KPMG and IBM announced plans to apply IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology to KPMG’s professional service offerings, with a focus on auditing services.
The agreement comes after several recent KPMG initiatives using cognitive technologies to enhance and deliver innovative business services.
Providing greater collaboration between human and systems, cognitive technology enables communication in natural language, analyzing massive amounts of data to quickly deliver insights. Watson, accessible through a variety of applications, integrates machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies in a scalable system.
“The cognitive era has arrived,” stated KPMG chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie. “KPMG’s use of IBM Watson technology will help advance our team’s ability to analyze and act on the core financial and operational data so central to the health of organizations and the capital markets. In addition to the unprecedented possibilities for enhancing quality, the potential for cognitive and related technologies to help us pursue new business offerings is extraordinary.”
As many of KPMG’s audit, tax, advisory and other professional services rely on judgment-driven processes, the data analysis and innovative learning capabilities of cognitive technology can transform how the firm deploys talent, time, capital and other resources.
“Auditing and similar knowledge services are increasingly challenged with tackling immense volumes of unstructured data,” stated John Kelly, senior vice president of cognitive solutions and IBM Research. “Cognitive technologies such as Watson can transform how this data is understood and how critical decisions are made. By applying Watson, KPMG is taking a forward-looking approach to extending its expertise, helping professionals and clients gain new insights from critical enterprise information.”
KPMG will be working with Watson to develop select cognitive services to meet extensive audit-specific security, confidentiality and compliance requirements. For example, one of the Big Four firm’s current initiatives focuses on employing supervised cognitive capabilities to analyze large volumes of structured and unstructured data related to a company’s financial information as auditors “teach” the technology to fine-tune those assessments, giving those teams faster access to precise measurements used to analyze anomalies.
With cognitive technology’s ability to analyze a larger percentage of data, KPMG professionals can obtain enhanced insights into the client’s financial and business operations, in turn giving them the opportunity to focus on higher value activities like risk assessments.
“Including cognitive technology with KPMG’s innovative capabilities, robust methodologies and processes, and 100-plus year history of excellence, is a real game changer that underscores our commitment to reinforcing confidence in the capital markets,” stated Doughtie.