How to Build Tax Web Applications

Do you see a business case for a tax technology tool that automates a specific workflow? This post lays out a development life cycle and offers insights into each stage of your project. In particular, our learnings are inferred from building web applications that digitalize workflows in the corporate tax world (hence tax web apps). Web apps are software applications that don’t need to be downloaded or installed but are accessible through a web browser with an active internet connection.

Illustration 1 shows each stage of the development life cycle listing key activities, assets, tools, and learnings. The content is a selection of favorite resources and practical insights covering items relevant to product owners from the business side. [1]

The stages Ideation and Design can be completed each in under 4 weeks depending on tax subject matter expertise, prior experience, and familiarity with tools (e.g. writing requirements specifications and prototyping). The development stage for a first version of a web app with enough functionalities to achieve a level of automation worth the money and resources spent can be 12 weeks depending on the expertise of the engineering team and the quality of technical specifications.

Ideation Stage

Design Stage

  1. Learn to use a prototyping editor such as Figma and create a design system to speed up the preparation of sketches.
  2. Based on business logic of the problem at hand create a library of user interface elements such as input tables and data controls.
  3. Create high-fidelity sketches with the editor.
  4. Inquire from the engineers what questions should be answered when drafting the specifications for the prepared sketches and answer all of these in a structured way.
  5. Prototype no-code parts of the solution already in the design stage such as the build of analytics dashboards with BI software from dummy data.
  6. Prepare any other materials that get the functionalities, web app input and outputs, look and feel, etc. across.
  • Tabs controlling the order of user flow and how content is structured among the tabs;
  • Input fields and tables;
  • Filters and controls for displaying and sorting data and content; and
  • Views and analytics displaying data and content.

Development Stage

Operation Stage

Ecosystem Landscape