finance and tax teams should seek out task management solutions that can fully integrate with other tax software, aggregating and sharing data to optimize collaborations and maintenance of in-progress tasks. These solutions can also provide real-time updates and user-friendly dashboards to monitor projects and identify potential issues. Analytics solutions can also be incorporated to identify opportunities to improve internal operations and optimize task management in the future.

2. Tax Planning and Scenario Building Software

Whether it’s a potential merger or new corporate tax laws going into effect, tax departments are often tasked with figuring out how those scenarios affect the company from a tax perspective. Your team needs the right tools in place to support scenario building and other planning projects when it’s being used to shape company-wide strategy.

Effective tax planning software will make it easy to quickly render possible scenarios and project the tax implications of those changes several years out. Adjustments and comparative analysis should also be easy to execute.

The short- and long-term tax implications of any number of scenarios will play a significant role in shaping your company’s strategy in the years to come. These tax planning forecasts need to offer reliable data, which means it’s all the more important to enlist the best software possible.

3. Automated Data Entry

Manual data entry is one of the most inefficient uses of any tax professional’s time—not to mention any paid employee, regardless of seniority level. It’s also one of the most likely sources of data errors.

Automated data entry uses intelligent tax software to automatically transfer data and replicate it across multiple forms, outsourcing a tedious process and streamlining tax workflows.

Automated data entry reduces the time required to gather and reconcile tax-related data, resulting in huge gains in productivity and time. Some tax departments report that automated data entry can reduce their reporting time by up to 50 percent.

4. Tax Analytics Tools

The time that would otherwise be spent completing tax-related projects can be used to analyze data that identifies opportunities to improve business performance. This tax software offers plenty of value to organizations, but it’s only possible by optimizing workflows and freeing up internal resources to apply to analytics and data-driven insights.

Thanks to improved tax department workflows, businesses can increase their resource commitment to tax data analysis by 30-70 percent. The use of analytics platforms designed to evaluate tax data can generate insights through tax data visualizations.

Ultimately, organizations can use this data for scenario planning, including simulating outcomes, evaluating tax implications, and improving business performance.

Conclusion

When organizations fail to equip their tax departments with the right tools and solutions, they’re setting up those professionals for failure. A wide range of software tools promise to make finance and tax project management easier and more accurate than ever before.

Over time, the gains in productivity and analytic insights, combined with the cost savings of fewer tax document errors, will eclipse the cost of these solutions, turning your added budget item into an investment that pays dividends for years to come. Find out how to adopt all of these essential tax tools by upgrading your software to Longview Tax.