Accounting Professors talk Tax Analytics in Lagniappe

February 27, 2020

Lagniappe Cover

Louisiana CPA Lagniappe

LSU professors Charlene Henderson and Thomas Phillips Jr. are preparing students for technological disruption in business with the Tax Analytics course. Several years ago, it was realized that technological disruption in business would hit the accounting industry hard. The LSU accounting faculty agreed that including business analytics was necessary for accounting degrees to remain relevant. Henderson and Phillips discuss this addition to the accounting curriculum in the January/February 2020 edition of Lagniappe.  

The advanced-level accounting course instructs students in the use of analytical tools to address special topics and problems in tax planning, compliance, and the interaction between tax and financial reporting for income tax. Analytics has long been part of tax planning and tax decisions. However, the more explicit version of data-based tax analytics is a relatively new, influential and fast-advancing frontier in accounting. In this piece found in Lagniappe, Thomas Phillips and Charlene Henderson share the steps LSU has taken to develop a tax analytics course designed to keep pace with change and ensure their students’ accounting degrees remain relevant.

In the tax analytics course, data analytics is used both as a general tool and as a targeted tool. The first project in the tax analytics course fits the general category and relies on an analytical tool (Alteryx) to collect, combine and analyze data about the financial statement provision for income taxes. The second project in the course also involves a general/repeated process where the “repeated” element is at the forefront. The final project reflects a shift to more advanced approaches.

Today’s analytical tools have the capacity to make managing and capitalizing on the combination and analysis of data both feasible and efficient. If analytics is the future for tax practice, it is the future for tax education.

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