Source: Article from the Microsoft´s Blog (Microsoft perspective)
The proliferation of new data-driven and data-centric technologies, including Big Data, machine learning and Business Intelligence is expected to dramatically change the way professional services firms operate. It will allow the automation of a large part of the underlying analysis and investigative work. This in turn will improve the quality, speed, scope and efficiency of the analysis and, as a consequence, make the services provided more relevant, actionable and valuable. In order to leverage these new technologies for their clients, companies in this industry need to modernize their IT systems.
BDO, one of the world’s most innovative international networks of public accounting, tax and advisory firms, has recognized this challenge and signed a worldwide technology collaboration with Microsoft. This global strategic alliance enables both BDO and Microsoft to explore and use new and exciting opportunities for BDO Member Firms. They will be able to expand upon the in-depth knowledge they have about their clients and provide clients with powerful insights, in both a financial and operational capacity. It is BDO’s ambition is to become the enabler of efficiency in its field, supporting clients through transformational change and providing new ideas and innovative thinking to contribute to their commercial success and help them achieve their objectives.
We are very excited about this strategic alliance, which demonstrates BDO’s digital leadership and constant drive to adapt and transform in the delivery of exceptional client service across all areas of its operations and for all types of clients. BDO will work with us on both existing and new solutions to design and deliver leading edge and data-driven services to clients around the world. This new global agreement will cover three key areas: collaboration, audit and cloud.
With regard to collaboration, the collaboration focuses om two main dimensions. First of all, BDO’s first class Global Portal will deliver an online collaboration space to further enhance the company’s digital experience and service workflow, supporting and extending client relationships – locally, regionally and globally. Furthermore, BDO’s Audit toolkit will benefit from the next generation of the company’s network’s custom-made Audit Process Tool (APT). With the introduction of new technology this scalable worldwide tool – hosted in our Azure cloud – will now be capable of streamlining the audit process in even more ways for their clients.
Next to this, the integration of BDO’s data analytics tool set, called BDO Advantage, powered by Microsoft’s Cortana, will further enrich BDO’s Audit experience. This will enable the company to provide insights and automation efficiencies to its clients, by delving deeper into their financial and operational data and sharing real-time advice to mitigate potential risks. As for the future: BDO is now partnering with key cloud accounting providers across the world to deliver modern and secure cloud accounting services for clients. Microsoft NAV is a key tool in achieving this. BDO Cloud Accounting will give all BDO firms seamless access to global resources, enabling agility and flexibility in our service delivery.
It is amazing to see that technology can be the differentiator in this respect. It also underlines Microsoft’s ambition to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.