2.1 The rapid pace and growth of technological advancements in recent times has seen the emergence and anticipation of a range of innovations which give rise to new ways of working and doing business. These technologies have numerous applications across multiple industries, including the tax profession.10 Accordingly, there is no universal or detailed awareness of the technologies that exist presently or those anticipated in the future.

2.2 Given that these technologies are the fundamental driver giving rise to disruptions in the economy, including the tax profession, it is appropriate to provide an overview of them and establish a firm foundation for the discussion that follows.

2.3 The opportunities and challenges presented by technology, from the perspective of revenue authorities across the globe, is outlined in Chapter 3. This international analysis provides important background for Chapter 4, which explores the issues, in the Australian context, for tax professionals, taxpayers and the ATO.

Artificial intelligence

2.4 Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to machines that can mimic human intelligence to perform certain tasks. One form of AI is ‘machine learning’ which provides computers with the ability to adapt or learn when exposed to new data without being specifically programmed to do so.11

2.5 IBM Watson is one example of AI used in business. It is a cognitive computing platform that can analyse unstructured data, understand natural language questions which can have multiple meanings to determine what is being asked and present answers based on supporting evidence.12 For example, within the insurance industry IBM Watson has recently been integrated into Suncorp’s online claims process to streamline more than 500,000 motor claims per year. The system has the ability to understand colloquialisms and Australian slang to analyse customer descriptions of motor accidents and determine liability. It enables a claim to be lodged, excess paid and repairs booked within 5 minutes, a process which historically would have taken 24 to 48 hours. In its trial period, the IBM Watson technology was able to accurately determine liability for approximately 90 per cent of claims.13

2.6 One of the benefits of AI is its ability to complete time consuming tasks, such as research or information retrieval, more accurately and efficiently with minimal manual input thereby allowing its users to focus on other activities, such as those requiring complex analysis and judgment.

2.7 Whilst AI brings many opportunities to provide a more efficient and cost-effective way of working, it could also significantly disrupt traditional work practices across a range of industries including tax.14 There are a number of examples of AI applications within the tax environment. In 2016 KPMG announced plans to:15

… further increase its cognitive capabilities and apply IBM Watson cognitive computing technology to a range of its professional services offerings in Australia.

2.8 KPMG stated that the use of this AI technology in audit will provide the ability to analyse and act on larger sets of financial and operational data to deliver greater insights.16

2.9 Internationally, IBM Watson has also teamed up with H&R Block. It is used by H&R block tax practitioners to provide clients with access to a more engaging and personalised tax experience that has the ability to ‘uncover every deduction and credit available’.17 To do so, the technology takes into account what has happened in the taxpayer’s life in the last year and highlights areas of possible tax implications.

2.10 The Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Research Assistant, otherwise known as Ailira, is an example of how AI can be implemented to support tax professionals in legal and tax research. In addition to such research, Ailira can also help with business structuring, wills and estate planning as well as creating legal documents.18 Similar to IBM Watson, Ailira scans information from tax law databases, legislation and ATO rulings to answer questions posed in natural language.19

2.11 It is also important to acknowledge some commentators’ claims that the disruption in the case of AI may be overstretched in terms of expectation. For example, it has been likened to ‘Excel spreadsheets on steroids’,20 and ‘only as good as the data it receives and is able to interpret it only within the narrow confines of the supplied context.’21 In another case, the claim was that the AI of today cannot create, learn common sense or reasoning, deploy human judgment or professional scepticism.22

2.12 The challenge is that while there is a range of perspectives on AI, the weight of support and investment is such that it is undeniably a scenario that needs to be considered regarding the future.

Blockchain technology

2.13 Blockchain technology is a form of distributed ledger technology — an open and de-centralised ledger that records information in individual blocks. Blockchains are managed and continuously verified by participants within the chain, thereby providing certainty that the information has not been altered.23 It allows for the sharing of trusted information amongst its participants without the need for third party verification.

2.14 One of the most well-known applications of blockchain technology has been cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, and the online platform through which it is traded. Bitcoin, and its underlying technology, was first proposed in 2008 as a:24

… purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [which] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

2.15 The value of blockchain technology lies within:25

  • increased speed of transactions;
  • increased transparency in the case of public blockchains;
  • increased confidence in the data which reduces the risk of fraud and errors;
  • the removal of the central authority in order to process electronic transactions, such as a financial institution or clearing house; and
  • the ability to enable or restrict access as necessary.

