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17.08.2018

WTS AI: WTS and QUNIS establish joint venture for artificial intelligence within taxation

The tax consulting firm, WTS, together with the business intelligence and data analytics specialist, QUNIS, have established the joint venture, WTS AI

The tax consulting firm, WTS, together with the business intelligence and data analytics specialist, QUNIS, have established the joint venture, WTS AI. In this context, both cooperation partners will develop solutions for the digitalisation of tax functions using artificial intelligence (AI) as much as possible.

WTS and QUNIS are combining their extensive expertise in tax law, business intelligence, data analytics and AI in the joint venture, WTS AI. The aim is to establish even more efficient tax functions and enable the vision of the future tax workplace to become a reality.

The use of AI in taxation offers enormous potential. In particular, in tax areas where large amounts of data are moved and the tax-related tasks are highly repetitive (e.g. income tax, VAT, transfer pricing or customs), tax processes can be automated using intelligent systems. This allows companies to gain the upper hand in terms of quality, cost reduction and the achievement of significantly higher tax compliance.

However, very well-structured data management is required for using AI. “In order for companies to be able to benefit from AI, they must have a fully developed data management system and a tax data warehouse. This is because intelligent tax solutions can only develop their full potential when they have access to a sufficiently structured database. This is where our joint venture partner, QUNIS, comes into play, a company that has extensive expertise in the fields of advanced analytics and big data,” explains Fritz Esterer, CEO of WTS.

AI readiness and tax apps

The consulting services offered by WTS AI are divided into three groups: consulting, training and tax apps. With the consulting service, the joint venture helps companies determine their current digital degree of maturity and increases it for purposes of using AI technologies. In comparison, the AI training is aimed at raising awareness of this field among employees and preparing them to be able to handle future AI tasks.

“Many tax-related functions would work well with AI technologies. However, quite often, neither their organisational structure nor the existing IT infrastructure are designed for this. The availability of relevant data is also often a problem. With appropriate organisational and data management consulting and training, we assist our clients in achieving AI readiness,” comments Vanessa Just, Project Lead AI at WTS and CEO of WTS AI.

“Our concept for consulting first focusses on creating the required data availability for AI systems. That is why we look closely at the processes and IT infrastructure in companies and examine which data is actually needed for this. Building on this, we then create a central tax database and adapt the processes concerned accordingly,” explains Maximilian Gantner, Business Development at QUNIS and the other CEO of WTS AI.

The third component of the WTS AI consulting portfolio is the development and implementation of intelligent tax solutions, so-called ‘tax apps’. To this end, the joint venture uses tools from the disciplines of advanced analytics and AI (e.g. machine learning, process mining or language processing), and WTS has been researching the potential applications for these tools for the past two years, together with the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (Deutschen Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz, DFKI). WTS AI will provide the first tax apps for the fields of VAT, transfer pricing and customs.

Next expansion phase: financial advisory

In addition to tax expertise, WTS and QUNIS also have extensive knowledge in the area of financial advisory services. Since autumn of 2017, the financial advisory firm, FAS AG, has belonged to the WTS Group. QUNIS adds to the specialist expertise, with technical and methodological competencies, particularly in the areas of business intelligence, big data, AI and data management. Against this background, the joint venture will develop its product portfolio in the future to include accounting & controlling solutions.

 

About WTS

WTS is a global tax consultancy firm which deliberately refrains from conducting annual audits. The service is complemented by relevant legal advice and comprehensive financial advisory services. With a pioneering spirit, over 650 employees at WTS have developed innovative and tailor-made solutions which are provided for our clients with a high level of expertise.

WTS is represented in Germany at eight locations and in more than 130 countries worldwide through the international WTS Global network.

More information is available at www.wts.com/de

About QUNIS

QUNIS combines the expertise and experience of high-profile experts in business intelligence (BI), big data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), all under one roof. Experience, innovative ability, inventiveness and professionalism make QUNIS stand out. An integrated approach to consulting and implementing requirements and projects forms the basis for this. More than 100 companies and groups rely on the expertise of QUNIS in BI projects and digital change processes. The development of sustainable strategies, experience in using the most modern technologies and procedure models, as well as the optimisation of decision-making and control processes justify this trust and guarantee that QUNIS customers have a competitive edge.

More information is available at www.qunis.de

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