The EY Academic Resource Center (EYARC) is a resource center that allows higher education institutions like Virginia Tech to access a variety of leading-edge educational tools and cases.  The 2022 EYARC Curriculum Innovation Awards celebrate the use of EYARC in higher education.  The award competition allowed each 2022 EYARC Colloquium academic attendee to submit one award nomination on behalf of their institution. The nomination called for a description of how an instructor enhanced student learning through integration of EYARC materials in their curriculum.

Assistant Professor of Practice Greg Kogan submitted a nomination as a representative of Virginia Tech and was awarded 2nd place.  The award came with $5,000 that could be utilized for student scholarships or other academic purposes.

In the nomination essay, Greg noted that he used the EYARC curriculum to help the students acquire market relevant skills, better understand the subject topic of the course, and put them in a position to succeed in the new and data driven accounting world. He used two EYARC data analytics case studies during the Spring 2022 Semester for his graduate course in Information Security and Assurance.

As part of his implementation of the EYARC cases the students learned how to perform basic Alteryx (a data cleaning and analytics software) functionality, while automating the financial ratio analysis of the entire S&P 500 and coming up with visualization analysis of various industries, specific companies, as well as the entire S&P 500 Index as a whole.  In addition to this he was able to further learning objectives concerning the creation of automated internal control testing and validation of information security policies. This curriculum innovation was particularly important as in creating auditing, testing, and control validation of information security policies in the real world must be automated, as there is simply too much data, systems, and processes to test such controls effectively or frequently enough in a manual manner.

Using these case studies helped the students better understand how to deliver the assurance of cybersecurity policies and doing it using Alteryx also showed the power of analytics and automation when combined with big data. Furthermore, the students are now aware of the Alteryx Core certification and are positioned to get further training on Alteryx and how to use it for audit and accounting once they begin their audit and accounting career.