2.16 It is likely that blockchain technology would have a significant impact on processes which contain verification activities or where verified and trusted transactions are required.26 Figure 2.1 below shows the various applications for blockchain, ranging from digital identity to digital assets, distributed apps and smart contracts.27 It is important to note that these applications permeate many industries.

Figure 2.1: Applications of blockchain

Source: Deloitte

2.17 As shown in Figure 2.1 above, blockchain technology is revolutionising the way in which industries operate with applications such as ‘distributed trading’ and ‘asset ownership’. On 7 December 2017, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced that it is replacing its current system to record shareholdings and will manage the clearing and settlement of transactions with distributed ledger technology.28 The new technology will allow for clearance and settlement to occur directly between participants, resulting in simpler, faster and more secure trades,29 reducing costs for customers and ‘put[ing] Australia at the forefront of innovation in financial markets’.30

2.18 Furthermore, applications of blockchain also include authenticating asset ownership as set out in Figure 2.1 above. For example, Australia’s largest gold refiner, the Perth Mint, has plans to use blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to draw investors back to precious metals. The Perth Mint plans to back their own cryptocurrency with physical precious metals which will have the dual benefit of stabilising the value of the cryptocurrency as well as the efficient and real time settlement of transactions.31

2.19 Internationally, Estonia and the Netherlands have also explored the benefits of blockchain technology. It has been implemented widely in Estonia, including many of Estonia’s judicial, legislative and security registries to ‘protect national data, e-services and smart devices both in the public and private sector’.32 The Netherlands has trialled the application of blockchain technology to payroll tax.33 For more information, please see Chapter 3.

2.20 Within the tax profession and regulatory bodies, blockchain can be used in audits, as shown in Figure 2.1 above, to reduce the compliance burden and audit costs whilst at the same time, increasing accuracy and promoting trust. For accountants, it would mean less transactional processing and reconciliation as transactions are added by the parties involved and then automatically verified. Given that this then leaves an automated audit trail in real time, it could see a disruption in the work of auditors who would normally verify those transactions.34 Financial data from the Big 4 accounting firms already show a decline in the proportion of revenue they derived from audit activities across four financial years from 2014 to 2017.35

2.21 Tax professionals in advisory services will also be affected by blockchain technology. Similar to other technological advancements which may impact the profession, tax professionals will be increasingly engaged by clients to provide advice on the adoption, implementation and integration of this technology into their businesses. This would likely generate new business for tax professionals in the areas of systems solutions, cyber security and technology based audit expertise.36

2.22 The benefits associated with blockchain technology in relation to decreased reconciliation and audit costs as well as increased audit accuracy also apply to revenue agencies such as the ATO. Given that data cannot be altered or deleted on a blockchain and is continuously verified, the ATO will have greater trust in the data. In addition, as blockchain technology operates in a decentralised network, there is no central point of failure and as such, it is more resilient to malicious attacks.37

2.23 In conducting compliance activities and prefilling returns, the ATO often relies on third party information from the private sector obtained from financial institutions, share registries and health funds. As these businesses start to consider how blockchain technology may be implemented in their operations, revenue agencies such as the ATO have the opportunity to involve themselves in the design of governance structures so that any new standards will be developed in line with its requirements. Revenue agencies may also benefit from actively encouraging the private sector in participating in the blockchain ecosystem to make the most of the opportunities presented by blockchain technology.38

2.24 It should be noted that blockchain technology is still in the very early stages and while the benefits are well documented, many of the risks associated with the technology are still emerging. These may include data security, privacy, lack of standardisation and jurisdictional risk.39 Some commentators have raised concern that blockchain technology is ‘overhyped.’40 Specifically, the challenge is said to be its large storage and energy requirements.41 In one example, a Bitcoin software client was reported to only process 5 to 7 transactions per second in comparison to Visa which processes 25,000 transactions per second.42

Robotic processing automation

2.25 Robotic processing automation (RPA) replicates tasks that would otherwise be performed by a human. It increases business efficiency as tasks are performed faster, more accurately and at reduced costs.43

2.26 In 2015, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) delivered a report on Australia’s future workforce and identified that:44

… 40 per cent of jobs in Australia have a high probability of being susceptible to computerisation and automation in the next 10 to 15 years.

