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Survey: 40% of Tax Pros Believe AI Will Allow Them to Charge Higher Rates

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
May 10, 2024

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Forty percent of tax professionals believe that generative artificial intelligence (AI) will allow them to charge their clients higher rates, Accounting Today reported, citing a recent survey from Thomson Reuters.

The survey of 1,128 professional service workers, conducted in January and February 2024, also found that 42 percent of tax pros predicted their rates would stay largely the same, with or without generative AI.

These responses contrasted with those of lawyers; only 13 percent of law firm respondents believe their rates will go up at all as a result of generative AI, while 11 percent believe AI would let them charge lower rates.  

That could be because 56 percent of outside tax pros said they are likely to pass the investment costs on to their clients, while 51 percent of legal professionals said they plan to absorb Gen AI costs as overhead.

Accounting professionals are a little less likely to view generative AI as a threat than legal pros, the survey found. While 85 percent of accounting professionals thought generative AI presented at least some threat to jobs, 94 percent of legal professionals thought that it did. Similarly, 84 percent of accountants were afraid that generative AI meant less need for their own services, compared to 92 percent of lawyers.

In time, more professionals will use AI, which may change how they feel about its use in their firms, the study said.

"There will also likely be even more momentum toward GenAI in coming years" the study concluded. "A high number of professionals say their organizations are still considering GenAI use within the workplace and its impact—and while some may determine that GenAI is not for them, it's likely that an even higher percentage will become GenAI users,. Many professionals will receive even more education around GenAI and its usage as well, especially among those organizations at which opinions are not yet fully formed. Ultimately, as powerful a tool as GenAI can be, it remains just that—a tool. The most successful organizations and professionals will be the ones that use GenAI to augment, not fully replace, what professionals do. ... Yet, organization leaders and professionals should not underestimate GenAI’s transformative nature; and indeed, would do well to remember that while operational risks can be high, so too are the business risks of not adjusting to new paradigms in a timely manner."