MS in Accounting Blog

M.S. in Accounting Students Gain Highly Marketable Data Analytics Skills Through IDEA Academic Partnership

Eric Negangard

Eric Negangard

Using data analytics software, data sets from real-world case studies, and other resources provided by the IDEA Academic Partnership, students in McIntire’s M.S. in Accounting Program are learning to apply data analytics techniques to extract meaningful insights, identify potential risks, and make informed decisions from the accounting data they work with—all sought-after business skills by employers. The resources are valued at approximately $25,000.

“Data analysis skills are the #1 determinate of a successful accountant,” says McIntire Accounting Professor Eric Negangard, who teaches “Forensic Accounting” in the M.S. in Accounting Program, adding that the partnership offers students a tremendous opportunity to learn the software while working with real-world accounting data. “Recent graduates tell me that their IDEA experience while they were students makes them superstars on their engagement teams.”

“Many of the top professional organizations are urging professionals to use purpose-built data analytics tools for audit engagements,” says Academic Partnership Coordinator Cory Windham. “We are getting more interest from well-known institutions like the University of Virginia that want to prepare students for this demand. When they can list experience using data analytics on their resumes, it differentiates them from other job candidates, and often means they will advance quicker.”

According to IDEA Academic Partnership, IDEA is a powerful, user-friendly tool designed to help accounting and financial professionals extend their auditing capabilities, detect fraud, and meet documentation standards. Used in more than 90 countries by major accounting firms, government, and corporations in all industry sectors, and by nearly 500 universities as a teaching tool, it allows users to import, join, analyze, sample, and extract data from almost any source, including reports printed to a file, such as PDFs. With unlimited file size capabilities and an intuitive user interface, IDEA has the ability to analyze large volumes of data in seconds.

The IDEA Academic Partnership is sponsored by Audimation Services Inc., the U.S. distributor of CaseWare IDEA, CaseWare Monitor™, and SmartExporter. Participation is offered at no cost to U.S.-accredited college and university educators. Additional information is available at

About Audimation Services Inc.
Founded in 1992, Audimation Services Inc. is a leader in providing data analysis technology to help companies understand their data, assess risks, test controls, and fight fraud. As the sole U.S. distributor of IDEA® Data Analysis, CaseWare™ Monitor and SmartExporter for SAP®, we help our clients maximize their technology investments by providing support, training and other valuable resources. For more information about Audimation Services, visit or call 888-641-2800.

About CaseWare Analytics
CaseWare Analytics is home to IDEA® Data Analysis and the CaseWare Monitor continuous monitoring platform. Our software solutions are built on a foundation of industry best practices and expertise, enabling audit, compliance and finance professionals to assess risk, gather audit evidence, uncover trends, identify issues and provide the intelligence needed to make informed decisions, ensure compliance and improve business processes. We offer solutions that meet the needs of auditors, analysts, purchasing card managers, compliance officers and more. With 40 distribution offices worldwide, CaseWare Analytics’ products and solutions serve more than 400,000 professionals in 90 countries. To learn more visit

IDEA is a registered trademark of CaseWare International Inc.

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