Rutgers and AICPA Unveil Data Analytics Research Initiative

December 16, 2015

New York (December 16, 2015) – Rutgers Business School and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) today announced the formation of the Rutgers AICPA Data Analytics Research Initiative (“the Initiative”). The Initiative, cosponsored by the AICPA and CPA Canada, will facilitate the further integration of data analytics into the audit process, and demonstrate through research how this can lead to advancements in the public accounting profession.

Research projects undertaken by the Initiative will focus on the potential for further integration of analytics into the audit process at a foundational level, in an effort to enhance audit quality. The scope of the research will encompass the testing of theory and methodology to inform the development of professional guidance on the application of audit data analytics, which will benefit the CPA profession as a whole.

“We are very pleased to be joining forces with the AICPA on this important research initiative,” said Miklos Vasarhelyi, KPMG Distinguished Professor of Accounting Information Systems and Director of Rutgers Accounting Research Center and Continuous Auditing & Reporting Lab. “We have two shared goals. The first is to examine how audit objectives might be achieved more effectively by further integrating data analytics and related technologies into everyday practice. The second is active engagement by firms and universities in fundamental applied research for continuous improvement of the auditing profession.”

“The audit profession is leveraging technology and electronic information to expand the auditor’s ability to access and analyze vast amounts of information,” said Susan Coffey, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President for Public Practice and Global Alliances for the AICPA. “The Initiative will play an essential role in this evolution by testing the effectiveness of new approaches and techniques in a research environment,” she explained. “These findings will inform the development of AICPA guidance on audit data analytics, paving the way for implementation by CPA firms of all sizes.”

In addition to testing new techniques and methodologies, the Initiative will also encourage collaboration in other scholarly, practical research into audit data analytics, and will seek to spread learning in the field via publications, colloquia, conferences, and networking opportunities.  The Initiative will also facilitate a process for open dialogue with U.S. standards setters, regulators and other interested parties. 

Licensed US CPA firms are invited to contribute to and participate in the Initiative.  For more information please visit