Category / Business Engagement

“How could AI shake up Accounting and Reporting?” PwC visit the Accounting, Finance and Economics (AFE) Department of The Business School

Undergraduates studying on BU’s Accounting and Finance programme were treated to a fascinating insight into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in accounting and financial reporting given by global expert Ruth Preedy who is Director, AI and IFRS Accounting at PwC.  Dr Alan Kirkpatrick, Head of Education and Professional Practice for AFE introduced the session by referring to the research question posed by Alan Turing back in 1950: “Can machines think?”, and he asked if recent technological advances have put questions such as “how well can machines learn?”, “when should we allow machines to take decisions?” and “how will AI affect the roles and required skill sets of future accountants?”, into the frame. There is a deepening discussion in financial services, the professions and wider business community about the expected impact of AI on accounting and financial reporting.

Ruth Preedy explained how AI will have an impact on all sectors.  In particular, healthcare, automotive and financial services sectors “..exhibit huge potential for high touch, high frequency and high value products and services enabled by AI”.  Analyses carried out using PwC’s Computational General Equilibrium Model for AI in 2017 estimate a potential GDP gain of US$15.7 trillion by 2030 with China and North America expected to see the biggest AI gains.  A wide definition of AI as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence” really includes activities such as natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, speech recognition and machine vision.  Ruth Preedy pointed out how AI might be presented at three levels described as: Assisted Intelligence, Augmented Intelligence and Autonomous Intelligence. AI today is more likely to be seen in the form of Assisted Intelligence that is associated with “..automating repetitive, standardised or time-consuming tasks” and is resulting in increased demand for STEM skills to build a ‘new tech ecosystem’. The emerging form of AI is Augmented Intelligence that involves collaboration between humans and machines to make decisions and Ruth Preedy said that “uniquely human traits such as emotional intelligence, creativity, persuasion and innovation will become more valuable”. The highest form of AI is Autonomous Intelligence and this vision of a possible future involves what Ruth Preedy described as “adaptive continuous intelligent systems taking over decision making” that “may question the future of humans at work”.  Examples of discussions in the automotive sector for example indicate the sensitivities of Autonomous Intelligence systems.

AI is often discussed in the context of employment.  Ruth Preedy referred to estimates by PwC that around 30 per cent of jobs overall (across all sectors) could be automated in the early 2020s but the proportion of jobs usually performed by individuals with higher education (graduates) that could be automated is estimated at the much lower figure of 11 per cent.  This pattern is expected to be reflected in the accounting profession with more automation of more routine functions such as basic book-keeping and a continuing or increasing need for activities requiring higher levels of analysis.  AI is being seen in accounting and financial reporting in the form of accounting packages (XBRL), IFRS modelling, auditing, contract review and ‘chatbots’.

Overall the message is that contrary to some of the more hysterical reports there will still be a need in the future for skilled accountants exhibiting knowledge of how to get the best out of AI in performing their critical analysis and decision making functions.

 

Dr Alan Kirkpatrick

 

 

 

 

Bournemouth University Professional development courses for tourism and hospitality 18 March – 22 March  2019

Bournemouth University Professional development courses for tourism & hospitality 18 March – 22 March  2019

Department of Tourism and Hospitality Bournemouth University

Information  https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/about/our-faculties/faculty-management/our-departments/department-tourism-hospitality/professional-development-courses

Booking https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/professional-development-courses-for-tourism-hospitality-professionals-tickets-51803261951?_eboga=1715778101.1516471310

Professional development courses for tourism & hospitality professionals

Our series of half-day courses will be delivered through interactive workshops and networking with leading academics and students. They will support managers, supervisors and their teams in their operational and strategic thinking. Our half-day courses will focus on the following areas:

  • The power of technology Professor Dimitrios Buhalis
  • Digital marketing and social media Dr Elvira Bolat
  • Managing tourism destinations, economic impacts and development Professor Adam Blake
  • Heritage interpretation at visitor attractions Dr Duncan Light
  • The greener conference Dr Julie Whitfield
  • Managing self and others Dr Lia Marinakou
  • Looking after your workforce Professor Adele Ladkin
  • Managing a multicultural workforce Dr Charalampos (Babis) Giousmpasoglou
  • Upcoming Asian and Chinese Markets – Attracting new customers Dr Philipp Wassler and Dr Daisy Fan
  • Managing hospitality food waste Dr Viachaslau Filimonau

View the full schedule of short courses and click below for more detail about each course.
Information  https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/about/our-faculties/faculty-management/our-departments/department-tourism-hospitality/professional-development-courses

Booking https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/professional-development-courses-for-tourism-hospitality-professionals-tickets-51803261951?_eboga=1715778101.1516471310

Please feel free to forward this email to interested parties.

