When you think about taxes, audits, and data, what comes to mind? Forms and spreadsheets? Think again. Today in virtually every industry, from healthcare to supply chain, data is transforming how organizations operate and report.
KPMG U.S., an industry leader in data-driven insights, is helping prepare the next generation of audit professionals through its Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics (MADA) program. KPMG recognizes the importance of developing a strong pipeline of data-savvy professionals through graduate education.
“We recognized the importance of D&A-savvy professionals who possessed the analytical and critical thinking skills to drive audit quality and deliver insights to our clients,” says Becky Sproul, KPMG U.S. Talent & Culture Leader, Audit. “With all the data available now, it’s critical that professionals understand the differences between data types and realize that data analysis applications will deliver an exceptional audit experience to our clients and our people.”
Changing the industry
The importance of data analytics skills inspired KPMG to do more and develop a program that would advance the industry as a whole. This collaborative first-of-its-kind effort launched in 2017 with two top business programs, and the success of the program has led to an expansion to other leading business schools.
“We have strong relationships with the academic community. KPMG is committed to advancements in the accounting profession and works closely with MADA program faculty at participating universities,” says Dan Johnston, director of the MADA education initiative. “I believe for us to be effective in upskilling our professionals, we must build and leverage meaningful relationships that lead to constant innovation.”
Sproul adds, “By doing this work at the university level, we’re not only creating a pipeline for KPMG but also for the profession as a whole.”
Modernizing the learning experience for the data age
KPMG has designed the MADA curriculum to be rigorous, cutting-edge and of the highest quality. Graduates must be ready to meet a wide range of analytics projects for KPMG clients across business, government and nonprofit sectors.
The KPMG MADA program uses Alteryx and its Designer analytics and automation platform to help students achieve their learning goals. The user-friendly platform teaches learners how to question, understand and solve with data. Students gain hands-on practice with methodologies used in every line of business, from sales to production. Projects include data cleansing and modeling, replicating what students would experience on client engagements.
“Students are evolving their data and analytics skillsets. Giving them access to innovative applications like Alteryx early on in their learning path is instrumental to boosting their expertise and confidence,” Johnston says.
Alteryx has also launched its own comprehensive education program called SparkED, providing educators, students, and career changers with free education software licenses, teaching tools, and learning resources.
For more information, visit kpmg.com/us/masters and www.alteryx.com/sparked.