Course Detail
Course Components:
This course will introduce students to the typical data analytical skills and tools that accounting students should master to meet the demands of our profession and to prepare for the CPA exam. These skills include the following: 1. Data Analysis and Interpretation: Accountants need to be comfortable dealing with large volumes of data and should be able to interpret that data to make informed decisions. They should be able to spot trends, anomalies, and correlations in the data. 2. Financial Analysis: This includes understanding financial statements, conducting ratio analysis, and carrying out profitability assessments. Financial analysis skills are key to making strategic recommendations based on financial data. 3. Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is about asking the right questions, interpreting the data in hand, and making well-informed decisions. It's important to evaluate the validity of data and challenge assumptions when necessary. 4. Analytical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Accountants need to solve complex problems such as reconciling conflicting reports or resolving discrepancies. This requires logical thinking and creativity. 5. Risk Analysis: Understanding and evaluating potential risks is crucial in accounting. Accountants should be capable of identifying financial risks and developing strategies to mitigate them. 6. Proficiency in Accounting and Data Analysis Software: Student must be familiar with and able to use modern data analysis tools like Spreadsheets (Excel), Tools to connect to clean it and transform data (Power Query and Alteryx), data visualization tools (Power BI and Tableau), database management tools (SQL and Access) and tools to manipulate data (Python and R). No discussion on data analytics tool is complete with out understanding how to use AI software like Chat GPT to enhance the use of the above tools (we will use Microsoft 365 Copilot in this course). 7. Statistical Analysis: Understanding statistical methods can help accountants analyze and interpret data more effectively. 8. Reporting: Analyzing the data is only part of the job. Accountants also need to communicate their findings effectively, often through reports. Thus, they should develop skills in creating clear, concise, and informative reports.