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KPMG Just Launched A Big Data Analytics Degree For Accountants

New program seeks to develop auditors for the big data age

Fri Aug 5 2016

KPMG has launched masters degree focused on big data analytics in accounting. And the Big Four auditor will pay the tuition of 50 students it will eventually snap up as full-time recruits.

“It foundationally changes the recruiting and preparation of auditors with the right skills to analyze the vast volumes of information produced by today’s business organizations,” said Scott Marcello, KPMG’s vice chair for audit.

Data analytics has re-engineered the audit process. Accountants can now test entire data sets, such as expense claims, rather than extrapolating samples. This has increased efficiency and streamlined processes, ultimately improving the quality of audits.

But it’s brought a new-found zest for accountants who are trained in analytics as well as traditional bookkeeping skills — financial reporting, taxation and managerial finance.

KPMG’s Scott said the new degree, developed with the US’s Fisher College of Business and Villanova School of Business, and to be launched in 2017, “starts real action toward meeting our profession’s great demand for talent”.

Confirming the company’s need for accountants who can crunch data, KPMG says it will pay the full tuition, room and board for 50 students. They’ll work between semesters as KPMG audit interns. Upon graduation in the summer of 2018, the students will join KPMG’s audit practice through an advanced entry program.

Daniel Wright, vice dean of Villanova School of Business, suggested this arrangement is the first of its kind.

The KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics course combines practical use of the latest analytics technology and data sets, as well as real-world experience using the firm’s proprietary tools in the classroom and as members of KPMG audit teams.

“Strong partnerships between leading companies and top academic institutions are essential to building an agile workforce equipped to meet today’s business challenges,” said Anil Makhija, dean of the Fisher College of Business.

This is not the first time KPMG has turned to academia to help fulfil its technological needs. Last year, it pumped £20 million into a data science center and masters of business analytics degree at London’s Imperial College Business School. 

Student Reviews

Imperial College Business School




On Campus

Innovative, Immersive and an Excellent Curriculum

The MSc Strategic Marketing course opens many avenues into the business world at Imperial. The coursework consists of group-based assignments, individual reports, and sometimes, examinations. The Careers team helps you with your CV, Cover letters, and other job application support. Imperial truly lives up to its name!




Very applicable courses

I enjoyed studying here for my master degree as I could feel that I was surrounded by very clever people, and I did learn a lot of knowledge that I could directly put into use into my current internship




Diversity and Professional Development

Imperial College London is an innovation hub with expertise across multiple industries. The international student body exposes students to endless cultures and experiences. Furthermore, the Careers team at Imperial is second to none as directors help guide students to the career paths of their dreams.




Business School

Imperial college business school has amazing facilities, amazing staff. I particularly like the business school cafe although it would be nice if they added a few more power sockets in the open space and heating for winter. The course is really good too. Very interactive classes and highly diverse environment.




Career Services

Very strong university with good quality faculty and a very strong career services team that prepared students well for the jobs market. Very nice facilities in the city center. Good sessions organised with employers.




Chinese students majored in English- now strategic marketing

My undergraduate major was English back in China and now an MSc student in strategic marketing at Imperial. For Chinese students who share similar experiences with me, you can get as much/deep as you want about marketing with some challenging group works and inspiring lectures. At the same time, if you just want to get the degree anyway with less effort, it's possible as well... ...