NEW YORK (May 6, 2021) — The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (Association), representing AICPA and CIMA, has released a new Data Analytics Core Concepts Certificate to assure practicing CPAs have the necessary skills as data analytics becomes a critical business tool for accounting and financial professionals.
“The digitization of the world, from smart devices to location data tracked by smart phone apps to web cookies, has led to a greater accumulation of data than ever before,” said Amy Eubanks, CPA, CGMA Association vice president of professional development. “That data provides new opportunities to gain valuable insights for their clients and organizations, but CPAs and financial professionals need the right skills to be able to take advantage of this wealth of information.”
Data Analytics Core Concepts provides real-world scenarios to help CPAs and finance professionals to better understand data and the data ecosystem, develop a data-driven mindset and find ways to leverage data to inform decisions. Data analytics play a key role in the audit function, such as continuous monitoring, across the C-suite and in many additional areas such as identifying patterns in customer behavior to drive company strategy.
Data analytics is one of the primary technologies that is transforming the accounting and finance professions. As data sets grow increasingly large, it becomes more challenging to manage information, identify outliers or find meaningful information. And new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and blockchain, are building on a foundation of data analytics to reshape the profession.
It is increasingly incumbent upon practicing CPAs and financial professionals to have a thorough understanding of data analytics to remain competitive in the current market. A World Economic Forum study found that more than 80% of companies plan to adopt data analytics by 2025 and that data analysts and scientists and big data specialists are two of the three most in demand roles.
The AICPA and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), recognizing the changing skills needed by the profession, developed the CPA Evolution model and new Uniform CPA Exam to assure future CPAs are equipped with the proper skills. And many current accounting professionals would be better positioned for career growth with an understanding of data analytics core concepts provided by the certificate.
Those completing the certificate program will have the ability to:
Define the characteristics of an analytical and data-driven mindset.
Recognize how to establish objectives and desired outcomes of a data analytics project for a business or client.
Recognize ways data is described and interpreted.
Describe the types and categories of data.
Recognize how data science and data analytics are connected.
Recognize characteristics of the technology and data ecosystem for data analytics.
Data Analytics Core Concepts is one of several certificates, resources and trainings the Association offers its members and other financial professionals to remain skilled as technology changes how businesses operate.