The Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) and IBM have partnered to train accounting professionals in technology skills such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data and cognitive computing.

The two organizations have agreed that IBM will provide an advanced cognitive and data skills platform to accounting professionals (not just MACPA members) to train them to quickly acquire data science, business analytics and AI skills. The goal is to give these trainees the tools to play a bigger role in guiding technology adaption within their firms.

Training will take the form of in-person classes as well as hands-on cognitive learning, i.e., training tailored to individuals and designed to help them develop problem-solving skills of their own regarding smart technology that could be useful to the profession.

Interactive cognitive courses will be delivered through IBM’s Big Data University via the Business Learning Institute, the MACPA’s learning and innovation subsidiary. Classes are promised to provide training in machine learning, deep learning (a subclass of machine learning) and AI to help accounting professionals apply insights derived from cognitive computing to solve complex financial problems.

“An important part of creating a future for accounting and finance professionals is providing them the opportunity to gain the necessary growth skills to avoid disruption,” said Tom Hood, CEO of the MACPA and the Business Learning Institute, in statement. “We’ve seen what IBM can do with automating data-driven businesses, and we are excited to advance our century-old mission of equipping members with the most advanced skills needed to be competitive in tomorrow’s job market. We look forward to adding the IBM curriculum to our existing portfolio of future-ready skills.”

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