2.27 In a recent submission to the Senate’s Inquiry on the Future of Work and Workers, Flinders University reported that three of the 20 occupations most vulnerable to automation include accounting clerks, payroll clerks and bookkeepers.45 RPA allows businesses to refocus their resources to value-add activities such as the interpretation and analysis of data rather than calculating and generating reports. Examples of companies, known to tax professionals and already providing such services, include Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer.46

2.28 RPA is also commonly used in reconciliations and report generation where tasks are rules based. It can bring a multitude of opportunities through the expansion of service offerings. For example, PwC Australia offers a suite of RPA related services including:47

  • strategic design to incorporate RPA into an organisation’s strategy, operating model, information technology (IT), workforce and risk;
  • opportunity assessment to consider how RPA can benefit an organisation beyond cost reduction, such as improving customer experience, revenue growth, risk mitigation and operational agility;
  • deployment of RPA; and
  • providing sustainability options such as ongoing support.

2.29 The effects of RPA are also being felt more widely as well. In 2015, ANZ spoke to the Australian Financial Review (AFR) about the pilots it is running in the finance, human resources, payments and mortgage processing areas. In one example, ANZ explained that it was able to reduce the number of employees in the payments area from 40 down to 2. Whilst ANZ is not using RPA as a method of reducing staff numbers, it does acknowledge that the pace of recruitment has dropped significantly.48

2.30 Similar experiences with RPA have also been observed in international markets. For example, the Future [Inc] Report by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has predicted that, in New Zealand, 46 per cent of all jobs will be at risk to automation in the next 20 years.49 Furthermore, it predicted that all roles with the accounting profession other than corporate treasurers and secretaries are at high risk of automation.50

Fintech

2.31 The term Fintech refers to financial technologies applied to support or enable the delivery of financial services. Whilst the term was previously used to describe the technologies used by financial institutions themselves in the ‘back end’ of their businesses, it is increasingly used now to represent technologies disrupting traditional financial services, including mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising, and asset management.51

2.32 Some of the more widely known examples of Fintech include:

  • PayPal and Alipay which are online payment platforms, accepting credit and debit cards as well as automatically converting currencies to enable users to purchase goods from remote areas and overseas;52
  • digital wallets including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay which allow bank customers to make payments with the tap of a smartphone or smart watch;53 and
  • TransferWise which streamlines international money transfers at a 90 per cent discount on traditional bank transfer fees.54

2.33 Fintech changes the way in which companies interact with their customers, bringing a range of positive impacts such as increased competition of technologies, a reduction in the prices that customers pay to transact and greater access to financial services.55

2.34 The Australian Government estimated that Fintech investment reached an US$20 billion globally in 2015.56 It recognises that developing Australia’s Fintech industry will ‘not only help drive expansion and growth in our financial exports, it will also deliver benefits to Australians through new services that create value or bring efficiencies’.57 As the Treasurer has stated:

FinTech is not an afterthought in Australia. It is front of centre in our national economic plan to boost jobs and growth; giving innovative businesses the encouragement and means to become leaders in a global marketplace where speed, simplicity and scale are non-negotiables.

… the Australian Government continues to respond to the rapid development of FinTech. We’re working constructively with industry leaders and regulators to ensure we provide every opportunity for FinTech firms to succeed.58

2.35 An international example of Fintech is WeChat, an instant messaging app used widely in China that also offers payment services. It is enabled on mobiles phones and can be used to transfer payments to other users as well as to make payments for services, almost everywhere in China, including for ordering taxis, at supermarkets and in hospitals.59 It purports to have hundreds of millions of users every day and is one of the most popular payment methods in China.60

2.36 A subset of Fintech is ‘Regtech’, otherwise known as regulatory technology,61 being the ‘use of new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance requirements more effectively and efficiently’.62 It has been reported that Regtech software is becoming increasingly popular due to regulatory reporting and privacy requirements necessitated by the large amounts of data companies are now collecting.63 It has the potential to help companies build a culture of compliance whilst reducing the associated costs.64

Robo-advice

2.37 Robo-advice refers to digital financial advice that is provided to clients through a computer rather than by a traditional financial adviser. It uses algorithms and technology to generate financial advice based on the client’s information such as age, gender, income, assets, financial goals and risk tolerance.65 It is used widely around the world, in countries such as the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), Canada, Estonia, Sweden and the Netherlands. For example, in many countries including the UK, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, ETFmatic manages a portfolio for each of their customers by buying and selling Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) on their behalf.66 Anyone is able to try a simulation account for free or open a real money portfolio in under five minutes using ETFmatic’s App.67

2.38 Robo-advice is considered a low-cost option for obtaining financial advice. It offers convenience but has potential to disrupt the financial services sector, particularly financial advisers. It can be accessed through a smart device ‘on the go’ at any time. In addition, as the advice is delivered by computers rather than traditional advisers, it is an option for people who cannot afford traditional advice, have smaller amounts to invest or only require simple advice.

