Facial Recognition Bias

In a recent study at MIT, researchers evaluated facial analysis programs from major technology companies. The research shows major error rates when asked to evaluate women and people of color.

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The facial recognition software algorithms were built using neural networks, which look for patterns in a large set of training data. One technology firm boasts 97 percent accuracy in face-recognition software. However, the neural network was trained using a dataset that was 77 % male and 83% white.

MIT researchers evaluated a similar program and used a dataset that included a wider range of people based on gender and skin tones. In the three commercial software systems, error rates of 20.8, 34.5, and 34.7 percent were found for darker-skinned women. This is compared to the 3 percent claimed by one of the system developers.

For more information on these findings, go to: MIT article

What skills are your students missing?

The AICPA and NASBA recently surveyed 300 U.S. accounting programs to show what technical skills students need as they enter the profession and what they may be missing. The survey focuses on topics such as data analytics, IT audit, cybersecurity, etc.

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The survey was done as part of the CPA Evolution Initiative which is transforming the licensure model for the CPA. The survey showed that 64% of accounting programs are teaching analytics, but less than half cover cybersecurity.

To see the full report of what technical topics are covered in accounting curriculum, see the full report at: https://evolutionofcpa.org/Documents/Accounting%20Program%20Curriculum%20Gap%20Analysis%20Report%203.15.2021.pdf

Excel Videos

My Accounting Information Systems students are preparing to take the Microsoft Excel Expert certification exam in a few weeks. To help them review, I have created several videos that cover topics on the exam.

I am sharing the playlist of Excel videos with you, in hopes you find something useful. Some topics that are covered include: Vlookup, Match/Index, Pivot Tables and other functions.

I will keep adding to the playlist, so please check back.

Here is a link to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF_zs3YRWdbwUfIL0uLdVRno1ZyENCGVq

Otherwise, check out my other helpful Excel tips on my blog. https://iteachais.com/category/excel/

A New Look at Machine Learning

At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, John Deere showcased how it is using Artificial Intelligence in its products. A large display of agricultural equipment is not what many attendees expect to find at the consumer electronics show, but a John Deere Sprayer was displayed prominently among the drones, games and other gadgets.

Listen to how Machine Learning is being used in agricultural equipment. https://www.investors.com/videos/ai-and-machine-learning-to-power-john-deeres-lineup-of-farm-equipment/

Blockchain in Accounting – Hype or not?

Not that long ago it seemed that blockchain was everywhere. The hype of blockchain as a cure-all was quite prevalent, including a commentary in the Wall Street Journal commenting how blockhain can end poverty. See article.

However, it seems that much of the hype has died for the moment as practitioners find ways to utilize blockchain when it makes the most sense, rather than implementing blockchain for the sake of using blockchain.

A recent podcast with the Journal of Accountancy discusses where the accounting industry is at this time for using blockchain. To view the article and associated podcast, go to: https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/podcast/blockchain-accounting.html

In my opinion, the use of blockchain was over hyped at first. Now that the dust has settled, accountants can find ways to use it to increase reliability of transactions and speed up some processing.

Think Cryptocurrency is safe? Think again.

“In 2019 alone, an estimated $4.26 billion in cryptocurrencies was lost due to hacks, cybertheft, scams, misappropriation or insider fraud, up about 250% from 2018.” Fraudsters have upped efforts to attack cryptocurrencies in recent years.

Fraudsters are using schemes such as: embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, phishing and ransomware.

Currency Exchange Rates

Unlike other frauds, if a person loses cryptocurrency, there is no recourse or way to recover it.

For how forensic accountants can help, go to: https://blog.aicpa.org/2020/05/cyber-criminals-are-finding-ways-to-steal-your-digital-dollars.html#sthash.Sv5ebunY.dpbs

Technology Trends 2020

Deloitte released its 11th annual report on Tech Trends in the accounting field. Note: this report was written before the COVID 19 pandemic, so it will be interesting to see how that may change things in the 2021 report.

Some of the trends highlighted in the report include:

  • Macro Technology Forces – firms need to find value and bring the recent technologies together
  • Ethical Technology and Trust – use the new technologies in an ethical manner while building trust with all stakeholders
  • Finance and the Future of IT – using technology to become more agile within the organization
  • Digital Twins – bridge the physical and the digital operations to help the other

For the entire executive summary, go to: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/tech-trends.html

For the entire report, including videos, go to: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/tech-trends.html

Free CPE and Courses for IMA members

If you are an IMA member, there are several courses and educational opportunities available related to AIS as well as several others. If you are a student, you can become a member for $35 and take advantage of these opportunities. The following AIS-related resources are available to members, some for only a limited time

  • Data Analytics and Visualization Fundamentals Certificate (9 CPE)
  • Blockchain 101 (1 CPE)
  • Technology Webinars on Demand (8 CPE)
  • Technology II Webinars on Demand (6 CPE)
  • Excel 365: Tips in 10
  • Count Me In Podcasts — many technology topics here

Other available courses for members:

  • IMA Strategy and Competitive Analysis Learning Series – prep for CSCA exam
  • Communicating in the 21st Century
  • Strategic Management Webinars on Demand
  • Leadership I and Leadership II Webinars on Demand

To become a member, or to access these courses, go to : https://www.imanet.org/

I have taken advantage of several of these opportunities as an IMA member. I hope you find them useful.

Data Security Tips for during a crisis

A crisis, such as the one we are in now due to COVID-10, is a time when cybercriminals thrive. A recent article in the Journal of Accountancy provides some reminders of tips your orgainization should take to strengthen your data security. Check out the article below:

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