KPMG partners with Thomson Reuters, universities on interactive case study

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Big Four firm KPMG, in collaboration with Thomson Reuters and three U.S. universities, announced the development of an interactive case study to help modernize the skills of tax and accounting students before they enter the workforce.

The three participating universities — Bentley University, San Diego State University and the University of Miami — utilized the case study in their tax courses during the 2019 academic year. KPMG and Thomson Reuters state that they plan to expand the program to more schools over the course of 2020.

The case study was presented with a demo on Feb. 29, 2020, at the midyear meeting of the American Taxation Association.

“Students are really excited to apply cutting-edge technology to work on a challenging case study in the classroom,” said Tracy Noga, professor of accountancy at Bentley University, in a statement. “With the support of KPMG’s tax professionals, as well as Thomson Reuters’ ONESOURCE Tax Provision software, university courses will better align with the skills and competencies that are now expected of tax and accounting professionals in this era of technological disruption.”

The case study teaches students how to prepare tax provisions in Excel-based models, create tax provisions in ONESOURCE, and develop a foundation of tax provision and compliance cycles.

The coursework is based on the experiences of the professors at the participating universities, as well as input from KPMG professionals who work on tax provisions. Tax professionals from KPMG’s Ignition centers — the firm’s tech-focused learning centers — also contributed data to the case study.

“Advances in software, automation and artificial intelligence are enabling tax professionals to spend more time on higher-level problem-solving earlier in their careers,” said Steven Fortier, KPMG tax principal and executive sponsor for the firm’s Thomson Reuters alliance, in a statement. “Professionals that have deep tax technical skills alongside strong technology and analytic skills are increasingly valuable to companies, and this initiative is all about accelerating the development of those skills.”

With rapid advancements in technology, tax is being totally reimagined,” said Will Williams, national managing partner – tax at KPMG, in a statement. “It’s no longer a back-office function where professionals are busy on their calculators from dusk ‘til dawn. Professionals armed with tax knowledge plus technology and business skills are going to have seats at the leadership table to advise on the strategy and future of the company.”

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