2.39 It should be noted that the advice provided by Robo-advice is limited to one particular area at a time and does not necessarily take into account a client’s circumstances in a holistic sense. For example, if broader investment advice is required, the end product does not consider other factors such as debt management, super contributions, tax planning or impacts on Centrelink benefits. Furthermore, Robo-advice does not clarify a client’s goals or objectives nor does it account for changes in a client’s circumstances such as taking breaks from work or loss of income due to illness.68

2.40 Robo-advice has also given rise to regulatory concerns. In Australia, accountants are required to either hold an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence or be a representative of a licensee to provide self-managed super fund (SMSF)-related services to their clients. The Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) recently reported that:69

… a number of accountants who have chosen to operate without an AFS licence authorisation have entered into arrangements with digital financial advice providers (or “robo-advisers”) to allow their clients to access digital advice about SMSFs.

and

These arrangements allow unlicensed accountants to continue to provide SMSF-related services to their clients, even where they need financial product advice.

Big data analytics

2.41 Big data analytics or Big Data, refers to large sets of data and the tools used to manage and analyse them. The term is also used to describe data sets that are:70

… so large (from terabytes to exabytes) and complex (from sensor to social media data) that they require advanced and unique data storage, management, analysis, and visualization technologies.

2.42 Big Data also comes in various formats such as texts, images, voices and videos and can include information such as the number of clicks on a particular advertisement.71 A significant amount of this data is generated by the ‘Internet of People’ and the ‘Internet of Things’. The ‘Internet of People’ enables people to communicate with each other in ways not anticipated previously, by connecting ‘various pools of talent, enabling continuous upskilling, boundaryless careers, access to work opportunities, income continuation solutions, and access to various other benefits’.72

2.43 The ‘Internet of Things’ is the concept of devices communicating with each other using the Internet.73 The Internet of Things offers the transmission of data in real time between all parties including businesses and government. It streamlines interactions resulting in increased convenience, efficiency and better quality information. An example of an application arising from the Internet of Things74 is the online cash register which records all transactions and feeds the recorded information directly to revenue agencies. This has the benefit of assisting with business record keeping and compliance obligations as well as providing revenue agencies with more accurate data in real time.75

2.44 In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) conducted a survey which found that one of the top technological drivers of change in the future of jobs is processing power and Big Data.76 Within the tax profession, Big Data can have the effect of improving both management and financial accounting. For example, Big Data may be used to value intangible assets such as brand names through the real time measurement of customer satisfaction and trends in social media.77 Such valuations are important in many areas of taxation,78 for example transfer pricing.

2.45 Big Data can also be beneficial in audit and compliance work, particularly where it is conducted by external auditors which may be from the private sector or government agencies such as the ATO. It can improve the quality and relevance of audit evidence as a greater variety of data is available to allow a more thorough examination. It can also improve the overall analysis of audit data as ‘population’ (as distinct from sample) based audits are attainable, enabling greater analysis of trends, ratios and comparisons. By way of an example, Big Data can consider the relationship between financial statements and actual business organisations to identify potential red flags requiring closer examination.79

2.46 Internationally, Big Data is used by revenue agencies in countries such as Brazil and Russia to monitor Value-Added Tax (VAT) compliance. Chapter 3 provides more information in this regard.

Cloud technology

2.47 Cloud technology utilises the internet to store resources, data and information on offsite servers accessible from multiple devices80 without the need to purchase the infrastructure which would otherwise be necessary to support such storage and data processing needs.81 The ability to access cloud applications through a web browser allows businesses to conduct work anywhere by using a computer, tablet or mobile device.

