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The Cognitive Audit: The Effects of Cognitive Computing on Financial Audit Roles of Tomorrow

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Cognitive technology has been at the forefront of the minds of many technology, government, and business leaders, because of its potential to completely revolutionize their fields. Furthermore, individuals in financial statement auditor roles are especially focused on the impact of

Cognitive technology has been at the forefront of the minds of many technology, government, and business leaders, because of its potential to completely revolutionize their fields. Furthermore, individuals in financial statement auditor roles are especially focused on the impact of cognitive technology because of its potential to eliminate many of the tedious, repetitive tasks involved in their profession. Adopting new technologies that can autonomously collect more data from a broader range of sources, turn the data into business intelligence, and even make decisions based on that data begs the question of whether human roles in accounting will be completely replaced. A partial answer: If the ramifications of past technological advances are any indicator, cognitive technology will replace some human audit operations and grow some new and higher order roles for humans. It will shift the focus of accounting professionals to more complex judgment and analysis.
The next question: What do these changes in the roles and responsibilities look like for the auditors of the future? Cognitive technology will assuredly present new issues for which humans will have to find solutions.
• How will humans be able to test the accuracy and completeness of the decisions derived by cognitive systems?
• If cognitive computing systems rely on supervised learning, what is the most effective way to train systems?
• How will cognitive computing fair in an industry that experiences ever-changing industry regulations?
• Will cognitive technology enhance the quality of audits?
In order to answer these questions and many more, I plan on examining how cognitive technologies evolved into their use today. Based on this historic trajectory, stakeholder interviews, and industry research, I will forecast what auditing jobs may look like in the near future taking into account rapid advances in cognitive computing.
The conclusions forecast a future in auditing that is much more accurate, timely, and pleasant. Cognitive technologies allow auditors to test entire populations of transactions, to tackle audit issues on a more continuous basis, to alleviate the overload of work that occurs after fiscal year-end, and to focus on client interaction.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Private Equity Real Estate: Market Analysis and Underwriting for Value-Add Commercial Multifamily Investments

Description

For this thesis, the authors would like to create a hypothetical Private Equity Real Estate Investment firm that focuses on creating value for partners by taking an opportunistic approach to acquiring under-performing urban multi-family properties with large upside potential for

For this thesis, the authors would like to create a hypothetical Private Equity Real Estate Investment firm that focuses on creating value for partners by taking an opportunistic approach to acquiring under-performing urban multi-family properties with large upside potential for investing. The project will focus on both the market analysis and financial modeling associated with investment strategy and transactions. There is a substantial amount of complexity within commercial real estate and this thesis seeks to offer an accurate and comprehensive documentary of the process, while simplifying it for everyday readers. Additionally, there are a significant amount of risk factors associated with investment decisions, so the best practices from the industry documented in this manuscript are valuable tools for successful investing in the future. To gain the most profound and reliable industry knowledge, the authors leveraged the experience of dozens of industry professionals through research and personal interviews. Through careful analysis, the authors were able to ascertain the current economic position in the real estate cycle and to create a plan for future investing. Additionally, they were able to identify and evaluate a specific asset for purchase. As a result, the authors found that multifamily properties are a sound investment for the next two years and that the company should slowly start to shift directions to office and retail in 2018.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Pledge Funds: Decisions and Analysis in Various Stages of the Deal Process

Description

This thesis details our experience assisting BASE Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City, on three prospective agricultural dealership deals over the course of this past academic year. The firm is currently structured as a Fundless

This thesis details our experience assisting BASE Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City, on three prospective agricultural dealership deals over the course of this past academic year. The firm is currently structured as a Fundless Sponsor. This distinct structural trait is common for a type of private equity firm known among practitioners as pledge funds. This creates an interesting element for our experience as there is very limited academic research on these types of firms, which, since the Great Recession, have become popular players in middle-market private equity deals. We, first, provide some historical context on pledge funds and identify their primary differences with traditional private equity. The remainder of the paper documents our experience working on the agricultural dealership deals. We have organized this portion after the manner in which we received assignments. We go into detail on the specific projects with which we were tasked, our interactions with the partners and the major takeaways we had from this learning experience. This thesis paper will enrich the academic knowledge regarding pledge funds—and private equity generally—by documenting a real experience of what it is like performing analyst-level tasks at a real firm. Additionally, we were privy to information that is highly confidential, and though we have protected the confidentiality of the companies through pseudonyms and redaction of confidential material, all of the financial data shown, models provided and qualitative discussion is real.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05

