Wolters Kluwer announced the addition of international tax content to CCH AnswerConnect, the tax research tool it launched in May.
AnswerConnect represents the latest step in the company’s evolution, according to Josh Braunstein, vice president and general manager of CCH Research & Learning. The tool, which previously offered comprehensive federal and state tax information and resources, now covers international tax issues in more than 90 countries for inbound and outbound transactions, along with actionable coverage of foreign tax systems, key tax rates, explanations, guidance and analysis. The enhancements were announced at the CCH Connections user conference last week in San Francisco.
With AnswerConnect, Wolters Kluwer is continuing to emerge from its legacy as a print publisher, according to Braunstein. He stressed that the quality of information has not changed, just the method of delivery.
“We worked with customers on what we needed to do to support workflow, to be that intuitive support for them in workflow,” he said. “The information is good, but information that has the power of workflow is better.”
By aligning research solutions with the way people work today, Wolters Kluwer is trying to help solve the myriad challenges accounting firms are facing, including demographic shifts that are creating a chasm between “people with a little experience, and people with a ton,” Braunstein explained. “There are a not a lot of people in the middle.”
To solve this, AnswerConnect was built to offer a “Google-like” experience so users of any experience level can ask their questions in an “intuitive, natural language way,” Braunstein said. New country tax snapshots and a treaty tool accelerate the efficiency of the research process. The tool provides a shift from “speed to search” to “speed to answer,” according to Braunstein, which he deemed a critical differentiator for accountants trying to resolve client issues quickly.
“The real difference in Answer Connect is it doesn’t assume you want to read a document, but you want an answer," he said. "It’s practical, usable information in one place, allowing you to interact with the information in a dynamic, interactive way. It’s not about search-and-retrieve.”
Wolters Kluwer will continue to innovate its research offerings, according to Braunstein, incorporating more machine learning and artificial intelligence into the technology, though he stressed that human expertise will continue to drive their content, courtesy of the company’s expert editors.
“I don’t think artificial intelligence can ever totally replace the work an expert team can do—there’s nuance, intuition and expertise,” he added. “What we can do is accelerate and facilitate it.”
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