2.48 Cloud technology and cloud storage provides ready access to vast amounts of data, which allows for the real time automation or processing of tasks such as bookkeeping and reporting. This reduces the risk of errors as the need to exchange files manually is diminished, creating greater efficiency and more accurate lodgments.82

2.49 Furthermore, cloud technology may result in capital savings as businesses no longer need to purchase both hardware and software previously required. Instead, businesses pay for cloud ‘apps’ on a subscription basis.83 Traditional accounting and taxation related software companies such as Sage, MYOB and Reckon have adopted this technology and now offer cloud versions of their applications.84

2.50 Tax professionals across a wide spectrum, from small to large scale practices, have also adopted cloud based technology. In addition to reduced costs and improved access, there are major client service benefits. Cloud technology allows real time two-way access between the practitioner and their client through a common data source. A recent global research survey found that 67 per cent of accountants utilise cloud technology and 53 per cent have adopted a cloud-based practice management solution.85

2.51 Emerging technologies, such as cloud and RPA, provide opportunities for tax and accounting firms to offer new services. Ernst & Young (EY) recently developed a cloud-based program, ‘EY Catalyst’, to support and enhance manufacturing operations. It offers clients the ability to access an extensive global database of leading practices, training, analytics and tools to build capability. It allows users to track their development journey through a mobile app, providing eLearning modules and an online community forum to encourage interactions with others.86 These are new services, not just old services offered in a new way.

2.52 The trend towards pursuing a digital business strategy has resulted in the adoption of cloud technology by revenue authorities as well. For example, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK uses cloud technology to make available online secure digital tax accounts for taxpayers which enables them to see a complete financial picture of their tax affairs and manage all of their liabilities and entitlements in the one place.87

Application programming interface

2.53 Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow businesses to connect their software with other businesses as well as the ATO with data flowing in both directions.88 APIs are attached to software products, acting as a ‘translator between a user’s request inputs and the software’s understandable language’.89 If the ATO, for example, wished to enable external applications to interact with its systems or part thereof, it would provide APIs for the relevant interactions so that the third party developers can incorporate them into those applications.

2.54 In the Australian accounting environment, APIs may be used in the collection of information from point-of-sale (POS) transactions. POS applications such as Vend, Kounta and others collect data from a business’s sales for the day and transmits them directly into relevant accounting software. This effectively removes the need to conduct an end-of-day cash reconciliation.

2.55 APIs are also used by accountants in reporting work such as constructing graphs, tables and dashboards. It allows raw data to be drawn and fed directly from accounting software into the software that presents the data in the desired format. It has the benefit of automating low-value tasks such as copying and pasting data into Excel macros which can give rise to human errors thereby allowing accountants to focus on value-add services such as explaining reports to clients.90

2.56 In addition, APIs are being used in accounting software to act as a gateway to payment platforms such as PayPal or eWAY. In these instances, APIs allow companies to issue invoices through accounting software which can be paid by the customer via a link, to the payment platform, in an email. Once the payment is processed successfully by the payment platform, the transaction is automatically reconciled against the invoice in the sellers’ or suppliers’ accounting software. Once again, this has the benefit of eliminating low-value tasks such as reconciling payment against invoices and eliminates human error.91

2.57 Internationally, APIs are released to DSPs by several of the revenue authorities examined by the IGT including those of the UK, Canada, Estonia and New Zealand. These are discussed in more detail in the next chapter.

New Payments Platform

2.58 The New Payments Platform (NPP) is a result of the collaboration between the big 4 banks and 9 other financial institutions in response to the Real Time Payments Committee’s recommendation for industry to develop a real time payments clearing and settlement system for consumers, businesses and government.92 The NPP, and related services such as PayID and Osko by BPAY, were deployed during the course of this review.93

2.59 The NPP is a form of Fintech that enables real time clearing and settlement of payments. It allows for simplified payments through the use of a mobile number or email address rather than a BSB and account number. It also allows payments to include more information such as text or links to invoices and other documents.94

2.60 The NPP is designed to be more ‘data rich’ and transmit more information with transactions than is currently possible on the existing payment platform. Given this capability, it is likely that future applications may include the collection of Goods and Services Tax (GST) at source. This could be made possible through financial institutions employing software with AI capabilities that analyses the data attached to individual payments to identify the GST component. The GST could then be instantaneously transmitted to the ATO thereby hardwiring compliance for businesses and enhancing ATO verification and collection processes.

