August 15, 2019

Embracing Innovation Has Definite Advantages

August 15, 2019

Donna Funk, CPA

An Ignite blog by: Donna Funk, CPA, Principal at K•Coe Isom

With so many news headlines circling around us on a daily basis regarding “future possibilities” of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and data management, it’s easy to dismiss these topics and file them away in the “not now” pile. But as flashy as the promises of applying AI technologies might be, if you look close, it’s already starting to take shape – and the foundation is being laid out right before our very eyes.

We are All Witnesses

The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted in a report that the amount of data being generated in the digital universe will grow to 44 zettabytes by 2020 (that’s 44 trillion gigabytes!). One can’t help but to marvel at the speed in which the big data adoption is already changing industry landscapes and operations. For the first time ever, you’re able to collect and analyze more data than ever before. But if you want to stay competitive as the data growth continues to explode, it will be imperative to derive maximum value from the data captured.

As CPAs, we are slowly but surely changing the way we gather, analyze and provide data – moving away from traditional financial data reporting and the reliable spreadsheets, we are gathering more data from many sources and using technology to support assumptions, draw conclusions and are emerging as advisors with more and varied data for predictive financial and operational analytics.

“This improvement in data accessibility and its powerful capabilities are changing our advisory practices, and in return the benefits we’re gaining are strengthening our relationships – leaving both our clients and employees more satisfied,” says Dawn Buchanan, principal at K•Coe Isom.

3 Ways Big Data is Helping Accounting Today

The ability to extract broader types of data can ensure that a business becomes more agile. Big data provides real-time information to enrich usability. Usability drives more meaningful business decisions.

Firms who adopt a data management system are now able to govern big data and build solutions to:

  1. Improve return on investment through cost of production analysis (as well as understand changing market conditions) to determine profitability with smaller room for error.
  2. Improve production efficiency through remote monitoring and analysis.
  3. Expand market analysis of current pricing and trends to determine production, optimization, and expansion strategies.

Yesterday is History

Audit is a great example of an area where AI is being used today. The amount of available data is improving speed, risk assurance, and meaningful insights for clients.

Historically, the only viable method for extensively testing vast quantities of data was to sample transactions statistically or non-statistically, avoiding the effort necessary to manually evaluate the entire dataset. This often required substantial back and forth time with the client to obtain the necessary information not obtained during fieldwork.

K•Coe Isom uses AI to provide unique insights and a holistic view of financial health for its food and agriculture clients across the nation. Brittany Ferguson, Senior Associate at K•Coe, explains, “We used AI-based analysis for materiality limits and extracted medium and high-risk items to run samples on during our planning stage. This risk assessment identified two transactions that would not have been found under traditional testing conditions. The finding, although immaterial, was a value-added training opportunity that we were able to offer to the client.”

Big data has taken the world by storm and is helping businesses conduct predictive analysis so that companies can overcome future challenges easily. Once you sort through the noise of the amount of data available through AI, its actionable information can have incredible impact on how quickly and easily you can analyze information to help clients make secure business decisions.

Navigate Trends

The Kansas Society of CPAs acts as your tour guide when it comes to trends on the horizon impacting you and your team. Profession Emerging Trends Updates and Expert Forum Virtual Lunches are key resources in being a future-ready professional with a Think Forward, Act Now mindset!

About K•Coe Isom

K•Coe Isom is a top 100 accounting firm and the nation’s leading food and agriculture consulting firm. With roots dating back to 1932, the firm has expanded upon traditional accounting services to deliver increased value and growth for clients through comprehensive policy-to-plate strategies, and specialized advisory in the areas of sustainability, federal affairs, land conservation, wealth management, succession planning, and talent strategy - to name a few. K•Coe Isom provides insight and solutions for the food and ag, biofuels, manufacturing, construction, and banking industries. The firm serves domestic and international clientele from coast-to-coast office locations. Visit

The Ignite blog is an official publication of the Kansas Society of CPAs. Copyright 2019.