From education to employment

Aston University teams up with nationwide firm to boost audit practices with data analytics

  • The management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (mKTP) with Beever and Struthers will help drive the firm’s digital transformation
  • The 30-month programme will specifically aim to develop, embed and exploit smart data driven technologies
  • It will enable the business to increase quality, productivity and capacity.

Aston University has begun a management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (mKTP) with nationwide accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers to help drive the firm’s digital transformation.

A management Knowledge Transfer Partnership is built around identifying strategic management-based initiatives to increase business effectiveness and improve management practices.

As part of the mKTP, led by Aston University in collaboration with Professor Brian Nicholson and Dr Sung Hwan Chai (Alliance Manchester Business School), Dr George Moyenda Salijeni (Aston Business School) and the team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of Beever and Struthers’ existing data systems. Following the assessment, specific methodologies will be proposed to ensure alignment between the mKTP and the firm’s ongoing data systems.

The 30-month programme will aim to develop, embed and exploit smart data driven technologies within the audit function, enabling the business to increase the quality, productivity and capacity to deliver additional insight and value to clients.

Dr George Salijeni, a lecturer in accounting at Aston Business School and an expert in data analytics tools used in external audits and knowledge base supervisor in the mKTP, said:

“This mKTP offers an opportunity to share and utilise knowledge and technical exposure which academics at Aston University and Alliance Manchester Business School have gained and generated over the years through undertaking multi-disciplinary research and engagements with practitioners and audit regulators on data driven technologies which include artificial intelligence.

“Potentially, this project generates insights, workflows which could impact and transform the way audits are performed by leveraging data driven analytics tools and models.”  

Michael Tourville, partner at Beever and Struthers, said:

“Given that the business has been around for up to 125 years it is quite traditional in its approach, but we are now keen to embrace the opportunities that a truly digital transformation could offer.

“Although we are a firm with a long history, we are also an entrepreneurial business and are keen to grasp opportunities when we see them. 

“This mKTP is all about giving our clients more insight and helping us navigate data far better too. The main improvements for us will come from increased efficiency and insight, but we will also be able to further improve the quality of the service we offer.”

Professor Andy Lymer, head of the Accounting Department at Aston University, said:

“Digital approaches to accounting are increasingly at the heart of how the accounting industry works – and therefore increasingly at the heart of what we teach and research related to this industry and its practices. 

“This extremely innovative project will enable us to work with the partners in this programme to go in depth into an organisation exploring how the use of the latest developments in the use of digital tools such as advanced data analytics can further enhance the processes of audit. 

“The experience and knowledge gained in this work will be brought back into the classroom for our students to benefit from also.”

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