Big data: essential for accountancy success

Posted by | January 30, 2015 | Big 4 Accounting firms, FTSE 100 companies, Latest Audit Information & News

According to Iain Moffatt, Head of Enterprise at KPMG their reasons for creating the cloud-based service was partly a response to the prospect of large tech companies entering the accountancy market and using big data to steal market share from incumbent firms, including the Big Four (KPMG, PwC, E&Y and Deloitte)

Therefore, future threats from companies like Google were a key reason for KPMG’s £40 million investment into accounting services for small and start-up businesses.

In the same way, Mr. Moffatt added in a recent interview: “When we talked about our mid-market business, we considered our competition. Obviously, we thought about firms like PwC and EY. But then we paused and asked ourselves, is that really our competition? In the next five years, are big accountancy firms going to be our competition, or is it actually going to be Google, or Amazon, or somebody else?”

He also declared “Today, our profession is all about data. The more data you have, the more powerful you are. With big data you can create more-effective KPIs, better benchmarking, and more accurate insights. That’s the secret. That’s what the future holds.”

Regarding KPMG’s deal with McLaren last November, further emphasising the firm’s focus on data acquisition and analysis, Mr. Moffatt referenced: “Our recent deal with McLaren was about harnessing their fantastic data analytical capability.”

In Mr. Moffatt’s opinion, the market in which KPMG operates is changing fundamentally. Start-ups become less interested in established brands and more focused on the quality of data supplied by their services organisations.

As a conclusion, he launched the following reflection: “Fundamentally Google is a data organisation. That’s what it sells. And what’s stopping Google becoming a provider of advice based on data analysis in the future? The only thing stopping it is that it doesn’t currently have a recognised or trusted brand in that field. But in five years’ time, that might be different. If you’re a new company, are you bothered about whether you deal with KPMG, Google, ABC, or XYZ? No, you care about what that company can do for you.”


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