KPMG-Top-Business-Schools-Launch-D&A-Master’s-Degree | KPMG | ZM

KPMG, Villanova, Ohio State Launch First-Of-Its-Kind Data And Analytics Master’s Degree To Prep Data-Age Auditors

KPMG, Top Business Schools Launch D&A Master’s Degree

Newest Innovation in KPMG’s Learning Culture Advances Academic Cooperation and Offers Students Competitive Edge; KPMG Will Pay Tuition for Students as Future Employees


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With a continued cultural focus on advancing the educational experience, skills and careers of its next generation of leaders, KPMG LLP has worked with The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business and Villanova School of Business to develop a bold new approach to learning with master’s degree programs emphasizing data and analytics (D&A) in accounting.

“The KPMG program encompasses the newest innovation to our firm’s award-winning recruiting and learning culture by facilitating data and analytics innovations in the Master of Accounting programs of two of our nation’s leading business schools,” said Scott Marcello, KPMG’s Vice Chair, Audit. “This program integrates perfectly into KPMG’s D&A and cognitive capabilities, and starts real action toward meeting our profession’s great demand for talent. It foundationally changes the recruiting and preparation of auditors with the right skills to analyze the vast volumes of information produced by today’s business organizations.

“The degree coursework developed by each business school will drive critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in a data- and analytics-focused accounting curriculum,” Marcello added. “Students in the KPMG program will also have their coursework supplemented by real-world experience on KPMG teams auditing some of the world’s largest companies.”

This KPMG program will pay the full tuition, room and board for 50 students who will enter the universities’ graduate programs in the fall of 2017 and will work between semesters as KPMG audit interns, applying what they learn in the coursework, extensively using KPMG’s data and analytics tools on audit teams and preparing for the program’s second semester. The KPMG program will also involve working with The Ohio State and Villanova to integrate the latest audit technology into the classroom. Upon graduation from Fisher College of Business or the Villanova School of Business in the summer of 2018, the students will join KPMG’s audit practice through an advanced entry program.

Created to develop auditors in the data age, the program innovations are part of broader data analytics initiatives at Fisher College of Business and the Villanova School of Business. For the students, the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program combines practical use of the latest analytics technology and data sets, as well as real-world experience using the firm’s proprietary tools in the classroom and as members of KPMG audit teams.

Villanova School of Business Vice Dean Daniel Wright, Ph.D., called this master’s degree “a rarity in academic-business cooperation that goes well beyond tuition reimbursement. We know of no other program where a company directly funds students’ master’s degrees in accounting analytics and provides a full-time position upon graduation.”

“Strong partnerships between leading companies and top academic institutions are essential to building an agile workforce equipped to meet today’s business challenges,” said Anil Makhija, Dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher College of Business. “Fisher is proud to join with KPMG and the Villanova School of Business in recognizing the importance of data analytics in accounting and in providing the next generation of industry leaders with a truly unique academic and professional experience.”

Fisher College of Business and the Villanova School of Business are among dozens of schools with strong, ongoing relationships where KPMG is pioneering integrated business and data coursework as part of its educational investments to enhance audit quality and advance its culture of learning. The firm, which hopes to expand the program to other schools to enhance its close relationship with academia, already funds dozens of academic research projects and activities for professors, engages faculty to advise on audit research topics and methodologies, provides a website with materials and presentations for faculty to use in their classrooms, and offers internship opportunities for students.

Among its extensive academic programs, the KPMG University Connection site offers curriculum and case-study materials on technical topics, professional judgment and ethics. KPMG also sponsors webinars and a faculty symposium, and provides partners and professionals for presentations to students and faculty throughout the country. The KPMG Foundation-sponsored PhD Project encourages diversity within business school faculty through programming for doctoral students in underrepresented minorities.

Click here to learn more about the program.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.

About The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business

Since 1916, The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business has served as a recognized leader in business education, critical research and innovative partnerships. Its mission—creating ideas, encouraging scholars and developing leaders who positively impact their communities and the world—is influenced by the tenets of Mr. Fisher, a leading industrialist, philanthropist and public servant. Fisher prepares its students to transcend the expectations of business education through its top-ranked programs and its vast network of partnerships that reaches from the surrounding business community to multinationals, nonprofits and startups across the globe. Fisher students learn from distinguished faculty from across all facets of business. Fisher’s students are uniquely prepared and highly sought by Fortune 500 companies and leading organizations around the world. Students at Fisher leverage the college’s rigorous, applied learning environment with the resources of The Ohio State, a premier research university with 500,000 proud Buckeye alumni.

About Villanova University School of Business

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek and has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to six Centers or Institutes of Excellence (the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights, the Center for Church Management & Business Ethics and the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute) with each center and institute designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and teaching opportunities for business faculty. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit


Robert Wade

Joe Arnold
The Ohio State University

Cathy J. Toner
Villanova University

© 2018 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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