First Faculty Advisor
accounting; Analytical; Informational; Innovative
Although accounting has gone through many significant changes over the years due to big data and data analytics, the profession remains at the core of business. Big data has not only impacted the accounting profession but has also completely transformed the business world. As accounting associates are continuously introduced to new technology software, their ability to analyze and interpret data is enhanced. The research in this paper seeks to understand how big data and analytics are currently impacting the work of beginning accounting associates. More specifically, this thesis analyzes certain trends in big data within the accounting industry. This involves understanding which software beginning accounting associates have the most knowledge using, as well as the software they believe is the most important to their job. To conduct this research, a survey was sent to participants who are currently working at Big Four accounting firms and corporations. The results of this survey were analyzed based on certain controls. Also, interviews with beginning accounting associates were conducted to help analyze if big data is improving accountants work productivity. The results of this study show that Microsoft Excel, Tableau, and SAS are perceived as the software which beginning accounting associates have the most skill in using. The identification of this software as being important helps to indicate how the jobs of beginning accountants are changing. Big data allows accountants to spend more time analyzing the data they are working with, which in turn helps them to make more informed decisions.