2.61 Furthermore, the financial institutions may also develop ‘overlay’ services which use the NPP’s data rich capabilities to deliver greater benefits to their clients. As yet, it is not known what kinds of ‘overlay’ services may be developed.

2.62 The NPP, whilst a unique Australian design, is similar to the UK’s Faster Payments system which also enables real time payments. It was launched in May 2008, with a total of 21 participants, such as financial institutions, directly connected and 1 billion immediate one-off payments processed in 2017.95

Other technological and system developments

2.63 Other relevant technological and system developments include advancements in e-invoicing and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

2.64 Electronic-invoicing or e-invoicing is not a new concept, particularly in the large market. It has been available for decades in electronic data interchange form. This form was typically used by parties that traded frequently with each other who were required to agree to a standard and fulfil strict conditions.96 The e-invoicing system provides ‘open’ access and is more publicly available in new systems and apps with the ‘exchange of invoice related documents between a seller and a customer in an electronic format’ occurring more widely.97 The e-invoice is generated directly from the information in a supplier’s accounts receivable system or from a web-based form and sent to the buyer’s accounts payable system. It bypasses historical human intervention such as manual processing both at the supplier’s and buyer’s end.98

2.65 The use of e-invoicing is estimated to save the Australian economy $7.8 billion annually.99 It is said to be 60 to 80 per cent more efficient than traditional paper methods and allows businesses to transact seamlessly, reducing costs and processing times as well as eliminating processing errors.100 Clearly, there is potential to automate GST and VAT payment and returns at the point of sale. Such automation would effectively hard-wire compliance with tax obligations and minimise activities in the black economy.101

2.66 ERP systems are business management systems that control multiple functions and integrate businesses’ main activities to deliver time and resource efficiencies. Such functions include human resources (HR), inventory, sales and project management. ERP systems employ cloud technology to give online access, making it easier to set up and operate.102

2.67 An application of the improved data support in an ERP system environment is PwC’s Comply First Time, which is a one-stop platform solution to meet all indirect tax reporting requirements. The platform automates multiple compliance processes, such as BAS, GST accrual accounting, payroll tax and workers compensation. In addition to taxation matters, it also uses data feeds to create dashboards and visualisation reports103 to provide senior management with a holistic view of the performance of their businesses. ERPs have traditionally been thought of as expensive, complex systems as they relied on large upfront investment in infrastructure and implementation. However, as they are now cloud-based and use applications, the costs of deployment are considerably lower. This has facilitated their use by mid-sized and even smaller practitioners.104 Benefits of ERPs for these tax practitioners include being able to access detailed information faster, prepare customised dashboards for individuals and prepare key reports automatically.105

2.68 The introduction of e-invoicing and ERP software is disrupting the traditional employee requirements for both the provider and the recipient of such services. Generally, the focus of major firms has been to service the compliance needs of their clients, however, in certain areas such as GST compliance, the focus is becoming more directed at developing the software platforms required to achieve such outcomes.


10 Piergiorgio Valente, ‘Digital Revolution. Tax Revolution?’ (2018) 90(1) Tax Notes International, p 117.

11 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), The Regulator of 2030: Regulating our digital future (June 2017) p 10; Cameron Cooper, ‘5 ways accountants have mastered AI’ (15 September 2016) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

12 IBM, 101 Guide: Talking about Watson (undated), p 5 <www.ibm.com>.

13 Suncorp, AI technology helps customers get back on the road sooner (1 November 2017) <www.suncorp.com.au>.

14 Steve Healey, The Future Professional (Paper presented at the Tax Institute 32nd National Convention, Adelaide, 16 March 2017) p 15.

15 KPMG, KPMG invests in game-changing cognitive technologies for professional services (Media Release, 29 June 2016) <home.kpmg.com/au/en/home>.

16 Ibid.

17 H&R Block, Taxes will never be the same (undated) <www.hrblock.com>.

18 Ailira, About Ailira (undated) <www.ailira.com/about.html>.

19 Tax & Super Australia, Can AI deliver what tax practitioners need? (3 August 2017) <http://taxandsupernewsroom.com.au>.

20 Vivek Wadhwa, ‘Don’t buy the hype: AI isn’t taking over decision-making’, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2018.

