Big data to drive the future of accounting, predicts peak industry body

Big data drives the future of accounting, predicts peak industry body

The peak professional organisation, Chartered Accountants ANZ, has called on 115,000 members to build a “connected practice” and leverage the power of big data, predictive analytics and visualisation tools.

The future of accounting will be supported by big data and predictive analytics, while running a “connected practice,” according to Australia’s peak industry body, Chartered Accountants ANZ (CAANZ).

Supporting this trend, CAANZ has launched a big data solution for its 115,000 members. This “CA Kairos” offering was showcased at a Future of Accounting seminar in Sydney hosted by Julio De Lafitte, founder for The Unstoppables.   

The association is also developing an analytics curriculum leading to a graduate diploma. This will fill a projected demand for nearly 30,000 data managers across ANZ by 2018.

During the November launch, Victor Dominello, minister for innovation and better regulation, said Australia is almost 17 years into the 21st century. In this terrain, paper-based systems are “dinosaurs in the making.”

He said government planners are encouraged to move past traditional models to access data in real-time. “This needs to be in your DNA; if it’s not part of your culture, then it’s not going to happen.”

Big data is the canary in the mine, noted Dominello. Beyond standard-issue spread-sheets, agencies use analytics to track trends, assess citizen needs, and allocate resources, as and where needed.

Visualisation tools improve understanding by non-technical staff, while using the more intuitive natural language formats.

The CAANZ project draws on the expertise of a data scientist, Dr Suresh Sood who previously worked with the Advanced Analytics Institute.  

Dr Sood earlier reviewed the NSW Government Expenditure Data Cube, an engagement that offered insights into procurement, and delivered massive savings.

In accounting, linkages between big data and number-crunching build stronger relationships between advisors and clients. The connected practice, as opposed to traditional services, can be supported by predictive accounting.

In Australia, nearly 60 per cent of businesses are small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Sixty per cent of accounting firms that support SMEs are small entities.

This “CA Kairos” package was developed in partnership with Westpac and Microsoft. This service will enable members to more readily utilise big data, analytics, forecasting and visualisation tools. The service comprises The Predictive Accountant, The Connected Practice and an accelerator/incubation hub.