There is no doubt that demand for data and business analysts outstrips supply. Accountants and Finance experts are in an ideal position to upskill to additional analytics processes. They are used to working with data and, more crucially, have ample experience working to turn numerical insight into real business transformation. Here at the IoA we have been working in collaboration with accountants to create a new tool kit specifically aimed at upskilling this special group and we were delighted to launch this during the World Congress of Accounting, held in Mumbai, India.
Accountants need analytics training, but the field of analytics also needs accounting. A trained accountant who understands regulatory environments AND how the machines are reaching decisions is invaluable to the organisations that they work with. Having an Accountant in the Loop AI model (ALAIs, or as we like to call them, allies), at every stage in the analysis can only improve the quality of analytics work where finance is involved.
Why create a separate training route?
Today, AI solutions can automate any routine decision-making process. That describes quite a large chunk of an accountant’s current day-to-day workload. This does not mean that we have no need for these data experts in the future, though, we just need to add new processes that cannot be automated to their skill set. By creating a set of training tool kits that only provide practice with financial data sets, rather than weather data or AirBnB data, we can provide training that is immediately relevant and applicable to their work.
Aren’t existing tools still useful?
Any work that involves historical records, data that is strictly controlled by regulatory systems or where replicability is important is well suited to traditional accounting software. However, some of the new algorithms come with a range of features in the back end, which are simple to use, but which make these tools considerably more efficient at forecasting future outcomes, risk management, or dealing with much larger, more complex data sets, and this is an important part of the work of financial analysts too.
What is the tool kit?
We have selected 5 toolkits: Dashboard design with tables, Business Intelligence systems, SQL for data filtering, R for powerful prediction algorithms and Python for fast and complex modelling. Anyone who can write a basic macro in Excel will be able to make the transition and we have ensured that everything is introduced step-by-step with full support to make it pain free. Study at your own pace, with toolkits ranging from 8 hours in total to 20 hours for the higher levels.
Where can I find out more?
The launch was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our work and our reasoning. If you would like to learn more, please see our brochure below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.