Transitioning into Tech in the Taxation and Financial Field

Asian women working in office, transitioning into tech concept


Yvonne Goh, Lecturer and Head, School of Professional Education (SOPE) at London School of Business and Finance in Singapore, explores the importance of tax and financial professionals embracing technology to combat tax evasion, money laundering, and to improve compliance and advisory services.

In recent years, as the issue of international tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering has drawn additional focus, it is paramount for stakeholders such as tax professionals, financial institutions, etc to spot and identify potential errant taxpayers and criminals.

To do so will require substantial manpower and financial resources, therefore leveraging technological advancement is essential.

Over the last 10 years, automation and data analytics have revolutionized traditional tax processes, “know-your-client” KYC process, etc. While it is important for tax professionals, relationship managers, financial advisors, etc to keep themselves abreast of the recent developments in the regulations relating to tax evasion, tax avoidance and anti-money laundering, it is also critical that they possess tech-savvy skills to transit into tech in their line of work or business.

The Journey to Tech-Savvy Skills

 It is important for tax and financial professionals to familiarize themselves with the current tech-related developments in both the taxation and anti-money laundering fields. The availability of tax software, data analytic tools and blockchain have transformed the way taxes or information are prepared or gathered, analysed, and reported which has revolutionized tax compliance, tax planning and the provision of professional advisory services.

In addition, it is necessary to be kept abreast of the emerging technologies that are likely to “reveal the shield” of errant taxpayers and criminals leading to the “transparency” of income and tax, source of funds, etc which is the underlying principle to the prevention of tax avoidance, tax-evasion, and money laundering activities.

transitioning into tech


Knowledge and application are great partners and should never be separated. Therefore, tax and financial professionals should seek opportunities or volunteer where possible, for hands-on experience in tech-enabled tax or financial roles. As entities embark into technological advancement in their processes, where cross-functional opportunities arise, volunteer to assist in such projects. Practical experience will allow tax and financial professionals to demonstrate their ability to apply the tech skills they acquired in a real-world environment and will also enhance their technical proficiency.

Identify Opportunities

In addition to the efficiency level in using data analytics techniques and tools to spot red flags which may require further investigation of clients on income or tax reporting, source of funds, etc, the ability to leverage the data effectively can enhance the ability of tax professionals, wealth managers, etc to identify tax savings opportunities, mitigate risks and provide strategic professional advice to their clients.

Persevere and Be Resilient

Over the years, many experienced tax professionals and financial advisors have also stepped out of their “front-line” zone to move into the “back-end” development of new technological solutions to achieve specific outcomes for tax compliance and reporting, spotting potential money laundering activities, etc.

This path is filled with obstacles and setbacks in view of the many new developments and regulations in the taxation (i.e. Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and financial field (i.e. recognition of cryptocurrency and money laundering), creating greater challenges in developing technological solutions. It is therefore critical that professionals who chose this mission, turn these obstacles and setbacks into opportunities, adapt their approaches and persevere towards the goals. So, stay resilient for the good of our future generations.

With dedication, adaptability, and perseverance to leverage technology in the taxation and financial field, will assist in the prevention of undesirable motives such as tax evasion, tax avoidance, money laundering, etc for the world to achieve tax and financial fairness.

As tax or financial professionals, the ability to leverage technology and innovation will allow them to embark on a fulfilling career, enhance and bring their practices to greater heights, in this dynamic and ever-evolving world of technology.

So, let’s get moving with the tech-world!



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