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Company X Supplier Financial Health Model

Description

Company X is one of the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors. The company relies on various suppliers in the U.S. and around the globe for its manufacturing process. The financial health of these suppliers is vital to the continuation of

Company X is one of the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors. The company relies on various suppliers in the U.S. and around the globe for its manufacturing process. The financial health of these suppliers is vital to the continuation of Company X's business without any material interruption. Therefore, it is in Company X's interest to monitor its supplier's financial performance. Company X has a supplier financial health model currently in use. Having been developed prior to watershed events like the Great Recession, the current model may not reflect the significant changes in the economic environment due to these events. Company X wants to know if there is a more accurate model for evaluating supplier health that better indicates business risk. The scope of this project will be limited to a sample of 24 suppliers representative of Company X's supplier base that are public companies. While Company X's suppliers consist of both private and public companies, the used of exclusively public companies ensures that we will have sufficient and appropriate data for the necessary analysis. The goal of this project is to discover if there is a more accurate model for evaluating the financial health of publicly traded suppliers that better indicates business risk. Analyzing this problem will require a comprehensive understanding of various financial health models available and their components. The team will study best practice and academia. This comprehension will allow us to customize a model by incorporating metrics that allows greater accuracy in evaluating supplier financial health in accordance with Company X's values.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Auditing Internal Controls: An Evaluation of Internal Controls in a Small Real Estate Firm

Description

This case study analyzed the internal controls of a real estate company using the widely accepted COSO framework. Testing of the internal environment and controls was completed using the COSO framework. The major internal control problem identified in the study

This case study analyzed the internal controls of a real estate company using the widely accepted COSO framework. Testing of the internal environment and controls was completed using the COSO framework. The major internal control problem identified in the study was a lack of ethical standards in the control environment. In addition to this main problem, inadequate documentation, no separation of duties, and unqualified employees were also identified as violations of effective internal controls. The department of real estate ordered a "cease and desist" on August 8, 2013 due to illegal company activities. The company participated in illegal actions regarding: the trust account and company documentation and procedures. Material weaknesses were found in the company's internal controls; therefore the result of this study was an adverse opinion on internal controls.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013-12

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Apple's $246 Billion War Chest

Description

We chose to analyze Apple's current cash and cash equivalents balance of $246.1 billion. To fully understand how to maximize Apple's investment using this cash balance, we performed detailed due diligence on the company. We analyzed the history of apple,

We chose to analyze Apple's current cash and cash equivalents balance of $246.1 billion. To fully understand how to maximize Apple's investment using this cash balance, we performed detailed due diligence on the company. We analyzed the history of apple, a timeline of their major product releases, their financial statements, product mix, and the industries in which they operate. This allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of available opportunities. After doing our due diligence on the company, we look at their current cash levels and potential reasons that the cash balance has been increasing so quickly. Another component of their cash balance is the implications of a tax holiday for repatriation, so we also looked at the potential effects of this on Apple's cash balance. Finally, we begin the main portion of our project where look at the six potential options for the cash. We cover share buybacks, dividends or a special dividend, paying down debt, investing in research and development, making a large acquisition, or continuing to build a high cash balance. We pull data on each of these, look at financial metrics and many different numbers to evaluate which of these six options would maximize shareholder value. A large portion of our work was spent looking at acquisition targets. We finally vetted three potential targets: Tesla, Netflix, and Disney. These companies made sense for a number of different qualitative reasons, but after looking at them from a financial standpoint we concluded Disney was the only company worth modeling out. A detailed financial model was built on Disney to find a purchase price. Included in this was a discounted cash flow analysis, comparable company's analysis, analyzing precedent transactions, and then finding an enterprise value based on the model. We also built an accretion dilution model to see what the effect on earnings per share is and also what the combined entity would look like. In order to present our findings, we built a pitch book. A pitch book is the standard type of presentation that investment banks use in order to show their recommendations to companies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05