Dabie Tsai on the Importance of Accounting

Recently, former Big Four accounting firm partner Dabie Tsai was interviewed during which she shared her opinion on accounting. During her successful career, she worked for 23 years at KPMG. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Chinese, a skill that has been very significant to her career advancement. Being multilingual was an asset in her work in the United States, Canada, Spain and Chile.


Accounting as a Necessity

During the interview, Tsai discussed the importance of accounting. She stated that, from her perspective, accounting is essential, as it serves as the foundation for the success of an organization. She added that sound accounting structures help a company build and advance its operations and activities. Tsai went on to mention that proper accounting is even more important to startups as they are trying to get market traction. Operational difficulties caused by poor accounting in an organization may significantly hinder its operation. She encouraged businesses to invest in their accounting departments to help them properly execute its strategy and vision.


The Biggest Innovation in Accounting

The former KPMG accounting partner mentioned artificial intelligence (AI), data & analytics (D&A), and the use of big data as the most significant innovations in accounting today. She went on to state that she firmly believes that these innovations will be responsible for shaping the future of accounting. Tsai stated that innovations like data & analytics are already shaping how accountants approach risk areas. On the other hand, artificial intelligence allows for unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness in the field. AI has allowed for easy processing of large amounts of information, which was impossible before.


Traditional vs. Risk-Based Auditing

Traditional auditing focuses exclusively on the numbers in the ledger. On the other hand, risk-based auditing encompasses the assessment of the company specifics, its environment, and the current market situation. Tsai stated that traditional auditing is a one-size-fits-all approach and may not be the best option in today’s world. She also said that risk-based auditing introduces a lot of factors that may affect the business directly or indirectly. This means that a company can get an accurate representation of its state through risk-based auditing.