Machine learning: more science than fiction

20 May 2019


Join Narayanan Vaidyanathan and his guest Stuart Cobb as they discuss machine learning.

Drawing on his latest report Machine learning: more science than fiction, Narayanan will outline the opportunities this technology brings accountants across a range of applications, and some of the challenges that also surface.

Stuart will delve deeper into those accountancy challenges from an ML perspective, for example classification during accounts production or anomaly detection during audit; the problems with these approaches and the need for data acquisition and structuring. He will touch on ways that accountants can experiment with little set up time (and how open source is making it easier to do so). Finally, Stuart will argue the need for deep domain knowledge as well as ML knowledge, and why this means the robots aren't coming for our jobs.



Narayanan Vaidyanathan, Head of Business Insights, ACCA 

Narayanan can see the future. Because he leads ACCA's futures research, he knows how future trends will impact business and the accountancy profession. With a global remit for the topics he covers, he inspires ACCA's subject-matter and policy experts to explore specific future trends. He's also ACCA's staff expert for the Accountancy Futures Academy Global Forum, and represents ACCA on government, industry and academic forums.

Particular areas of thought leadership within his research portfolio include work on the global economy, emerging technologies and business models, sustainability, social mobility, as well as sector specific insights, in relation to the public sector, financial services and oil and gas.


Stuart Cobbe, CEO, Brevis

As well as being a qualified chartered accountant, Stuart is a pioneer in the use of data for professional services. In his previous role at a top 20 accountancy and advisory firm, Stuart led a team in developing an award-winning piece of software, radically changing the way the firm thinks about data. Having sat on the firm's technical committee and currently working with Brevis and MindBridge, startups who are bringing AI to the accountancy and audit spaces, Stuart is helping push the boundaries of what is possible through data in the accountancy profession.


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