AI and Robotics

A new mindset needs to be acquired - technology is an opportunity and not a threat.

AI & Robotics

At a time when Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are at the epicenter of major discussions in all business areas worldwide, it is natural for every professional to stop and assess the resulting implications.

A quick look at a recent survey conducted by the Albanian National Institute of Statistics reveals that Albanian enterprises that used the computer for work purposes in 2017 represent 96% of all the sample surveyed. The same survey indicates that internet access in the Albanian business environment is now a staple facility, with almost 97% of surveyed enterprises reporting having such access. While these figures do not translate into the extent to which technology is present in data analysis, decision making and other everyday business processes of Albanian enterprises; they are an indication that the Albanian market possesses the key tools to become part of the technological revolution that has already taken the business world by storm.

The future of the business is digital, and that encompasses professional services including the tax and legal domains. It is hard to accurately predict the prevailing trends of the next decade, especially when we take into consideration the rapid technological advancements that we face on a daily basis. The current digital landscape for the tax and legal professional is both exciting and confusing. On the one hand, there is promise of opportunities and growth unheard of before. On the other hand, we are facing numerous challenges and frustrations when it comes to implementing new technologies and yielding desired results. So how can we best bridge this gap in order to be the next gen tax and legal advisors?

A recent Deloitte report has successfully attempted to identify the key future trends in technology and has used them to map out tomorrow’s tax and legal world. Ever larger and complex data sets will drive the need for more sophisticated and powerful analytics programs. A blend of augmentation and automation will enable the replacement of manual processes carried out by individuals almost completely, including here important decision making processes. Democratization of knowledge will continue its exponential growth. Knowledge of all fields and all levels will be transparently and easily available to the end user. This evolution of sharing and social economy will provide access to open resource networks. Freelancers available for performing task based work in remote and virtual ways, within different reward models will be the new norm.

The main takeaway from all the above is that technical and operational intelligence is increasingly becoming automated. The digital transformation will reduce time spent processing and improve advanced analytical capacities. Less than a decade ago, it was standard business procedure for the Albanian tax and legal advisor to offer summaries of the changes in legislation against a fee, whereas today we provide that information as part of our client services free of charge.  Establishing a legal entity, drafting an employment contract, bookkeeping, and many other services that today are services generating a good portion of the revenues for tax and legal professionals, sooner than later will be provided in abundance through the use of technology and the added value will be limited.  Maybe in our region we will not have a Robot sitting next to us as a colleague, but we do need to ask ourselves “How much longer will we be doing what we are currently doing in the light of all the aforementioned changes?”. My guess is not for long.

In order for tax and legal professionals to remain relevant and indispensable in the not-so-distant digital future, emotional intelligence must be advanced. A new mindset needs to be acquired - technology is an opportunity and not a threat. New skills, especially technological ones, will need to be further advanced in order to know how to combine technology with the very human skills that form the foundations of a successful business relationship – empathy, creativity, emotion and morality. The customer must be able to extract premium value from our advisory services in a trustworthy manner in order to continue choosing us.

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