Unique software helps practitioners identify compliance errors

04 February 2005

The development of software applications to help protect practitioners from filing incorrect information is a rapidly growing arena according to Jerry Rihll, managing director of Digita, but some, he warns, are more effective than others.

Jerry Rihll said:

"With the grave consequences of failing to comply with the money laundering regime, any enquiry by the Inland Revenue is a potential risk for the practitioner. Always at the back of the mind of the Revenue investigator is the question 'How much did the practitioner know and what did he choose to ignore?' These devices are specifically designed to alleviate that threat."

"The effectiveness and price of these software applications vary widely. What they all seek to do however, with varying degrees of success, is trap errors at such a low cost to the practitioner that the additional time spent in review can be recovered from the client. The added bonus of course is that the practitioner also gets to sleep more soundly at night."

"The bulk of the software applications available merely assist in the monitoring of a user created process of review. One or two will attempt to bring the contents of two tax returns together in such a way that the time spent in such a comparison is substantially reduced, and errors are easier to spot by the practitioner because of the structured presentation of the data."

Digita's Taxability Pro, he explained, also contains a review device that presents two years Tax Return data together in a structured way.

"This is not unique. What is unique is that the device makes the comparison at source of income level, and intriguingly, has been further developed to undertake the first review of the return itself on behalf of the practitioner.This 'Artificial Intelligence' allows Taxability Pro to volunteer potential explanations for differences in data, including for example, the fact that a dividend holding has changed. This technology is the first example of a software application in the personal tax arena becoming pro-active and actually helping the practitioner get the answer right in a high risk area."

Jerry Rihll concluded:

"Software technology is an arena in which the pace of development is extremely rapid and it will be interesting to see if other players in this market attempt to develop similar devices. If they do, it will make the practitioners life just a little more comfortable."

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