Big data in accounting: An overview

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140 Scopus citations


This paper discusses an overall framework of Big Data in accounting, setting the stage for the ensuing collection of essays that presents the ongoing evolution of corporate data into Big Data, ranging from the structured data contained in modern ERPs to loosely connected unstructured and semi-structured information from the environment. These essays focus on the sources, uses, and challenges of Big Data in accounting (measurement) and auditing (assurance). They consider the changing nature of accounting records and the incorporation of nontraditional sources of data into the accounting and auditing domains, as well as the need for changes in the accounting and auditing standards, and the new opportunities for audit analytics enabled by Big Data. Additionally, the papers discuss the interaction of Big Data and traditional sources of data, as well as Big Data’s impact on audit judgment and behavioral research. Both accounting academics and accounting practitioners will benefit from learning about the significant potential benefits of Big Data and the inevitable challenges and obstacles in the way of its utilization. Advanced accounting students would also benefit from exposure to these emerging issues to enhance their future career development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-396
Number of pages16
JournalAccounting Horizons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting


  • Analytics
  • Audit judgment
  • Enterprise data ecosystem
  • Reporting
  • Standards
  • Storage


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