Tax Day in the United States is just around the corner. Typically scheduled for April 15, this year the final filing date was pushed to Monday, April 18. And while millions are scrambling to file their returns (or request an extension), we thought we would take a moment to focus on yet another area where artificial intelligence is making complex processes easier: compliance.
AI and Tax Compliance
Let’s start with our theme of tax compliance. According to the Internal Revenue Service, 89 percent of U.S. tax returns were filed electronically in 2018. With a current population of more than 330 billion, that’s a lot of data to process. Despite its vast resources and an army of employees, it should come as no surprise that the IRS is increasingly turning to technology—and artificial intelligence in particular—to tackle this gargantuan task. According to Forbes, governments worldwide are leveraging AI in taxation to scan tax reports and extract data, identify tax deductions and credits, detect tax evasion and automate repetitive tasks.
If these processes sound familiar, they should. That’s because the same technology that’s helping governments enforce tax compliance also helps enterprises comply with other rules and regulations. For example, more and more financial institutions are using AI to streamline compliance with digital security laws, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations and more. Unlike human auditors, who can only examine fractions of financial information at a time, AI can quickly and accurately analyze 100 percent of the data under review. In fact, one international banking group was able to cut its compliance auditing efforts in half using Uniphore’s AI-powered analytics software, U-Analyze. (For more information on the growing role of AI in financial compliance, read our whitepaper, Keeping Compliance Under Control.)
However, financial institutions aren’t the only businesses using AI to improve compliance. Earlier this year, we reported on how AI-powered analytics are driving better healthcare compliance. Like banks, healthcare providers and payers are subject to strict compliance rules with stiff penalties for noncompliance. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), between $100 and $300 billion of avoidable health care costs have been attributed to nonadherence in the U.S. annually, representing 3 to 10 percent of total U.S. healthcare costs. To combat this trend—while minimizing the effort and cost involved—the healthcare industry is increasingly turning to AI. By analyzing patient interactions, documents and more, AI-enabled organizations are able to identify potential compliance concerns—from payment issues to nondisclosure of vital HIPAA and CMS information.
Compliance in Other Industries
While banks and healthcare providers often come to mind first when discussing compliance, other industries are subject to equally tight compliance guidelines. Insurance providers, for example, must comply with similar government-established regulations and disclosure norms. Like other regulated service providers, they too are leveraging AI—particularly conversational AI software—in increasing numbers. A similar trend is on the rise among certain business process outsourcers (BPOs), particularly those within the collections industry, who are required to make privacy and financial disclosures during customer interactions. (For more information on how AI is sharpening collections accuracy and compliance, read our whitepaper, Creating a Better Collections Experience.)
Across all industries, AI is simplifying compliance not only with external requirements but also with internal ones governing quality assurance. Nearly every customer-facing organization operates under its own QA guidelines. These rules provide a roadmap for creating a consistent customer experience. The closer agents comply with QA standards, the more likely customers will receive a satisfactory experience. Again, as with government compliance, AI comes to the rescue, removing the burden of compliance complexity from the agent’s shoulders so they can focus on what matters most to their enterprise: the customer’s needs.