A CPA’s Thoughts on Data Analytics


Change is hard and resistance to it is intrinsic. We would rather have things remain as they are, especially if we currently enjoy relative success with the status quo. 

That is the conundrum for accountants who are already in the profession. We recognize the need to learn and incorporate data analytics into our processes, but are sometimes leery of adding one more task to our already full to-do-list. For me, this summer was to be earmarked for binge-watching Game of Thrones to see what all the fuss was about or to try out the world of vlogging.  But, thankfully, leadership at my firm understands the importance of embracing technological advances in accounting early in order to to stay competitive within the market. So, we are moving towards incorporating data analytics into our every day roles. 

At KPMG, we have a fully-funded Master of Accountancy & Data Analytics Program (MADA) that sponsors a cohort of students who will work at the firm after learning skills in data analytics.  Rova Ramamonjisoa, a class of 2019 MADA candidate who currently attends the University of Mississippi, believes that data analytics “takes over repetitive, time-consuming tasks, leaving us free to perform value-added work.”  Data analytics is having a positive impact on the CPA’s role. 

These upcoming class of new accountants, at least from the MADA program, are currently learning skills in data analytics that weren’t on the curriculum when I earned my master’s degree.  New accountants are gaining fresh insights into data analytics that will help them easily transition into their accounting careers. 

KPMG has also recently rolled out firm-wide mandatory training on Alteryx. Alteryx is a tool that lets users easily prep, blend, and analyze data using a repeatable workflow. It’s amazing how much data one can process using this tool, and I’m personally excited to continue learning how to use it.

Like someone important once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” I’m just getting started with data analytics and enjoying the process.  

— Darryl Ucheya, CPA

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