21 Ibid.

22 Rachel Grimes, ‘The Changing Face of the Accountancy Profession’, Bloomberg BNA (28 September 2017) <www.bna.com>.

23 Maria Teresa Fabregas, ‘Blockchain technology: why does it matter for tax administrations?’ (2017) Disruptive Business Models, Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations, p 34; John Pavlus, ‘The World Bitcoin Created’ (2018) 318(1) Scientific American pp32-37.

24 Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System (31 October 2008) p 1.

25 Deloitte, Blockchain; Enigma. Paradox. Opportunity (2016) p 9.

26 Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, ‘The Digital Economy: Opening up the Conversation’, 2017, p 19.

27 Deloitte, The Blockchain Practice (undated) <www2.deloitte.com>.

28 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), ASX selects distributed ledger technology to replace CHESS (Media Release, 7 December 2017) p 1.

29 Jason Potts, ‘Bitcoin is in the spotlight, but the ASX shows blockchain could be a game-changing technology’, Business Insider (12 December 2017) <https://www.businessinsider.com.au/>.

30 Above n 28.

31 Tara de Landgrafft, ‘Cryptocurrency backed by gold being developed by Perth Mint to entice investors back to precious metals,’ ABC News (24 January 2018) <http://www.abc.net.au>.

32 E-estonia, We have built a digital society and so can you (undated) <www.e-estonia.com>; E-estonia, Frequently asked questions: Estonian blockchain technology (undated) <https://e-estonia.com>.

33 Gerard Blankestijn, Blockchain – new roles and ways of interaction, A proof of concept on payroll tax in Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations, Disruptive Business Models – Challenges and Opportunities for Tax Administrations (2017) pp 41-43.

34 Jan McCallum, ‘Blockchain: how does it work?’ (2017) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

35 Edmund Tadros, ‘Deloitte now barely an auditory echo of old,’ Australian Financial Review (7 February 2018) p 12.

36 J. L. Alarcon and Cory Ng, ‘Blockchain and the Future of Accounting’ (Winter 2018) Pennsylvania CPA Journal, pp 5-6.

37 Maria Teresa Fabregas, ‘Blockchain technology: why does it matter for tax administrations?’ (2017) in Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations, Disruptive Business Models – Challenges and Opportunities for Tax Administrations (2017) 35-37, p 36; David Regan, ‘Tax administration in the age of blockchain’ (2017) Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations, Disruptive Business Models – Challenges and Opportunities for Tax Administrations (2017) 38-40, p 39.

38 Regan, Ibid.

39 CAANZ, Above n 11.

40 Nouriel Roubini and Preston Byrne ‘We need to wake up from this blockchain pipe dream,’ Australian Financial Review (6 March 2018) <www.afr.com.au>.

41 Ibid.

42 Above n 40.

43 Beverley Head, ‘Will robots free accountants to be more creative?’ (1 September 2017) Intheblack, CPA <https://www.intheblack.com>.

44 Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Australia’s future workforce? (2015) p 58.

45 Flinders University, Submission to the Senate Select Committee Inquiry on the Future of Work and Workers (March 2017), p iv.

46 Above n 43.

47 PwC, RPA and your digitisation strategy (October 2016) p 13 <www.pwc.com.au>.

48 Paul Smith, ‘Rise of the machines as ANZ brings in robot workers to do the ‘boring’ jobs,’ Australian Financial Review (24 August 2015) <www.afr.com.au>.

49 CAANZ, future[inc] Disruptive Technologies Risks, Opportunities – Can New Zealand make the most of them? (October 2015) <https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com> p 4.

50 Ibid, p 23.

51 Bernard Marr, ‘The Complete Beginner’s Guide to FinTech in 2017,’ Forbes (10 February 2017) <https://www.forbes.com>.

52 Ibid.

53 Lachlan Colquhoun, ‘Cashless payments to transform business’ (1 July 2017) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

54 Above n 51.

55 Matthew Blake, Peter Vanham and Dustin Hughes, ‘5 things you need to know about fintech’ (20 April 2016) World Economic Forum <https://www.weforum.org>.

56 The Treasury, Backing Australian FinTech, (2016) p 16 <http://fintech.treasury.gov.au>.

57 Ibid.

58 The Hon Scott Morrison MP, ‘Address to the International FinTech Conference’ (Speech delivered at the International FinTech Conference, London, 22 March 2018) <http://sjm.ministers.treasury.gov.au>.

