Data Analytics & Emerging Technologies

Big Data / Data Analytics - Research 

Thought Leadership, Funding Specific Research Projects 

 

Anomalies 

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Addressing Anomalies in Audit Data Analytics 

  • Research team is Efrim Boritz, Greg Shields, and Adam Vitalis.  

  • Objective: To investigate how auditors assess which anomalies to investigate in an audit data analytics context. 

  • Data was collected from MAcc students in March 2023. Analysis is in progress.
  • Status: In process 

 

Ethics of data analytics

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Reducing the incidence of biased decisions through data analytics transparency.
  • Research team: Sepideh Ebrahimi, Esraa Abdelhalim (University of Windsor), Khaled Hassanein (McMaster University), Milena Head (McMaster University)
  • As firms move toward data-driven decision making using algorithmic systems, concerns are raised about the lack of transparency of these systems, which could have ramifications related to users’ trust and the potential for provoking discriminatory decisions.
  • This study investigates the effectiveness of feature importance (FI), a common transparency-enhancing approach, which illustrates the nature and the weights of features used by an algorithm in the context of algorithmic advice that includes different types of discrimination.
  • Status: In process 

 

Information Integrity 

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Information Integrity Control Guidelines

  • Project team is Efrim Boritz and Malik Datardina, Auvenir. 

  • The objectives are to: 1) define information integrity and to identify information integrity risks and controls for mitigating those risks; 2) define assurance practices for information integrity services; 3) interview or survey audit team members about their views on information integrity risks, controls, and assurance practices. 

  • The Framework for Information Integrity Controls was published by CPA Canada in April 2019. In addition, Efrim Boritz assisted the AICPA to develop a guideline on data integrity assurance. 

      Links: 

 

Data Value Creation

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): JIS Workshop: Data Value Creation Research: Views from Industry Leaders and AIS Researchers
  • Research team: Efrim Boritz and Theo Stratopoulos
  • Published in Journal of Information Systems 37 (1) 2023: 1–6.
  • Status: Completed

 

AI/ML

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): A workshop on the impact of artificial intelligence on the accounting profession was held on Dec 7, 2022, in conjunction with JIS.
  • Research team: Efrim Boritz and Theo Stratopoulos
  • Published in Journal of Information Systems 37 (3) 2023: 1–9.
  • Status: Completed

 

IT Budgets

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Does Industry Classification Matter: Evidence from IT Budgets 

  • Research team: Duane Kennedy, Byron Song, and Theo Stratopoulos 

  • The objective is to discover if the industry classification and/or the level of aggregation within a selected classification matter. Empirical studies tend to control for industry structure using proxies from one of the common industry classifications (e.g., SIC, Fama-French, NAICS) and select a level of aggregation within this classification (e.g., SIC2 or SIC3). Given that these choices are unjustified, one could assume they do not seem to matter.

  • Status: In process 

 

Algorithmic Management

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Does the effect of management style on auditors’ propensity to underreport time differ depending on the nature of the manager (human vs. algorithm)?
  • Research team is Tim Bauer, Samantha Seto, Simon Fraser University, and Jenny Ulla, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • The objective is to examine how auditors respond to varying management styles (e.g., more passive, more micromanaging) and whether this depends on whether the manager is a human or an algorithm. In particular, we investigate whether higher levels of micromanagement motivate auditors to underreport the time they spend on their audit tasks, and whether such behavior is lessened when the manager in charge of time/budget is an algorithm.
  • The research team has been conducting pilot test experiments in Winter and Spring 2023. The main experiment is being conducted with UW MAcc students in July 2023. Researcher Samantha Seto presented the research idea at the Canadian Academic Accounting Association’s annual Craft of Accounting Workshop (for junior scholars) in June 2023.
  • Status: In process 

 

Gamification - Crowdfunding

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Does Gamification of Crowdfunding Lead to Higher Success?
  • Research team of Theo Stratopoulos and Jonathan Hua Ye (Oklahoma University) investigates the effect of the addition of a leaderboard of top donors (i.e., gamification) increases the success rate (amount raised/goal).
  • Paper was presented at the Rutgers AIS Research Seminar (May 2023) and the 17th ICESALM (June 2023). Currently under journal 2nd round review.
  • Status: In process 

 

Platform Policy - Online Contest

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Designing Contests for Data Science Competitions: Number of Stages and the Prize Structures
  • Research team: Keehyung Kim, and Jialu Liu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Firms have been proactively holding data science competitions via online contest platforms to look for innovative solutions from the crowd. When firms are designing such competitions, the key question is, "What should be a better contest design to motivate contestants to exert more effort?" We experimentally investigate two commonly observed contest structures (one-stage and two-stage) and two widely adopted prize structures (high-spread and low-spread). This paper was published in the Production and Operations Management, 32(11), 2023.
  • Report: Designing Contests for Data Science Competitions: Number of Stages and the Prize Structures
  • Status: Completed

 

Use of AI/ML

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Does Use of AI Tools Affect a Decision-making Behavior: An Experimental Study
  • Research team: Keehyung Kim, and Yige Chen (CUHK - PhD student)
  • Over the past years, there has been a rapid increase in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to acquire information while others may still rely on getting information in a traditional way (e.g., from human experts). The objective is to experimentally investigate how the source of information may affect a decision-making behavior in various scenarios. We have completed an early pilot study, and we are currently designing further experiments.
  • Status: In process 

 

Large Language Models (LLMs)

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): From VisiCalc to ChatGPT: Unraveling the Perfect Storm of Emerging Technologies and its Implications for the Accounting Profession
  • Research Team: Theo Stratopoulos, Ivee Che and Yifei Kuang (SAF - Ph.D. students)
  • The rapid evolution of technology in the past 30 years has transformed various industries, including accounting. The paper aims to explore the interconnectedness and evolution of emerging technologies and their profound implications for the accounting profession.
  • Status: In process 

 

A review of ChatGPT research in Accounting and Finance

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): A Scoping Review of ChatGPT Research in Accounting and Finance.
  • Research Team: Theo Stratopoulos, Victor Wang (CSU-Long Beach), Michael Dong (Missouri State University).
  • The paper reviews recent publications and working papers on ChatGPT and related Large Language Models (LLMs) in accounting and finance. The aim is to understand the current state of research in these two areas and identify potential research opportunities for future inquiry. We identify three common themes from these earlier studies.
  • Status: In process – under review.

