Technology has turned the accounting industry, including the field of taxation, on its head. Tax professionals are using innovative tools to automate labor-intensive tasks, freeing them up to spend more time consulting with and advising their clients—a value add. To help students stay knowledgeable of the latest tools and bring relevant expertise to the table, Robinson has updated its Master of Taxation (MTX) program to include a required course in tax analytics.
By examining white papers and case studies, students will gain in-depth experience in topics including data visualization, data wrangling, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. To complete the cases, students will have to understand and use the tools they’ve learned.
“Data visualization is a critical piece in pointing out either data anomalies or outliers,” said course instructor Lynn Comer-Jones, who also is director of the MTX program. “By getting to the error source more quickly, tax professionals can promptly advise their clients and develop tax strategies. Also, technology lets tax professionals spend less time on repetitive and mundane tasks. This allows more opportunity for consultation and tax planning using analytics.”
Senior managers and partners from well-respected companies such as Deloitte, Dixon Hughes Goodman, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, and PwC will provide course content. Some will deliver guest lectures focusing on how they’ve put tax analytics to practice. Others will share use cases in class.
The course will crystallize at the end of the semester with a capstone project. Students will choose a tax dilemma that can be solved with analytics, and deliver a presentation on their findings.
Tax Analytics is slated to launch in fall 2021, and is the only stand-alone tax analytics course in any MTX program offered in the Southeast.
“Many institutions only offer a tax track as part of a master’s-level accounting program,” Jones said. “Robinson’s Master of Taxation comprises ten courses dedicated solely to the area of taxation. All of our MTX faculty have professional experience, some with over two decades, ensuring our curriculum is relevant to the profession.”