KPMG + Blue J Form Alliance For Predictive Analysis

Blue J, a provider of predictive analysis tools for tax positions in North America, and Big Four firm KPMG, have formed an alliance in the UK. KPMG will use Blue J’s technology ‘to predict tax scenario outcomes with 90%+ accuracy and will dramatically reduce the time spent searching for and analysing tax legislation and case law’ they said.

The Big Four firm explained that: ‘For organisations having to navigate the increasing pace of legislative change, the tool – which is not yet available to others in the UK tax market – will accelerate their technical analysis to support decision making on complex tax issues. One key advantage of the tool is that it provides a structured approach for checking tax legislation and case law, which would have been previously done manually. For clients, this means they can easily evidence good tax practice and provides documentary evidence of the tax analysis.’

This is how it works:

Stuart Tait, Partner, Chief Technology Officer – Tax & Legal at KPMG UK, said: ‘Our tax teams are dedicated to providing the best service to our clients, which is why we are passionate about in investing in advanced technologies like those developed by Blue J to improve the speed and accuracy of our advice. We are delighted to be the first adopters of Blue J in the UK and cannot wait to take advantage of this amazing technology. The tool will allow us to be completely transparent and trusted by following a better tech-enabled structure to evidence our high quality of work.’

Benjamin Alarie, CEO of Blue J, added: ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with KPMG given their outstanding tax pedigree and our shared vision for the future of tax technology. 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 are excited to be building this solution with them.’

The Big Four firm also added that the tool could be used to help train staff, especially as they spent more time working from home.

‘Now that hybrid working is the norm, KPMG is also trying to find innovative ways to train junior colleagues where they may not have as much direct access to senior people for coaching. This tool will help guide them through tricky cases and educate them on tax research, so they get the support they need to quickly progress in their career,’ they explained.

Is this a big deal? It’s another example of a Big Four firm forming a close working alliance with a legal tech company, which we have seen a growing number of in the last year or so. It’s also an interesting crossover between legal and tax, with a tool and a firm that operate in both fields. And finally, it’s another boost to the idea that by tapping prior data you can make informed (although not perfect) predictions about likely outcomes.