Inaugural Class Selected For KPMG Masters Program at Ohio State, Villanova Universities

The graduate program's focus on data and analytics will educate leaders for the data age.

U.S. audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG (No. 16 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list), The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business, and Villanova School of Business (VSB) have announced selection of the inaugural class for the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program.

The high caliber of applicants led to an expansion from 50 to 52 students – 26 at each institution – who will begin classes in the fall of 2017. The program integrates courses in accounting, auditing, technology and advanced D&A capabilities to develop auditors for an era of change and disruption, characterized by machine learning, artificial intelligence and technological advances.

"Congratulations to each of these outstanding students! They represent the future of our profession," said Scott Marcello, KPMG vice chair, Audit. "Their critical thinking skills, along with their scholastic and extracurricular achievements, made them successful candidates, and their ability to innovate and adapt to change will make them outstanding leaders."

KPMG worked with Villanova and Ohio State to integrate its latest technology and methodologies for today's highly complex, data-centric audits into the Data and Analytics program curricula. The program also gives real-world experience to the students, who will work on KPMG audit teams as interns during the spring semester and be offered full-time KPMG positions upon graduation.

"Fisher is proud to welcome the first class of KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program students," said Anil K. Makhija, dean, and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher. "These students join a Master of Accounting program at Fisher that is recognized as among the best in the country. Led by our world-class faculty and with the support of KPMG, we look forward to advancing and elevating the critical importance of data and analytics in preparing tomorrow's accounting leaders."

"We are excited to welcome this outstanding group of 26 students to VSB," said Joyce E. A. Russell, Ph.D., the Helen and William O'Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business. "This program will provide our students with the experience necessary to make an immediate impact and prepare them to become effective future business leaders."

"This program has the potential to spark an evolution in the accounting profession, and I'm very excited to be a part of it," said Margaret Mary Rilling of Fort Washington, Pa., who will attend Villanova School of Business.

"This experience will transfer to the working world. With the incredible amounts of data available today, the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics program is clearly a step in the right direction," said Ranier Moore of Colonial Beach, , Va., who will attend Fisher College of Business.

The KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program will pay tuition, room and board for the 52 students. Applications for the 2018-19 class will be available in March.

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