An Introductory Note on Big Data and Data Analytics for Accountants and Auditors

Adrian Gepp, Molly Parker

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticleEducation


Historically, data analytics have not been used in the professions of accounting and auditing to the extent that they have been in other industries. However, an understanding of big data and the relevant analysis techniques is more often becoming mandatory for accountants and auditors so that they can provide greater business insights for their businesses and clients. This note prepares readers for using big data and data analytics by providing an overview of data analytics, explaining how data analytics techniques can be used in accounting and auditing practices, and providing a tutorial that walks students through a basic use of ACL Analytics.

Learning Objective: This note is intended for use in any undergraduate- or graduate-level accounting or auditing program to help students prepare for the rise of big data. The reader will gain an understanding of
why big data is important for accountants and auditors;
the related, yet separate, concepts of big data, data analytics, and data analytics tools, including the three stages of data analytics;
a widely used data analytics tool, ACL Analytics; and
the growth and potential future applications of big data analytics in the field.

A tutorial on ACL Analytics enables readers to apply information from this note in practical exercises and gain basic, practical skills in a tool widely used in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationIvey Publishing [Case Studies]
PublisherIvey Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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