The latest developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have proven that AI-enabled applications can be leveraged across several industries. The tax and accounting industry is no exception. There are numerous manual tasks in the tax process, which means several opportunities for AI to drive efficiency through automation.

So, who are the major investors in the AI landscape? What initiatives are advancing AI’s potential? What does all this mean for the tax and accounting industry? Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories in this evolving landscape. 

EY makes $1 billion investment in technology, including AI 

EY (formerly Ernst & Young) announced its $1 billion investment in a next-generation assurance platform and application of advanced technologies, including AI. The firm’s investment will support improving the performance of its auditing capabilities. 

In an Accounting Today podcast episode, EY innovation leaders Marc Jeschonneck and Paul Goodhew discuss the technology investment and what it could mean for auditing efforts. 

We’ve already embarked the journey on artificial intelligence with document intelligence capabilities around analytics and such, but we’re really combining that into one seamless platform,” says Goodhew. 

 Listen to the full podcast on Accounting Today → 

UMD and Deloitte launch AI initiative 

The University of Maryland (UMD) Robert H. Smith School of Business joined Deloitte in launching the Deloitte Initiative for AI and Learning (DIAL). DIAL will leverage UMD’s research prominence alongside Deloitte’s experience with AI-enabled tools in the private and public sectors. 

“The DIAL program enables Smith and Deloitte to continue their critical collaborations at the forefront of cutting-edge research and emerging technology,” says Wedad Elmaghraby, Dean’s Professor of Operations Management. 

The AI research initiative is being funded by the Deloitte AI Institute for Government. DIAL will focus on AI ethics and trustworthy AI, AI at scale, AI for equity, and AI-human interaction.  

Read the full story on Maryland Today → 

Microsoft rumored to invest $10 billion in OpenAI 

On January 9th, a news site called Semafor surfaced a rumor that Microsoft planned to invest $10 billion in OpenAI, the technology startup behind ChatGPT. Semafor reported that such a deal, paired with other investments, would value OpenAI at $29 billion. On January 23rd, Microsoft issued a press release that confirmed it was moving forward with a “multibillion dollar investment,” though it declined to verify the exact sum.

“[Microsoft and OpenAI] innovations have captured imaginations and introduced large-scale AI as a powerful, general-purpose technology platform that we believe will create transformative impact at the magnitude of the personal computer, the internet, mobile devices and the cloud,” the press release states.

ChatGPT is a natural language processing model capable of generating text that appears in a human writing style. It has also been used to develop code. Microsoft’s investment could advance the capabilities of its search engine, Bing. 

Read a summary on CNBC → 

Thomson Reuters acquires SurePrep 

In January 2023, Thomson Reuters announced that it closed on its acquisition of SurePrep, the leader in 1040 tax automation software and services. The acquisition means that Thomson Reuters absorbs SurePrep’s AI patents, in-house Innovation Team, and proprietary AI/ML training models. Combined with its existing assets, these infusions will catapult Thomson Reuters lightyears ahead in the tax and accounting AI race.

SurePrep currently uses AI to support the automation of OCR verification and workpaper processing. The SurePrep acquisition supports Thomson Reuters’ growth strategy and its promotion of seamless, cloud-based workflows. Thomson Reuters remains committed to smart, connected platforms in an open software ecosystem. 

Read more about the acquisition on CPA Practice Advisor → raises $52 million for accounting automation 

Accounting automation platform announced raising $52 million in a Series C funding round, bringing its total raised to $115 million. CEO Alexander Hagerup says the capital is being used for customer acquisition in North America and adding capabilities to the platform. primarily handles invoice processing through machine learning algorithms and automation. The company now has 60 enterprise customers with an active user base that has grown 280% compared to 2021, according to their CEO.

Read the full story on TechCrunch → 

Accounting students get tech curriculum 

A significant number of accounting students aren’t prepared to put the latest digital tools to work. This skills gap sparked CPA Evolution, a project designed to transform the CPA licensure model to fit the changing skills and competencies that new CPAs need. 

The CPA Evolution Model Curriculum aims to address the skills gap for new accounting graduates, especially in the area of technology. More data-driven projects with digital software will prepare the next generation of accountants for fully digitized workflows.  

Read the full story on The CPA Journal → 

Which tax-related tasks can be automated? 

There are several repetitive tasks in the tax and accounting industry, which presents opportunities for AI-backed automation. AI training relies on large data sets that teach the software to recognize patterns and anomalies. Tax and accounting is a highly structured, well-documented field that produces such data sets by its very nature. 

So what kinds of things could we teach AI to do? Tech writer Zach Amos speculates how tax professionals could leverage AI to automate tax entries, classify tax-sensitive transactions, predict future tax liabilities, and more.  

Read the full story on Unite.AI → 

Monthly Digest

Subscribe to receive new whitepapers, webinars, blog posts, and other content once a month.