 

Conversational agents

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): The impact of anthropomorphism on users’ adoption of conversational agents’ (CAs) recommendations
  • Research Team: Sepideh Ebrahimi, Christian Matt (University of Bern), Izak Benbasat (University of British Columbia)
  • This research intends to investigate whether the anthropomorphism of CAs impacts users' perception of the quality of their recommendations and whether participants are likely to be more forgiving of low-quality recommendations when given by anthropomorphized agents.
  • Status: In process 

 

Conversational agents

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative)A meta-analysis of the factors influencing users' acceptance of conversational agents' advice
  • Research Team: Sepideh Ebrahimi, Samira Farivar (Carleton University), Kamran Eshghi (Laurentian University)
  • Status: In process

 

Big Data / Data Analytics – Education and Knowledge Transfer 

Disseminating Best Practices, Sharing Material (Workshops / Conferences) 

Developing Courses, Workshops, Cases and Other Teaching Material 

 

Data Analytics and Visualization – Business Analytics Stream 

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Under Theo Stratopoulos’ leadership UWCISA sponsored developing and implementing a Business Analytics stream within the accounting program at the University of Waterloo. For information about this stream please visit the links below. 

     Links: 

 

Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies Teaching Material!

  • In an attempt to establish SAF as a leader in data analytics and emerging technologies we have embarked on a campaign to develop our teaching material.
  • The first book was prepared and published: Stratopoulos, T. C. (2023). Introduction to Data Analytics Process: From Spreadsheets to R and Python. 1st edition. Waterloo Series of Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies. Waterloo, Ontario: VitalSource. 
  • Currently working on updates for the new edition (adding new data and incorporating AI enables questions).
  • Royalties generated from sales to SAF students were donated to UWCISA to support scholarships.

 

Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies Teaching Material!

  • In an attempt to establish SAF as a leader in data analytics and emerging technologies we have embarked on a campaign to develop our teaching material.
  • We are in the process of finalizing the second text for publication by summer/fall 2024: "Foundation of Accounting and Finance Analytics" by Theo Stratopoulos & Haaris Mian.
  • Royalties generated from sales to SAF students will be donated to UWCISA to support scholarships.

 

Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies Teaching Material!

  • In an attempt to establish SAF as a leader in data analytics and emerging technologies, we have embarked on a campaign to develop our teaching material.
  • We are in the process of planning the development of a third text for publication by the end of 2024: "Statistics for Accounting and Finance Students" by Theo Stratopoulos & Daniel Jiang.
  • Royalties generated from sales to SAF students will be donated to UWCISA to support scholarships.

 

Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies Simulated/Synthetic Data!

  • In an attempt to establish SAF as a leader in data analytics and emerging technologies we have embarked on a campaign to develop our teaching material.
  • Team: Theo Stratopoulos, Dan Rogozynski and Nancy Vanden Bosch.
  • We have been working as a team to develop cases and simulated or synthetic data for our classes. The goal is to generate integrated cases that can be used to teach data analytics across different topics (e.g., tax and managerial/performance management).
  • The case and data set used for the 3rd annual dashboard competition was developed by Theo Stratopoulos and Nancy Vanden Bosch

 

Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies Simulated/Synthetic Data!

  • In an attempt to establish SAF as a leader in data analytics and emerging technologies we have embarked on a campaign to develop our teaching material.
  • Team: Theo Stratopoulos, Dan Rogozynski and Nancy Vanden Bosch. We have been working with a local company that has provided access to their itemized sales transactions for the last three years.
  • Nancy and Theo prepared the case and was used for the 2rd annual predictive analytics competition that was held last summer (August 2023)
  • Dan and Theo will use the setting to develop a tax analytics case.

 

ISACA Toronto Chapter Data Analytics Competition

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): 4th Annual Dashboard Competition - Dec 2023
  • This initiative is being led by Theo Stratopoulos. ISACA Toronto Chapter sponsors the prize.

 

UWCISA Predictive Analytics Competition

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): 2nd Annual Predictive Analytics Competition - Aug 2023
  • A new competition among second-year SAF students with a focus on predictive analytics.
  • This initiative is being led by Theo Stratopoulos & Haaris Mian.
  • UWCISA: Predictive Analytics Competition

 

AI/ML

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Think Twenty invited  Efrim Boritz to prepare an article on AI Technologies with Implications for Assurance Services based on the survey of CPAs conducted in February.
  • Report: ThinkTWENTY20 Spring 2023 issue

 

LLMs

  • Activities during the current fiscal period (cumulative): Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on Large Language Models in Accounting
  • Theo Stratopoulos and Victor Wang will be the guest editors for the special issue of the International Journal of Accounting Information Systems.
  • This special issue aims to explore the transformative impact of AI and LLMs on accounting practice and research.

Big Data / Data Analytics – Interaction

Engaging with Profession, Students, Public 

 

Emerging Technologies Advisory Group

  • The initiative aims to organize a team of industry experts & meet periodically to discuss/identify emerging technologies and how they will affect our curriculum.
  • Team leaders: Theo Stratopoulos, Nancy Vanden Bosch and Will Xiang