Recently, our CEO Matt Armanino shared how we define ourselves as a national accounting and consulting firm, because having a national presence means that we can serve any client, no matter where they are. Part of our ability to do that comes down to our ability to solve future problems for businesses today.
It’s why we have invested in spaces not normally associated with accounting, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. And it’s exactly our breadth of expertise in accounting that makes our investment in technology solutions so important to us.
Earlier this year, we put together a Data & Analytics team made up of data scientists and developers to demystify data for our clients and solve their most pressing accounting problems. Big data is the driving force to help do everything from predicting customer behavior patterns to dashboarding past performance.
The Data & Analytics team has also internalized their charge as problem solvers. No matter the industry or function, they find ways to take big data and simplify it so that it is both actionable and understandable for our staff. The team has nimbly flexed into a wide variety of practice groups, whether it be entire departments like audit or industry specialties like law firms.
For example, they collaborated with our Forensic Accounting team and AI Lab to create a platform that can ingest and analyze large volumes of complex financial data and quickly detect anomalies. This new Anomaly Detection and Fraud Analytics solution pairs best practices from forensic accounting with the ability to crunch big data and flag suspicious financial information. What would normally take months can be discovered in real time and provide insights that inform decision making.
O.J. Laos, a manager on the Data & Analytics team, shared that their work is all about democratizing data and providing businesses of all sizes with information tools that can empower decision makers.
Of course, data has always been a part of accounting. Data is the dollars and cents of revenue, staff and overhead. But the value the team brings is in the ability to supercharge data by creating tools that can interpret it in a split second.
Think about the insights that could be gained from a dashboard of everything from billable hours to expense management. That’s taking big data and creating a visualization that is easy to consume and understand — basically, a personalized infographic.
Interpreting data in meaningful ways has never been more accessible and so easily available. By constantly investing in new ways to use data, the sky is the limit for what businesses can uncover within their own operations and across industries and markets.