James’ interest in data and analytics dates back to his studies at University of Richmond. While interning with KPMG, he learned of its MADA Program and was fascinated by the advanced technology, new processes and new audit possibilities that the program supported. “[It] was the perfect way to integrate my two interests of D&A and accounting at a company that was encouraging the use of new tools and advanced technology in auditing,” stated James.
With respect to James’ experience on campus at Virginia Tech, he indicated that both the students and faculty have been extremely welcoming and helpful. “The class sizes have been small, and the professors are always willing to spend time outside of class to answer questions or address concerns,” per James. In addition to the connectivity and culture of our ACIS Department, when asked about his preparedness for the Spring internship with KPMG based on the courses taken in the Fall semester, James indicated that “the courses and professors at Virginia Tech absolutely prepared me for the audit and D&A related tasks I was given during my internship. The courses provided the base and theory behind why certain tools were used, going beyond just giving instructions.” James further indicated that he “felt very confident walking into [the] internship as a MADA intern and look[s] forward to assisting future engagement teams make the audit more efficient.”
Per James, “the industry seems ripe for disruption by D&A technology” and he is “excited to have the skillset to help implement that tech to assist future audit teams.”
Hometown: Franklin, MA
Earned Undergraduate Degree from: University of Richmond
5-Year Vision: James aspires to help KPMG find and integrate data and analytics (D&A) technologies to assist in auditing blockchain. Per James, “the blockchain technology is relatively new, especially to the auditing profession and there are very few standards that discuss the topic. I find the lack of precedent extremely interesting as it would mean getting to design the audit approach from the ground up.”