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Generative AI and Tax Professionals

TLDR:

  • 40% of tax professionals believe generative AI will allow them to charge higher rates for clients
  • Survey shows tax professionals more likely to pass on costs of AI to clients compared to legal professionals

A recent survey by Thomson Reuters found that 40% of tax professionals believe that the use of generative AI will increase the rates they charge their clients. This survey of 1,128 professional service workers conducted in January and February 2024 also revealed that tax professionals are more likely to pass on the costs of AI to their clients compared to legal professionals.

Interestingly, the survey showed that while 42% of tax professionals predicted their rates would stay the same, with or without generative AI, only 6% thought the technology would lead to charging clients less. In contrast, law firms were less optimistic about the impact of generative AI on their fees, with only 13% believing their rates would go up at all, and none thinking it would be significant.

Thomson Reuters suggested that the difference in attitudes towards AI investments may be a driving factor for the varying responses between tax and legal professionals. Tax professionals are more likely to pass on AI costs to their clients, either across the board or on a case-by-case basis, while legal professionals are more inclined to absorb the costs as overhead.

The survey also revealed that tax professionals are warming up to generative AI, with a growing proportion (from 49% to 52%) of accounting professionals believing it should be applied to industry work. This shift in attitude was especially notable among corporate accounting professionals, with the proportion increasing from 53% to 60%.

While there are still concerns about the technology, accounting professionals are becoming less likely to view generative AI as a threat when compared to legal professionals. Despite this, more law firms are already using generative AI than tax firms, indicating a potential shift in the future.

In conclusion, as more professionals consider using AI in their work, attitudes towards its application may change. The survey suggested that there will likely be a momentum towards generative AI in the coming years, with an increasing number of professionals becoming users of the technology.


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