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Big Four firm KPMG has announced a new partnership to give itself a competitive edge when tackling complex tax issues. Working with software company Blue J, KPMG hopes to leverage artificial intelligence to free up more employee time for value-adding activities.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can process, handle, and analyse massive amounts of data far more efficiently and faster than the average human. Robotic process automation, also known as RPA, can use this to help companies with a wide range of admin tasks. Consultants can then use automation to boost their operations and performance, by allowing them more time for complicated and value-intensive work.

All this makes AI ideal for boosting efficiency and accuracy in the tax advisory sphere of professional services – a potential that KPMG UK is hoping to harness with its partnership with Blue J. Blue J specialises in predictive analysis tools for tax lawyers and accountants in North America, but its deal with KPMG is its first alliance partner in Europe.

KPMG turns to AI to boost tax offering

Stuart Tait, Partner, Chief Technology Officer – Tax & Legal, at KPMG, said, “The Blue J technology is helping us to navigate complicated legislation and case law, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to research technical positions and will help with the huge caseload… We hope that by freeing up the time of our employees, we’ll have more resource to dedicate to partnering with our clients on their most business-critical issues.”

Blue J’s tool is currently available to all 2,500 of KPMG’s tax and legal professionals, and Tait added that the tool will accelerate the firm’s technical analysis to improve the speed and accuracy of the advice offered to clients. According to him, use of AI will allow the professionals to predict tax scenario outcomes with better than 90% accuracy – and four times faster than traditional research methods such as keyword and Boolean searches.

Speaking on the news, Benjamin Alarie, CEO of Blue J, noted, “This decade will see incredible growth in the sophistication of analysis tools that use AI to enable professionals to deliver superior results for their clients, in a far more efficient manner than previously possible. KPMG is at the forefront of this trend, and we’re excited to be building this solution with them.”

At the same time, KPMG plans to allow the Blue J technology to help train junior staff members. With hybrid working now mainstream, the tool will be able to guide more junior colleagues through tricky cases, and educate them on tax research, so they get the support they need to quickly progress in their career and give more informed advice to KPMG clients.

In Britain, KPMG has been rapidly investing in its organisation’s new offerings. A £300 million investment strategy for KPMG UK, which is being driven by its new Chief Executive Jon Holt, recently saw KPMG Law, the firm’s UK legal services business, announce plans to hire a further 220 lawyers by the end of 2024.