This morning, KPMG announced it signed a participation agreement with IBM Australia, which extends on existing agreements in the US and the UK.
This will see the application of IBM Watson, a cognitive computing technology platform that can analyse unstructured data, to KPMG’s professional services offerings.
In particular, there will be a focus on audit and assurance services, particularly in light of the "increasing challenge" to tackle high volumes of structured and unstructured data related to a company’s financial and non-financial information.
"Cognitive technology’s exponential data analysis capabilities can transform how critical decisions are made and the level of assurance which can be provided," a statement from KPMG said.
Duncan McLennan, KPMG’s national managing partner of audit in Australia, noted the audit process has already been significantly transformed by the use of new technologies.
"Already, data and analytics techniques are transforming audit by allowing analysis of much bigger populations of data than traditional sampling from which to draw conclusions," Mr McLennan said.
"Cognitive technology will allow us to build on these data and analytics advances. They will be a game changer in how the value of audit is perceived by the marketplace."
Ken Reid, KPMG Australia’s national managing partner for innovation, said today’s announcement flags KPMG's focus on innovation and disruption moving forward.
"We believe we are nearing a tipping point where the use of automation tools, machine learning and data analytics will provide significant enhancements to the range of services and the depth of insights we can provide to clients," he said.
"We’ve been bolstering our capabilities in a range of emerging technologies through acquisitions," he added.
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