Our Professional development courses for tourism & hospitality professionals are primarily for our partners and help us to develop the competitiveness of the tourism and hospitality industries of the future.  Join us to learn how you can develop your potential and competitiveness through managing your staff, developing your product and service, understanding your customers and using digital marketing. You will also have access to our resources and networks to develop your competitiveness. The courses are delivered through interactive workshops and networking with leading academics and students and will support managers to develop contemporary knowledge of critical business aspects that influence their profitability and performance. We pride ourselves on the cutting edge knowledge and professional excellence we cultivate. The combination of staff expertise and enthusiasm, knowledge excellence and co-creation with industry, generate innovation and best professional practice. We have developed a suite of professional development courses for the tourism and hospitality industry to support managers in their operational and strategic thinking. They will bring you the tools and techniques to help grow your business.

ABOUT BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY

The Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University is a top university in the world for the study of tourism and hospitality, ranked 8th in the world for hospitality and leisure management according to the QS University Rankings 2018 and 12th in the world for hospitality and tourism management according to the Shanghai Rankings of Academic Subjects 2018 and 3rd in the UK for hospitality, event management and tourism in the Guardian League Table 2019. We are recognised globally as a leading contributor to knowledge creation and dissemination in tourism and hospitality. A team of 29 academic staff and over 1,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students make us one of the biggest and most prolific departments in the world. The combination of staff expertise and enthusiasm, knowledge excellence and cocreation with industry, generate innovation and best professional practice. Our approach is about creating value with everyone we work with, locally and globally, and to share the benefits with society.

Look forward to welcome you to our Professional Development courses.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis
Head of Department Tourism and Hospitality
Bournemouth University

Creating Impact on Business Practice and Strategy

The future of YouTube was a co-created research project between Emma Parrett, Strategic Partnerships Director at OMD UK and Dr John Oliver (FMC). OMD are a strategic communications and planning agency that employs over 8,500 people in more than 120 offices globally and are the most awarded agency network in the world.

One of OMDs clients are YouTube and the challenge they faced was how to develop long-term market insight and strategic solutions in a rapidly changing media environment.The project combined imaginative and systematic thinking in a way that provided a unique insight into future media environments and how YouTube could compete using multiple strategic options.

The impact of the project and the scenario planning methodology has influenced OMD’s business practices in a number of ways. They believe that their media planning team were better able to make sense of often conflicting macro-environmental trends and are now able to find more advanced strategic insight. Additional positive outcomes were evidenced by increased usage of scenario planning, as well as staff and client understanding of a methodology which they ultimately regarded as a way of obtaining strategic solutions in a rapidly changing business environment.

Dr Oliver commented that the benefits of academics working with industry professionals to create knowledge and instrumental impact on business practices has been evidenced in this project. ​

Furthermore, the YouTube project has been written up and published in both industry and academic journals and the level of publisher downloads has run into the thousands.

The article can be accessed at: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Wbaj1lnoC6sq

The Impact of Digital Strategy and Business Transformation

In April 2017 Dr John Oliver co-hosted a business engagement event on Digital Strategy and Business Transformation with The Hackett Group (London). The Hackett Group are leading management consultants providing expert advice on digital transformation and benchmarking to major corporations and government agencies, including 97% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 89% of the Fortune 100 and 59% of the FTSE 100.

The event formed part of a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust funded research project and was attended by senior business executives from the likes of Ofcom, the Financial Times, Astrazeneca and Bell Pottinger. At the time, the delegates commented that it was an “excellent event” that provided different perspectives on digital transformation and new ideas on how to manage strategic digital transformation within their firms.

After 18 months, a clearer picture has emerged of the impact that the presentation of findings and subsequent discussion has had on business practice. Chris Davenport, a Senior Director at The Hackett Group, recently commented that “the event influenced our strategic approach to the development of a new Digital Strategy and Analytics service for our clients. This new consultancy service has been now been launched and several of our FTSE100 clients (among others Tesco, John Lewis and Unilever) have gained insight from this. Some of these clients have already decided to invest millions of pounds into resources creating many new jobs in Digital services and Analytics departments in their firms and we expect many more to follow”.

The research findings have been published in several practice management journals, whilst the academic papers are in the final stages of peer review.

Funding opportunity – Global Innovation Linkages program – Round 2 (Australia)

The Global Innovation Linkages program from the Australian Government provides Australian businesses and researchers with matched funding of up to $1 million per project to collaborate with global partners on strategically focused, leading-edge research and development.

Lead organisation eligibility

To be an eligible lead organisation you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for GST

    Project partners

    Project partners must include at least:

    • one Australian industry entity and
    • one Australian research organisation and
    • one global partner.

