Ask the expert: Education

Roger O’Donnell, Partner, Audit, KPMG U.S., Global Audit D&A

Roger O’Donnell leads the Global Audit D&A initiative and currently serves as the lead engagement partner for several multinational companies.
Roger O’Donnell leads the Global Audit D&A initiative and currently serves as the lead engagement partner for several multinational companies.

Accounting skills for the data age

The KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program is an innovative program from KPMG that combines learning + funding + doing to develop accountants in the data age. To keep pace with the modern world, accounting students need to receive an education that emphasizes data and analytics (D&A), which is why KPMG has worked with some of the country’s leading business schools to create the first-of-its-kind KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program.

Q. How is D&A used with accounting and auditing?

A. D&A is changing the way that KPMG and the public accounting profession provide services. Beyond possessing a deep knowledge of accounting, professionals need to be D&A-savvy and possess the analytical skills and critical thinking to improve procedures and deliver possible insights that are expected in the data age. Using D&A promotes audit quality and may also result in a more robust understanding of an organization and its operational concerns, control environment, and financial performance.

Q. How will today’s student prepare for tomorrow’s high-tech audits?

A. As part of the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program, students will earn either a master’s degree in accounting with data and analytics or a master’s degree in taxation with data and analytics from a participating university providing students with a combination of a D&A-focused accounting curriculum with practical use of the latest analytics technology and real-world experience working on-site. Each university has integrated KPMG’s program to fit with its master of accounting or master of taxation degree. The powerful combination of D&A-focused accounting curriculum, practical use of the latest analytics technology, and real-world experience is critical to any student planning a career in our highly complex business world that is creating, collecting, and reporting on data generated at warp speed.

Q. Given the intensity of the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program, how do existing auditors keep up with the needed technology training?

A. KPMG is committed to advancing the accounting profession by offering graduate students and KPMG professionals the training, practical experiences, and work environments they need to accelerate their careers in the fast-changing data age. KPMG is developing and building a state-of-the-art, world-class learning, development, and innovation facility in Orlando, Fla. At KPMG, we’re passionate about developing our people and creating growth opportunities for them. This facility is a significant investment that will ensure our partners and professionals continue to have access to leading-edge learning and development opportunities; stay connected to our inclusive, innovative culture; and remain equipped to deliver the highest quality in a fast-changing marketplace.

For more information on the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program, visit www.kpmgmasters.com.