Tax technology is always changing, but it can sometimes feel like the software is a step or two behind the rest of the world in terms of accessibility, usability and speed. That might be because of the tedious nature of taxes themselves, or because of an old-school mentality among tax and accounting professionals. Whatever the reason for the lag accountants have noticed in the past, tax tech is finally experiencing some rapid and much-anticipated evolution. Quickbooks, Netsuite, Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Michrosoft Dynamics AX, Microsft Dynamics NAV, SAP, Oracle, Sage 50, Sage 100, Xero, Yardi, JD Edwards, and Lawson are some of the more popular accounting systems that need to keep up with tax, one way or another! Here are some additional software trends to keep your eye on this year.
More Programs Are Moving to The Cloud
Cloud computing is nothing new, but only four in every ten accounting software users are on the cloud. However, more and more accountants are demanding cloud access for the convenience of being able to access their software at any time, from any place. Mobile access is important to accountants who used to be forced to drive into the office on weekends or after hours during tax season. With the cloud, they can take their work home with them and enjoy a better feeling of work-life balance, even in Q1.
Optical Character Recognition Reduces Receipt Error
Everyone has struggled to read their own – or a client’s – chicken scratch on an expense report, receipt, or other critical tax documents. Optical character recognition (OCR) programs like Receipt Bank, Expensify, and Hubdoc allow users to scan their handwritten documents and that handwriting is then converted into images or readable text, which can save hundreds of wasted hours and prevent a host of user errors.
Integration of Tax Software Components
One of the biggest historic hurdles for accountants has been the lack of ability to access to centralized data. It seemed that no two software packages could really “talk” to one another, leaving teams engaging in hours and hours of manual re-entry of data in order to get a complete picture. Now, more platforms are able to communicate with one another, which can eliminate the headaches of siloed data.
“Vertex and Greenshades both provide current tax tables and integrate with many systems to ensure proper tax calculations! CSS is always trying to find a tool that will set up the taxes correctly for you – its challenging to be doing business in all 50 states and stay on top of all of the changing laws!” says Suzanne Gahm, Accounting Manager at Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Competing With Personal Tax Software
Personal tax software is continuing to rise, and professional tax preparers are taking steps to compete with platforms like TurboTax, Quicken and TaxSlayer. Watch for more personal tax firms to utilize online software, allowing clients to enter their personal data online, with the accountant reviewing the docs and conducting the actual filing.
Are you looking for accounting professionals with the skills and experience to help you utilize tax software and tech to help you serve your clients more effectively? Contemporary Staffing Solutions can help. To learn more about the ways we can help you achieve your goals, contact the expert accounting and finance recruiters at CSS today.