Summary : 

Application deadline : 14 November 2018

Available funding : up to $1million per project

Grant period : Maximum four years

Please see this link for more information about this call.

Funding opportunities from Innovate UK

1. SBRI: intelligent data to transform local council service delivery

This Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition is funded by the GovTech Catalyst and is sponsored by Durham County Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

This competition looks at 2 specific data-gathering techniques in local council services:

1.‘Boots on the ground’: enabling residents to collect and report accurate data about public assets, such as potholes and street lighting, to the local council.

2.‘Eyes on the street’: using local council vehicles to collect and report data as they travel around the borough.

Summary :

Call opens : 24 September 2018

Call closes : 31 October 2018

Available funding : up to £50,000 (including VAT)

Project start date : by 7 Feb 2019

Please see this link for more information about this call.

2. Call for Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration

As part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy BEIS has allocated up to £20 million to design and construct carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) demonstration projects. This programme is designed to encourage industrial sites to capture carbon dioxide which could then be used in industrial applications, while enabling learning and development of capture technologies at an intermediate scale, so reducing costs and risks.

The overall aims of the CCU demonstration programme are:

  • to demonstrate carbon capture and utilisation at a number of key industrial sites in the UK
  • to demonstrate and accelerate cost reductions in carbon capture technology in the order of 20 to 45%, i.e. £10-20/MWh
  • to encourage a project pipeline of follow-on CCU projects that will help less mature, but more novel technology to be demonstrated at scale; and
  • to improve understanding of the cost and performance of carbon capture technology
  • to de-risk the capture technology.

The programme is in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1 focuses on initial scoping study for an engineering supplier to work on BEIS’ behalf with potential host sites, carbon dioxide users and technology suppliers to produce site-specific cost estimates for deploying CCU at UK industrial sites. Wood.Plc successfully bid for Phase 1
  • Phase 2 will fund projects to conduct design studies for constructing CCUequipment at UK host sites
  • Phase 3 will fund projects to construct and demonstrate CCU

Summary :

Call closes : 11 November 2018 (Applicants must complete the application forms on this link and submit by email to Industry.Innovation@beis.gov.uk by Sunday 11 November 2018.)

Available funding : up to £5million

Project duration : up to 24 months

Project dates : finish by 31 March 2021

Please see this link for more information about this call.

3. Open grant funding competition: round 3

Up to £20million investment will be made by Innovate UK in the best cutting-edge or disruptive ideas with a view to commercialisation.

All proposals must be business focused, and can come from any area of technology, science or engineering, including arts, design, media or creative industries.

Summary : 

Call opens : 24 September 2018

Call closes : 14 November 2018

Available funding : between £25,000 and £500,000

Project duration : Between 19 and 36 months

Project dates : start by 1 April 2019 and end by 1 April 2022

Please see this link for more information about this call.

4. UK Aerospace Research and Technology Programme: fast-track collaborative R&D EoI

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £8 million to carry out collaborative R&D, collaborative fast-track and feasibility projects that enhance the UK’s position in civil aerospace.

To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • plan to carry out an aerospace research or technology development project in the UK
  • address the specific requirements of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Raising Ambition’
  • sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) framework agreement
  • work in collaboration with other organisations to develop proposals and deliver projects

To lead a project you must:

To collaborate you must be a:

  • business
  • research organisation
  • public sector organisation
  • charity

Summary : 

Call opens : 24 September 2018

Call closes : 5 December 2018

Available funding : between £425,000 to £1million

Project duration : Between 12 and 24 months

Project dates : start by August 2019 and end by August 2021

Please see this link for more information about this call.

5. IDP 15: the road to zero emission vehicles, large R&D

Up to £4million is available for UK businesses to apply for to research and develop technologies that accelerate the transition to zero emmision vehicles.

To be eligible you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations or third-sector organisations

To lead a project you must be a UK based business, of any size.

A separate £2 million is available for feasibility study projects and a further £16 million to support proportionality smaller collaborative R&D projects.

Summary : 

Call closes : 6 December 2018

Available funding : up to £4million

Project duration : Between 12 and 36 months

Project dates : start by June 2019 and end by June 2022

Please see this link for more information about this call.

 

Funding opportunity : Hydrogen Supply Competition

A £20m Hydrogen Supply Programme is now open for registration of interest with a deadline of 21 November 2018. This £20 million Hydrogen Supply programme aims to accelerate the development of low carbon bulk hydrogen supply solutions in industry, power, heat and transport. It is aimed at projects at a technology readiness level (TRL) of 4 to 7, which could result in lower capital or operating costs when compared to Steam Methane Reformer with Carbon Capture & Storage (SMR+CCS), or improve the capture rates at a comparable cost.

The deadline to submit proposals is 5 December 2018.

For more information, please see this link.