Due to the ongoing economic damage caused by the COVID-19 and subsequent shutdown, many governments around the world are taking measures to actively protect their countries from going through something similar — or worse — in the future. So far, these measures have included tax cuts, investment incentives and concessions from tax administrators, which are all intended to help alleviate the financial and economic burdens of lockdowns, travel restrictions, and business closures.
Tax administrators are among the professionals in the highest demand during this time, as they are able to implement important changes quickly, which results in quicker turnaround time for companies operating on the edge (or looking to get ahead of their competitors.) If you work in finance or accounting, these changes are in constant fluctuation and therefore important to stay up-to-date on. Here’s what’s happening now:
- Tax administration: measures aimed to boost liquidity in the market; revised requirements for tax notices, tax filings, collections and refunds
- Tax audit: suspension of audit interaction for a specified time period; collection activities on new debts suspended until further notice; flexible payment arrangements readily available
- Tax litigation: extension of litigation proceedings for a specified time period
In a recent survey from CPA Practice Adviser found that 62% of respondents who felt they are responding to COVID-19 successfully were more likely to be using cloud-based technology, particularly, cloud-based document management and online client portals. On the other hand, firms that identified themselves as being less successful in their response to the pandemic are putting more energy into incorporating new technology to enable remote work and communication with team members and clients.
Firms that already had at least one cloud system in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic fared far better than firms that did not have any cloud systems in place, and the firms that were most successful in dealing with the pandemic offered virtual collaboration tools to their clients at a higher rate than firms that were less successful. Firms who rated themselves as less successful used postal mail at a higher rate than the average firm.
As you can see, technology matters a lot in today’s accounting industry, especially as we move towards a more digitally connected world. If you work in accounting or finance, our recommendation is to stay updated on changes being made at the educational and institutional level.