Tax practitioners are no strangers to change. Tax laws, rulings and policies are constantly in flux – we learn, we adapt, we even get creative when there is a lack of guidance. However, what is happening to the tax and accounting industry at the moment is completely unprecedented. When talk of robots and artificial intelligence become a serious topic of conversation, that’s when you know some serious change is about to happen.
The digital economy: our new normal
For the future generation of tax practitioners, this brave new world of tax will be their new normal – but what about tax practitioners of the current generation? For those of us who have lived and breathed the old order of things, how do we prepare ourselves for what is to come?
Without diminishing the importance of understanding the ins and outs of our incredibly complex tax system, we can no longer rest solely on our tax technical laurels to be effective advisers. Technology, innovation and globalisation are shaking things up. The digital economy is now becoming the new order of things.
The future of the tax professional
According to PwC’s report, The STEM Imperative: Future Proofing Australia’s Workforce, 44% or 5.1 million current Australian jobs are at risk from digital disruption over the next 20 years. Tax and accounting are up there as high risk roles due to developments in artificial intelligence and automation. Whilst it is anticipated that repetitive tasks and certain compliance work are likely to be taken over by computers and robots in the future, a more interesting question arises. What new issues and new markets should we be looking at as a result of these technological improvements?
Are we fighting robots, or just fighting change?
There is no doubt the tax world is changing. The current generation of tax practitioners are facing a pivotal moment where everything old meets everything new. As unnerving as technology, digitalisation, globalisation and artificial intelligence may be, the key to tackling the new order of things is to keep changing, adapting and collaborating.
The Tax Institute remains committed to keeping its members, students and the tax community up-to-date with the dynamic landscape and continues to drive the agenda.
Access free resources at the Grow today. Master tomorrow. content hub, proudly presented by The Tax Institute.