59 Tenpay, WeChat Pay (undated) <https://pay.weixin.qq.com>.

60 Ibid.

61 James Eyers, ‘Welcome to the new world of ‘regtech,’’ Australian Financial Review (20 June 2016) <http://www.afr.com>.

62 Institute of International Finance, Regtech in financial services: technology solutions for compliance and reporting (March 2016), p 2 <www.iif.com>.

63 Beverley Head, ‘Technology is slashing red tape’ (1 April 2017) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

64 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Regtech (10 May 2017) <http://asic.gov.au>.

65 ASIC, Robo-advice (10 November 2017) <https://www.moneysmart.gov.au>.

66 Planet of Finance, The Rise of Robo-Advisors (23 June 2017) p 30 <www.planetoffinance.com>.

67 Ibid.

68 ASIC, Robo-advice (10 November 2017) <https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/robo-advice>.

69 Louise Macaulay and Joanna Bird, ‘Robo-advice for SMSFs: what accountants need to know’ (2 June 2017) Intheblack, <https://www.intheblack.com>.

70 Hsinchun Chen, Roger H. L. Chiang and Veda C. Storey, ‘Business Intelligence and Analytics: From Big Data to Big Impact’ (December 2012) 36(4) MIS Quarterly 1165, p 1166.

71 Jiali (Jenna) Tang and Khondkar E. Karim, ‘Big Data in Business Analytics: Implications for the Audit Profession’ (June 2017) CPA Journal <www.cpajournal.com>.

72 Anna Tavis, ‘How the Internet of People Will Change the Future of Work’ (2017) People + Strategy 8, p 8.

73 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Rethinking Tax Services: The Changing Role of Tax Service Providers in SME Tax Compliance (2016), p 32.

74 An early example of which is car satellite navigation technology.

75 Above n 73, p 37.

76 World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs (2016) p 8.

77 Above n 71.

78 IGT, Review into the Australian Taxation Office’s administration of valuation matters (2015) <www.igt.gov.au>.

79 Above n 71.

80 Sholto Macpherson, ‘How will the cloud disrupt practice management software?’ (2016) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

81 Tathiane Piscitelli and Doris Canen, ‘Taxation of Cloud Computing in Brazil: Legal and Judicial Uncertainties’ (2018) 90(1) Tax Notes International 157, p 158.

82 Above n 73, p 38.

83 OECD, Ibid; Glenn Rees, ‘A business guide to the cloud’ (2012) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

84 Rees, Ibid.

85 Sage, The Practice of Now 2018 (2018) p 8 <www.sage.com/au>.

86 EY, Manufacturing Accelerator and Supply Chain Accelerator (3 October 2017) p 4 <www.ey.com>.

87 Above n 73, p 40.

88 Sholto Macpherson, ‘Cloud accounting: what you need to consider’ (2017) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

89 ATO, Australian and global software development trends (May 2016) p 4 <softwaredevelopers.ato.gov.au>.

90 Above n 88.

91 Ibid.

92 New Payments Platform (NPP), Who is involved in the New Payments Platform (undated) <www.nppa.com.au>; NPP, History (undated) <www.nppa.com.au>.

93 BPAY, Frequently Asked Questions <www.bpay.com.au>.

94 NPP, What is the New Payments Platform? (undated) <www.nppa.com.au>.

95 Fast Payments, Our Achievements (undated) <http://www.fasterpayments.org.uk>.

96 Kevin Mullock, Tom Birch and Suzanne den Breems, ‘Electronic Invoicing: European developments’ (2004) 18 International Tax Review <http://www.internationaltaxreview.com>.

97 ATO, Issuing tax invoices (23 November 2017) <https://www.ato.gov.au>.

98 E-InvoicingBasics, What is e-Invoicing (undated) <https://www.einvoicingbasics.co.uk>.

99 Digital Business Council, Frequently asked questions (undated) <http://digitalbusinesscouncil.com.au/faqs/>.

100 Ibid.

101 Treasury, Black economy taskforce Final Report (October 2017) pp 3 and 6.

102 Sholto Macpherson, ‘Enterprise resource planning: taking the leap’ (1 August 2017) Intheblack <https://www.intheblack.com>.

103 PwC, Comply First Time (undated) <https://www.pwc.com.au >.

104 Above n 102.

105 MYOB, Business Management Systems: What can you improve (2018) <https://www.myob.com>.