Mini-MBA: Managing Digital Disruption in Accounting and Finance Curriculum

Technology-Driven Accounting and Finance – The Changing Landscape

This first module takes a holistic view of accounting and finance and the evolution from traditional to digital models. These changes necessitate new and more relevant ways to approach the profession and deal with the challenges associated with technology-driven finance and accounting business models. During this information-packed session, we will provide an overview of different technology types and then detail their use and business implications in subsequent modules.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn the challenges and opportunities for accounting and financial as a result of the digital transformation in business
  • Understand the history and definitions of concepts such as big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and continuous auditing, robot process automation, and their business applications and implications
  • The evolution of exception prioritization and machine learning classification models
  • Discover the growing impact of drones on financial and accounting processes 

Unleashing the Power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Accounting and Finance

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its underlying component, Machine Learning (ML), are integrated into every facet of our lives – from healthcare to our homes. Many companies, including Google and Amazon, have relied on the benefits of AI to drive the success of their businesses. This module introduces you to the benefits of AI and shows its current applications and potential uses in the accounting and audit domains. Each of the major AI types is covered in detail throughout the module, with descriptions and examples.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain an understanding of AI and ML – properties, history, differences, and similarities
  • Review the various ways AI and ML can be applied to accounting and finance - benefits and challenges
  • Study real-world examples of training a ML classification model
  • Gain knowledge to make investments and implement technology 

Data Analytics and Robot Process Automation (RPA) for Intelligent Auditing

Robot Process Automation (RPA) was designed to take on repetitive tasks that allow humans to solve complex business problems. The use of RPA in audit procedures can create a more efficient and accurate auditing process. This hands-on module demonstrates the effectiveness of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and its application in accounting, auditing, and data analytics.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to configure RPA bots using the UiPath software: Variables and arguments, Control flows based on current regulations
  • Understand how to manipulate and verify data through user interface interaction
  • Determine audit data standardization protocols to analyze and compare data
  • Be able to demonstrate the benefits of RPA in accounting and auditing

Continuous Auditing

This module discusses the use of data analytics on the entire population of records, moving away from traditional auditing to an audit-by-exception (agile) approach. Learn how continuous auditing can assist in identifying business risks through the timely identification of audit evidence.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the process of continuous auditing and how it can be used to focus on unique business insights
  • Learn the conceptual framework for prioritizing identified exceptions
  • Understand how to use the process to monitor compliance with policies, procedures, and regulations and align business/ compliance risk to internal controls and remediation
  • Understand how to leverage technology to make better day-to-day decisions through increased efficiencies, opportunities, and performance improvements

Process Mining Optimization

This lecture is designed to explain process mining and examine its applications using the software. We will demonstrate how to utilize the process mining technique during this hands-on interactive lecture by providing a real data example of the RADAR (Rutgers AICPA Data Analytics Research) project at CAR (Continuous Auditing & Reporting) Lab.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to define process mining and use it interpret and process data
  • Learn techniques to extract information from event logs to discover, monitor, and improve business processes
  • Discover advantages of process mining for audits
  • Understand the different products that support process mining analysis and application

Technology-Driven Text Mining

This module discusses how auditors can use text mining to retrieve unstructured data on accounting-related materials; and how the information can provide valuable insights.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to use the regular expression to match texts
  • Understand ways to compare the different contextual factors, including lexical bundle analysis
  • Learn to extract and analyze potential data such as financial statements, news articles, internal emails, and the voice of the customer
  • Uncover the importance of internet data (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) in the understanding market and product trends for accounting and finance

Data Visualization and Visual Analytics  

Understanding visualization tools and techniques provide powerful evidence for communicating an accounting and finance story. Visual analytics provide insights and patterns in the data. This demonstrative and hands-on module introduces common variable types and charts, demonstrates the R codes for chart visualization, and the visualization functions of Tableau.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn the importance of visualization in presenting and communicating results
  • Understand the difference between exploratory versus explanatory visualizations and implied meaning based on the data plot
  • Actively participate data demonstrations with R and Tableau
  • Understanding the relevance of Tuft’s principles of excellence (data to ink ratio) and how to use to create a visual plan

Interactive and Dynamic Graphs and Dashboards  

In a continuation of data visualization concepts, this module uses a hands-on visualization case and accompanying recorded videos to introduce you to conducting ratio analysis using visualization software. You will learn to create different types of graphs and dynamic dashboards that include multiple interactive graphs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Introduce the concept of Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)
  • Develop and test visualizations to answer different questions
  • Learn to interpret the results of the analytics and conduct comparative and predictive analytics
  • Create dynamic and interactive dashboards that help interpret and communicate the results of the conducted analytics

The Impact of Digital Currency

There are many open questions on cryptocurrency – its purpose, use, and impact on the global economy. In this module, we will answer those questions and address the technologies to build cryptocurrency; and the properties that differentiate it from traditional currencies. We will also review the market situation and evolving accounting principles, including legislation and its implications for accounting and finance.   

Key Takeaways:

  • Define cryptocurrency including components such as blockchain and bitcoin
  • Review the components of a cryptocurrency market and ecosystems
  • Discuss and describe the fair value measurement of cryptocurrency and accounting
  • Define how cryptocurrency is used in various disciplines including, real-life cases and recent news

Ethics, Cybersecurity, and Privacy

The widespread use of technology has created many efficiencies for accounting and finance while simultaneously creating challenges related to ethics and privacy. During this module, we will discuss the importance of cybersecurity and the challenges associated with a complex cyber environment, introduce good practice standards, organizations, and frameworks of cybersecurity management.

Key Takeaways:

  • Define Cyberspace and cybersecurity and its objectives as it relates to information security
  • Examine governance and the challenges associated with effective cybersecurity and transparency
  • Review the NIST cybersecurity framework to understand standards, guidelines, and best practices to manage cybersecurity risk
  • Discuss ISO27k standards and some essential vocabulary as well as the COBIT 5 framework and how it relates to accounting and finance

Program Overview

For an overview of our Mini-MBA: Managing Digital Disruption in Accounting and Finance program plus program benefits and outcomes, please click here.